Friday, February 24, 2006

Road Trip to New Mexico and Arizona

Wednesday, 2/22/06
Left camp at San Antonio around 8am. Some wet weather and a drab landscape. About an hour into the drive, the scenery improved somewhat - more hilly, with juniper and oaks, more like parts of New Mexico. Things flattened out again at 3200 feet, but there were mountains in the distance.

Having flashbacks of moments during my 8+ years at the agency...the dysfunctionality that is never addressed, the discontent. How often I've imagined it should have been such an exciting, cutting-edge, fun, radical place to work, but was always stifled, "managed" into being crippled and unimaginative. Watching staff go from enthusiastic to either leaving or conforming. I was so often the symptomatic child, the weakest link, the one who stayed on while having the least tolerance for the dysfunction. I am not unconvinced that the stresses of the office were a contributing factor in one staff person's having a heart attack. The sad part is that nothing changed, it only got worse in terms of office stress. And the one who was hired to do maintanence and odd jobs who literally didn't know the meaning of stess, now knows what it means. There was growing frustration and discontent there when I was dismissed following my burnout incident.

Well, I'm now free to make a new start. People older than me have done it. Had to get out of Texas today. It just doesn't feel hospitable. Made the New Mexico border.


Thursday 2/23/06
Spent the night at Anthony, NM, rest stop, a no-cost campsite. Slept really well and had vivid, weird and silly dreams like I haven't had in years. Could it be the "Land of Enchantment"?

Just glad to be out of Texas. I don't feel comfortable or welcome there. And that is a part of my country; I am a tax-paying citizen. It is dispicable that there are parts of this country where I, as a gay man, would feel unwelcome, uncomfortable, unsafe.

New Mexico has always felt warmer, more inviting, more welcoming. They have a gay aesthetic: the architecture, the palate, the landscaping convey thoughtfulness and attention to detail. It is a more pleasing place. But there is still a sense that one is just a visitor in a foreign land. United States of America: "red" states and "blue" states, perhaps less united than ever.


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