The New Mexican Astronauts

7:42 AM




by Rudolfo Carrillo

Hey carnales, two-thousand and thirteen is pretty bitchin', so far, eh?

Everyone's talking about how far they have come along into the twenty-first century. It's just plain glorious to think about where we came from to get here. All that shiny newness reminds me of a fable I heard one day at Ghetto Smith's while wandering through the dog food aisle.

It's a story about the New Mexican astronauts; los recuerden? They came from the south with their sister the scientist in an attempt to reconcile el norte with la neta, if such a thing is possible.

I imagine there is all sorts of stuff on the interwebz about all this. Maybe you ought to google it when you are done here. Anywho, this story is about the time those two, nursed on atomic infusions and the dull knife of continuously magic circumstances, were gifted with petroleum-powered caballos mecánicos.

La historia suena así.

The dirt bikes were a good idea because they introduced a format for exploration that was dangerous and therefore had to be studied, modeled, processed, and then undertaken with the utmost gravity.

Additionally, there would be no supervision or support on actual missions, just the endless sage, wrecked cars, spiders, and occasional cows encountered on trails that had been carved out by the agents of men who had been making movies about an imaginary version of Albuquerque, who wanted a way to conveniently strand their hero in the Sandia Mountains, near the end of the fifth reel, like he was el vaquero más solitario del mundo, or something like that.

One of the motorcycles was painted green; the other was red. This configuration had nothing to do with the mythos of the popular culture in those parts regarding two fruitful colors; in this case let us say that the patterns and spectral traces differentiating one vehicle from the other symbolized springtime and blood.

The devices were put to use, a process concerned with the depiction of new experience was inititated and lonesome guitar songs played over the top of things as a plain reflection of the awesome and empty mesa that folded outward from the main observation laboratory. The two New Mexican astronauts prepared a mixture of gasoline and oil, imagining the far shore as just over the looming mountains, a bright thing seen vaguely from the corner of one's eye, waiting to be fully observed and made real.

And so with their sparkly protective headgear properly applied, the two New Mexican astronauts zoomed through several very compact iterations of the eleventh dimension which were craftily disguised as this or that neighbor's back yard, and right out into the middle the desert.

En ese desierto, algunos de los cactus estaban brotando plumaje colorido, and birds made from stones and mud lept up into the air as the spacemen approached. Here was a shift in the sand where a serpent had slithered by; there was a beverage storage unit abandoned long ago by another explorer, whose size was determined to be in excess of three meters, and therefore probably from one of the moons of Jupiter.

The only problem was that the whole scene lacked music. The two New Mexican astronauts fiddled with the idea of strapping a portable radio-wave receiver to one of the dirtbikes but decided it wouldn't be the same because meaningful tuneage would just get lost out there in the vasty arroyos, sabes?

On the journey back, one of the spacemen, the one with the name like a wolf (the other was called after the highest of clouds) ran over a small rodent. Basta, each cried out to the other. They hauled ass back to their space chante, parked los motorcicletas in a dark room filled with ghosts and spent the intervening days listening to A Night at the Opera and Goodbye Yellow Brick Road; smoking Salem brand cigarettes stolen from the captain's quarters.

At night they would take out their microscopes and consult encyclopedias while the wind churned and rattled as if telegraphed from a much heavier planet. The New Mexican astronauts retreated into their labyrinthine headquarters and shortly after the solstice, the dirt bikes became small birds that flew off towards the sea.

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