10 Jul 2018

The Changing Skies Tour by cynthiabrando

18/21

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Life on the 33rd parallel.....Los Angeles, where I live is actually on the 33rd parallel-but it seems to have more meaning in Truth or Consequences, New Mexico. I got it in my head that I HAD to come here....T or R is famous for its hot springs-and I imagined a quaint touristy location, quiet but thriving.....I was very wrong. When I told my family about my plans on spending a couple days there-they told me about an infamous serial killer that lived there and was caught after many many years.....After two days I could see how a serial killer could thrive there-seems a lot goes under the radar in this place. I first cruised “Main” Street and didn’t see a single soul-a lot of places were boarded up-or looked boarded up.....I was scared. My air bnb, unbeknownst to me, was a room at the end of a trailer next to what looked like neighbor squatters....”Craig”-as it turned out-was very intense looking but extremely nice, and my room was clean and comfortable....I looked up the best place to eat in town and found an Asian restaurant, but when I drove up-again-I couldn’t tell if it was opened or closed-it just had that....look. I waited a few minutes to get my bravery up-then ventured in.....inside was filled with normal looking folks and nice art-I was pleasantly surprised.....that night I ventured for some brew to the year old “T or R brewery” which is popular with the locals. “Chocolate George” was playing his mixture of country, rock and blues with a bongo player and it took about 30 seconds for a local to sit next to me and fill me in about all the gossip, characters and stories of T or C....For the first time in a long while, I saw men who actually knew how to couple dance, and it was so sweet to watch.....The next day I went to some beautiful hot springs right on the Rio Grande in waters purported to have amazing healing qualities.....there wasn’t much town action in T or C, so I waited until early evening and ventured to the brewery again-a couple who owned a restaurant I got some food at recognized me and invited me to their table-there was Chocolate George, Ingo from Germany-one of the many now mainstay ex-pats there-another guy who “landed here a few years ago and stayed”-and nearby in his wheelchair was a fellow staring at me....I got filled in on his story and later he told me he was an artist and dying of cancer...we sat on the sidewalk together discussing the many hard knocks of life and he gave me a beautiful pin and flower....I agreed to stop over at his pad the next morning before I left-he wasn’t home but I peaked inside the broken window and left a cd for him on a mattress on the floor....he had no running water or electricity....there on the couch was my business card with my picture that he asked for to do a painting-and the beginning of an awesome collage......
Continuing with the evening-after some beers and many laughs-evening turned into night with an 80’s dance party and sharing of tunes with Chocolate George.....on this whole trip I have been extra careful about spending my times with strangers, but took a risk and it was great fun and a nice keepsake memory....super nice people......some last words to me were, “come back in 20 years to see if there are any improvements”......