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The Pueblos (Part 6)

June 6, 2016

The next day we got up and Mr. Houston was cheery. I was a bit subdued and maybe a little embarrassed. But we recovered easily from the night before. No crippling tension. No blaming looks. No rehashing or devastating silence.

“Let’s go see the pueblos!” Mr. Houston announced. He started singing again, this time, John Legend’s “All of Me.”

“’cause all of ME! loves all of YOU!” he sang, completely off key with weird emphasis on the “me,” and “you.” I laughed at him. Before we walked out the door, I announced that I didn’t know where my wallet was. “It must be in the car,” I said. But it wasn’t. We searched the car. He was also missing his driver’s license. I was upset that I had once again done something so stupid. “I’m sorry.” I said to him.

“For what?” he said. “It’s not a big deal. You can cancel the credit cards. You’ll have to get a new license but I have enough money and credit for both of us and you can pay me back. It’s simple. It’s fine.”

I’ve heard people say that you seek to resolve problems from previous relationships with new relationships. I think I’ve been seeking out or unintentionally finding men who are the complete opposite of Mr. K. This trip would have been a complete nightmare if I had been with him, giving what had happened so far. I would have been emotionally crucified for days and weeks. No happy moments could have followed these mishaps.

Instead, we headed out and I pulled up the John Legend song in the car. As we left town again we belted out “Cause all of me….loves all of you. Love your curves and all your edges…All your …. imperfections.” Mr. Houston sang the word “imperfections,” in a silly voice, his Indian accent preventing an accurate imitation. I laughed out loud at him. Later, he changed the lyric to “….all your bullshit,” again with the accent. That became our theme song for the day.

The drive to Taos was an hour and a half. Along the way, we spotted amazing spots to stop. We saw the Rio Grande in the distance and caught up with the river where people launched their rafts. Mr. Houston wanted to stop but I suggested we get to our intended destination then stop on the way back.

The landscape reminded me of the movie Smoke Signals, peppered with little groups of run down pueblo style houses and old trucks outside. I reminded myself to find the movie and re-watch it when I got back.

After stop and go traffic in Taos proper, we finally arrived at Taos Pueblos. We walked around with the other tourists and I tried to get my bearings, looking for photographic opportunities. But something didn’t feel right. It wasn’t what I expected, somehow. Though I had read it was occupied by people, I guess I was expecting more of an archaeological site. I recognized the flaw in my own attitude. Typical white woman with a camera looking for “authenticity,” and disappointed by the reality of Native Americans making a living by selling goods in their ancestors’ homes.

Nonetheless it was a bit too Disney World-ish. And I was disappointed. I took the requisite photos, hoping to find an original vision among the other photographers taking the same shots.

Mr. Houston didn’t have cash and mine was probably being spent at that moment. So, we couldn’t indulge in the food wares being offered. But then, he found a couple in a pueblo who had an ipad and a square, allowing credit card use. The man was beating a drum and singing as we ordered a taco-like thing on freshly fried flat bread.

We sat at their table and talked about their tribe and their life, Mr. Houston peppering the man with questions.

It was a nice experience and worth the long drive.



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