I’m in the Dallas airport and much has happened since I’ve last written. So much so that it would make a pretty good movie, a character study about lonely people trying to communicate with God.
I have spent the past six days with Theresa, the 25-year old former co-worker of mine from the bookstore my roommate Dan thought he was supposed to marry. He believed this not only because he loves her and wants to be with her, but mainly because he feels God told him she was to be his wife.
I came to New Mexico because she invited me, and I wanted to visit a new state. However, Dan is back home wondering what the heck I’m finding out for him, for I suggested that if he gave me a letter to give to her, perhaps she would send one back with me for him.
I was wrong.
She did not.
I arrived late Tuesday night and slept on an air mattress in a one bedroom apartment in Albuquerque. I woke up the next morning to discover this is a very brown city. I forgot how green the east coast was, even in November.
We then picked up Michael, a 40-year-old massage therapy student, who I could immediately tell has the hots for Theresa. I should add here that I have never been attracted to Theresa or have ever been even remotely interested in her. She’s always been Dan’s girl in my mind.
We headed south and drove through very wide and flat land. We stopped in Truth or Consequences just to see it, for I have some significant scenes taking place there in my screenplay To Fly. While I was looking around and taking pictures, Michael spoke endlessly to me about the power of touch.
We stopped at a small hut in the middle of an open desert plain to visit a friend and client of Michael’s. There was no water or electricity at this place, but it was one of the most beautiful places I’ve ever seen. The couple living there chose to live that way, off the grid, as they say. They wanted to be separate from society. I took pictures, especially of their distant out house that had no walls. Every time they relieved themselves they saw a sight few will ever see.
We continued around a chain of green mountains and ended up in Grant County and finally Silver City, where Theresa’s parents live. We ordered takeout and then awoke the next day to serve the hungry and homeless a warm Thanksgiving meal at a local soup kitchen. It was a beautiful time.
That afternoon Theresa and I visited the City of Rocks and we talked about how Dan never really knew the real her. Dan simply put the ideal woman he wanted to marry onto Theresa simply because she took the time to show him a bit of attention while they worked together.
That evening, after a very healthy and natural dinner, I went to see M. Night Shyamalan’s Unbreakable with Theresa’s dad. I love going to a movie theater on Thanksgiving Day!
The next day, Michael, Theresa, her dad, and I hiked around Catwalk State Park about an hour north from where they live. It was a beautiful canyon with waterfalls, brown rocks, and green cacti. Again, I took pictures.
On Saturday we drove back to Albuquerque and then hiked with Theresa’s other friend Justin. We went up to Sandia Crest, and that was without a doubt my favorite part of my days in New Mexico. We were 10,678 feet above sea level, easily the highest I’ve ever been. Everything was covered in snow. The sunset was a bright red blaze over the entirety of the west, and Theresa was glued to Justin’s side. He is only 19, but he is filled with confidence, and this is something Dan does not have.
Confidence and beauty are the two main things Theresa is attracted to. Sadly, Dan, in her eyes at least, has neither.
That night I held a crying Theresa on her couch. She cried because she is no longer sure of her relationship with God.
The next day we drove north to Colorado and drove back along beautiful, snow-covered, secondary roads. I enjoyed every minute of seeing a new part of God’s creation.
After we returned we went to see Bounce, and this morning I went to her Massage Therapy class with her. What I experienced there broke my heart. So many people were looking for answers, looking for meaning, but they were looking for it in their own physical bodies. They were not looking for God at all. Imagine the good work one could do if they invited God into massage therapy. Surely someone is doing that.
So now I’m at the airport in my middle of my return journey. Of course, nothing I mentioned above is what truly happened, what truly happened can be found in the expressions I saw in each person’s face as they sought out human connection, meaning, and love. Those eyes, eyebrows, and glances are difficult to capture in these pages, but that is where the true stories reside.