Lots of cows in Texas, or are they steer? I am busting along the freeways at top speeds trying to get across this fabulous county of mine, so my knowledge of flora and fauna is limited. But I see a field of cattle and immediately go “Awww, HI COWS!” and then just as automatically I continue… “I’m sorry. I’m sorry you will be eaten.” There are steakhouse signs all along the freeway, so I am reminded of our carnivorous nature and I feel guilty. If I lived anywhere near a cattle ranch or butcher I am sure I would be a vegetarian. Cows and lots of churches…so clear why it’s called the Bible Belt. I see huge churches out in the middle of nowhere, with equally HUGE crosses and billboards preaching at me to join them on Sunday.
This area also reminds of a phenomenal play I saw recently in Seattle called Holy Days. Four superb actors lived a story about the hardships of the Dust Bowl years and the dust storms that took lives, made living unbearable, and relationships strained. I can still picture Amy Thone’s face (actress and lovely woman) as she portrayed the excruciating emotional pain of her character’s loss of a child in a dust storm. Here I am whisking across the Texas Panhandle and it is really windy, and I see semi-truck blown off into the ditch and I remember back to a theatre piece that made the prairie in the 1930’s come alive for me. Theater can do that. It lives on within our psyches and you never know when it will pop out and grab you by the throat. Yay for live theater!
I spent that night in Amarillo, Texas. Not much to report there. I drove to my cheap, Priceline-obtained hotel downtown and thought, “gee, this town is depressed.” There was no one around, it looked run down, the big wide streets deserted of cars and people. I had a huge 10 story hotel all to myself and I spent the night writing, skyping with a beloved friend and doing laundry. Then about 10pm I started to hear action on the streets below. I looked out from my 8th story window and saw to my surprise, a whole different landscape below. Cars were backed up cruising the streets, people were milling around, girls in short skirts and guys with bling, and music was coming from somewhere. It was like a whole club scene had surfaced where there had been nothing before, and this ruckus went on booming until 2:30am. I was too tired to go out and investigate and it really didn’t look like my scene, so I just ignored it all and woke up the next morning to deserted streets again much like a haunted dream.