We were coming back from the dentist. It’s half an hour out of town on a two-lane road that drops a thousand feet into the canyon of the Rio Grande. The river was beautiful today, mostly clear as it reflected sky and trees. We could see rocks and sand on the bottom even speeding by high above the water. I go crazy when it’s like that. The dentist’s office is in one end of a beautiful old adobe building that used to be a little community hospital in a quiet, peaceful setting off the highway with flowers and trees and picnic tables. There’s a bare dirt mountain just across the road with wooden crosses at the top and shrines farther down below. It feels so peaceful in this place. Visiting the dentist here is like going to your uncle’s house, if your uncle is a happy man who fixes people’s teeth and everyone at home is really nice. (My old dentist’s office back in town was a high-tech mall of fear where hope and wallets went to die.)
Up out of the canyon on the twisty road with no one in the climbing lane, I didn’t have to go so fast. After passing up the chance to to try the jerky samples at the top the way I always do, we flew on toward the mountains in the gold September sun. “It’s so damn beautiful,” I said. Then we passed a section of the mesa where we’d once looked at a house. I’d been too scared and it was awfully small, but situated where all you saw were hills and views and nothing else except the sky. It even had a private mailbox just like God intended. We argued gently over why we hadn’t made an offer. She pointed out she’d even found a place for her piano. It might have worked, you never know.
“I think we’ll walk right into one,” she said.
I need this woman, every day.