Arizona is dry. That doesn’t mean Arizona is boring or lifeless though. A better word for the state might be arid, but that is a bit of a wonky overcorrection that indeed describes lots of its topography yet doesn’t accurately capture the essence of the place and its people. Arizona is weird. Thankfully, that doesn’t mean Arizona is Austin. A+B ≠ C. Math holds up, except when it doesn’t. Apples still aren’t Oranges, except when they’re watches. Arizona is “dry” as much as we are quarks. It’s a place where you can still see and feel the faint traces of Old West at the turn of the 20th century like the fading embers of an extinguished candle, before the gradual, sludge-creep of endless “connectivity” came for us all; disassociating us all through iPhones, LED lighting, bots, plastic, turf, screens, likes, sharing, fiat money, Google, 24-hour news, and Whole Foods with penetrating finality. Arizona is not dry. Arizona is raw.
Parks and Recreation
I had returned from a month-long sprint of working in nameless cities across the country and some major ones that should as well be nameless or something more appropriate like “Walmart Forever…City” or conceptual, like DFW. Without realizing it, I had become tired of something but couldn’t quite put my finger on it was. Maybe I was jet-lagged, too depressurized and sardined at cruising altitude to think straight. They knew I hate pretzels didn’t they? The month before that, I was in New Orleans for 36hrs, and had been gone 3 months straight before that, a year before that. I didn’t miss home as much as I missed family. The city had changed, the people, the places, all subtle corrections/alterations/over-writes of things that I once knew well, but could no longer connect to with the same reflex. (Treme?) The thing that had been rolling over in my head was that fact that I hadn’t seen the stars. I had grown fatigued from more than that, but nothing quite galvanized my angst like not being able to look up and see something beyond ourselves, beyond our place here on Earth. New Orleans, with all it has to offer, selfishly, will never give you the stars. It’s the reason, I imagine that so many natives leave to become one.