Five Albuquerque Instances8:20 PM
by Rudolfo Carrillo
I decided to assemble a collection of random memories about Albuquerque and put it down here, report fashion, for your reading pleasure. I have plenty of material. Maybe I'll do this a few times with some basic parameters, so it doesn't come off as tangential. Like tonight seems sort of long-legged and eighties style, except for one instance, if you happen to be concerned with topicality. I'll tell you though, sometime maybe I will unstring all this, make each paragraph into a different book like flowers coming out of the ground in springtime. But now it is just seeds and that is fine with me.
- For a while I worked as a stagehand at Popejoy Hall, mostly before I was twenty. It was a helluva job and dangerous too. One of my duties was to climb up to the ceiling and drag around weights and pipes and scenery. The crew chief was huge guy who wore a denim vest over a variety of filthy heavy metal concert t-shirts. He chain-smoked Marlboro 100s and would yell, "You, up on the rail!" when he needed something from me. He hadn't combed his hair in ten years; his wife was named after a character on the Honeymooners. I think.
- An automobile caught fire on the corner of Tulane and Coal one summer afternoon while I was trying to paint a picture of the apocalypse; staring at the Sandia Mountains for inspiration. A sky blue Dodge Colt rattled by and stalled at the curb. It was already smoking under the hood and the woman driving got out and started walking with a stiff gait, toward Nob Hill. Back then, a vicious Rhodesian ridgeback named Vincent lived on Tulane between Coal and Lead. As the driver of the burning compact rushed by, the dog leapt out into the street ready to bite.
- During my freshman year at UNM the whole place was pretty much wide open. For instance, the basement of Castetter Hall was wrecked and abandoned but folks still went down there for the thrill, to make out, and to score broken lab equipment. The same with the labyrinth under the College of Fine Arts, dark and seemingly endless, with an occasional broken tuba or snare drum substituting for a distillation apparatus or busted autoclave.
- I am sure as shit humans were living the Werner-Gilchrist whatever house as late as 1985, though media and historical reports seem reluctant to admit such. I lived three doors down the road that year. Whoever in hell was living in the dilapidated rancho had a couple of late model chevys parked in the yard and a green house going that beat hell out of any other garden on that shabby road called after Cornell University. I'd hear the occupants playing the piano and carrying on late at night and wonder who they were. They did not come and go much.
- I ambled in a very relaxed fashion around Johnson field twenty-three times while the three hippies I was with jogged and ran and threw themselves at the grass in great lithesome leaps, gamboling as they passed me again on that perimeter. It was just after dusk and the high intensity lighting array lent the action a dream-like quality that only dispersed after the outing, when the two women of the group began practicing astrology on guitars. I rose from the carpet and walked south toward the cemetery.