e c l e c t i c a n o n f i c t i o n
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Rio Arriba Journal: A County, its Health, and its Newspaper (Spotlight Runner-Up!)
We parked along a narrow road at the mouth of a canyon. "I think he's over this mesita," Sheriff Naranjo said, and I followed him, trudging through snow a foot deep, over a small ridge and down to an arroyo. We walked 50 yards or so, and he was there, outlined and snow-crusted like a rocky intrusion, a white masked face, arm across his chest, across his heart. We both knelt down and with a gloved hand the sheriff brushed the snow away from his frozen face. There was a bullet hole right in the middle of his forehead.
There are no alleys in the town where the author of this story and his classmates live. Too few buildings. Too much breadth in all its views. Not enough spots that block a looking at the long flat pourings of the land. The author of this story dreams alleys as statewide swaths of open plain, inviting a hell-swirl from above.
These, My Women
It is otherwise with this image my computer presented at random to me, returning as if to remind me of an hour forgotten even that very afternoon, purged by the imperative we all have: to get on with our lives, or as the French phrase resolves it for us, faute de mieux. How to speak of it?
In Mammon We Trust
I was a student at Liberty Baptist Theological Seminary in the early- and mid-90s, when Falwell was hawking a video "documentary" for $43 a pop detailing all the evil doings of the current enemy, President Clinton. The president, this video alleged, was not only guilty of sexual misconduct, but of money laundering and cocaine smuggling. He was even personally responsible for multiple murders. Hate for the president and first lady swirled in thick clouds around Liberty University.
Viva Las Esposas
I've come back to the sparkling neon jungle of the Mojave desert for a fiancé-less jaunt through the most lustful city in our crazy nation, to see the long odds and longer legs, burlesque zip-lines and gyrating pelvises eye-level on every Fremont bar. I'm here for one last ride in the sinful cockpit of America's bachelor paradise.
J. Eric Thompson