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19 August 2012

Analysis of Fictive Locations Encountered Near Albuquerque

Rudolfo Carrillo

By Rudolfo Carrillo


Down yonder through the cottonwood thickets, there where the earth touches the river absorbently and with the patience of geological processes intact, the agent of an advance guard from an alternate universe nearly identical to Albuquerque and consequently, the watery sphere dangling in space that surrounds it, came upon or perhaps was chemically induced to discover a silver railroad watch upon the muddy shore alive with toads, it being summertime.

When properly activated, the clock transmitted images, and sounds from that other place were produced by turning gears and spindles too, in a convenient and easy to access format capable of imbuing historical activities that never happened with a vibrant, digitally enhanced realism that spoke properly, definitively and eloquently, to the possibility of distinctly divergent temporal process outcomes on other wetly blue globes floating past other warmly yellow suns.

On one such bright day, as he prepared to download and view the fantastic cultural units known to some members of his tribe as cartoons, the agent noticed an anomalous transmission emanating wanly from the timepiece; between colorfully meaningless iterations of Jonny Quest and mysteriously sped-up versions Space Ghost, sharp and lonesome flickers advanced, static tumbled restlessly about the apparatus.

The surface of that discovered file was coated in poisonous snakes and the limbs of trees that had fallen during summer storms. Although the agent was able to brush these dangerous contrivances aside with an electronic eraser, he remained wary about what followed, what proceeded forth and into the air from the damnable device.

There was a film. As a traditional practitioner of a human craft that was looked upon with great foreboding and holy ignorance by the other animals, the agent felt he had no other choice than to summarize the narrative. If necessary, he might add his own interpretation of what could only be considered, after much contemplation, the great masterwork of a race of beings whose similarity in form and function to his own was disturbingly beautiful.


A man with shabby woolen pants trod through snowy streets, stumbled drunkenly in front of his home and then entered. He jabbered in English over something that vaguely resembled a telephone, but was made from plastic and filled with copper wires. There were newspapers and what appeared to be butterfly wings scattered here and there without conscious regard to their position or function.

Later, he is sitting in a decrepit office speaking in plaintive tones to a well-groomed stick figure who might have been a movie star if only the desert had not captured him and brought him to the ruins of what had once been a quaint strip mall on the southern edge of town. Have you ever been in a band, the thin collection of wood inquires gravely while folding a dollar bill into a football and launching it across the room.

Next door it is always dark but a tropical ambiance has been introduced to improve morale. The manager wears a hula skirt and sings songs from her adolescence to the other workers. Everybody smokes and there is a beaded polynesian curtain separating the reception area from the sales floor.

This sequence is followed by scenes of women frolicking and gamboling across great swaths of asphalt. Birds light on some of the cars and all of the telephone poles in Nob Hill.

The man with moth-eaten trousers rushes out of the lodge with a camera, but it is too late because the day is retreating, the bar is open and everything important is happening upstairs, anyway.

Rudolfo Carrillo / a fifth-wave feminist from the fourth estate | a burqueña | a ladyboss | a writer + editor

I am a fifth-wave feminist and a reluctant member⸺hey, Groucho knew whereof he quipped⸺of both the fourth estate and the gig economy. I am an Albuquerque-based freelance writer, editor and social media marketing and branding+PR consultant. I remain an observant ’90s riot grrrl and a devout practitioner of halfhearted yoga posturing and zen and the art of the sentence diagram.


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