What Happens Here? You Decide

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On the third day of my road trip away from Las Vegas, I came to this little crossroads in New Mexico called Loving, near the border with Texas. On the other side of the road from these poor things was a warehouse, and not much else.

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As soon as I got down sufficiently from road trip speed I made a u-turn and went back. I parked the car where it wouldn’t be in any photos. I started clicking. Everything was dry and dusty and the pieces of metal still hanging from the cover of the old gas station actually creaked in the wind, like in movies.

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As I came back from taking pictures inside the house on the left, I found that two men had parked their humongous pick-up next to my rental.

They stood in front of the truck. One of them was a redneck if ever there was one. The kind of guy who could easily have been a mean-ass biker, but right now he wore a cowboy hat, a flannel shirt over jeans and dusty boots. And wrap-around sunglasses. The other guy was Hispanic or Native American, with a bandana tied horizontally across his forehead, right above his eyebrows. He wore a sleeveless flannel shirt tucked into his jeans, a big-ass buckle on his belt and cowboy boots. And wrap-around sunglasses.

They both looked like they ate babies for breakfast at least a few times a week.

So there they were, just standing, looking at me. If you’ve been following me for a while, you know that intimidation has the opposite effect on me, so I took another leisurely photo of the outside of the building and walked in their direction, taking photos along the way.

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As I walked past them to get to the second building, I said cheerfully, “Hi, how’re you guys doin’?” “We’re doin’ just fine,” growled the Hat. Bandana remained silent.

loving 29_edited-1I took pictures in and around the second building and when I came back, the Hat had gotten a strange contraption from the truck. It was black, about 10″ wide and 7″ high, with a small screen on it and some buttons, and it had a handle at the bottom, like a hand-held mirror. I couldn’t help thinking he had gotten it out so that he wouldn’t look so silly the next time I walked past.

Maybe I’m wrong about that. But just because I’m self-centered doesn’t mean this wasn’t about me. Either way, when I had taken a last picture of the diesel sign, I said, “You guys have a nice day now.” I got in my car and continued on my way.

loving 25_edited-1So tell, me: why were those men just standing there while I was taking pictures? Who were they? What was the deal with those buildings? What–if anything–happened there later because of my little visit?

Update: The next post gives the answer!

8 responses to “What Happens Here? You Decide

  1. That device that they had was a tricorder (which they were using to scan your life form) having just beamed down from their starship and recently securing local transportation. Their manner of dress was simply to assimilate better with the local country gentry. I’m guessing they were a scouting party for a future alien invasion.


      • …on the other hand… that device sounds like it could be some sort of utility company/survey/DOT highway/oil company GPS thing. If their truck was newer likely that’s who they were. Of course, if their truck was as old and broken as that town in the pics… I’d default to my first speculation… then face east toward Mecca and thank your lucky Allah you weren’t sucked up and used in sinister sexual experimentation…. or worse, transported back to Vegas.


      • Haha! Yes, the thought of being transported back to Vegas is definitely scary. Their truck was newish or well-maintained. But then, drug dealers always have spiffy cars, too…


  2. Oh.. sorry about your Vegas experience. Too bad we didn’t connect in here before you went there.. since I live down the street from the Rio and work on the Strip (as security guard… not in a job that supports sexual objectification of women). I could have certainly helped you get better prepared in what to expect in this town. Sounds like you didn’t do your due diligence before coming here. But.. just because I live and work here doesn’t mean I like the place. I mean.. if I were 20 years younger and didn’t need Viagra for the occasional recollection of what it was like being a human, maybe. Too many people. Not that I’m an introvert but I’ve reached the age where I might appreciate Loving, NM better.
    Yeah.. Vegas is not for the faint of heart for sure. But as I recall, if you remove all the overt glitz and glamour and the gambling… Vegas is only second fiddle in the sexual objectification of women and use of drugs… to Amsterdam. Isn’t that somewhere in the Netherlands? 🙂


    • Oh, I wish I’d known you lived and worked there. I could’ve looked you up. And no, I didn’t do any due diligence, I fully admit. I thought I could just go to the conference and kind of ignore the rest. As for sexual objectification of women in Amsterdam, that would be mainly in the red light district. It’s not like you can’t walk anywhere in the center of Amsterdam without seeing ads for strip clubs.


  3. What happened next with the redneck and pal was :
    They started playing with their remote control plane that you had parked over . They’d been waiting for you to move it, they thought you would never stop taking pictures of those old derelict buildings, crazy woman!


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