Today I woke up late. Of course I had no idea where I was, as that happens on road trips and/or tour. We stayed at Dan’s house for the night. I slept on a familiar couch that used to be one of my beds from when I lived in Las Cruces, clearly grandfathered into Dan’s ownership from 5 years ago.
We went to Andale’s, a Las Cruces Mexican restaurant with delicious Mexican food that doesn’t make me want to die after I eat it.
Josh finally got to show me who he believes to be my look-alike doppelganger. Josh had wanted to show me this guy for years, and he happened to be our server for the day. I insisted he looked nothing like me, but everyone at the table, including those I just met, insisted the guy was my counterpart.
We made our way to Tucson and stopped halfway to take photos of a spot containing a tree (of life) next to a small lake paired with an old windmill.
Strange things happened here. First, there was an infestation of other-worldly grasshoppers, hopping all over the place, 50% of which were in the process of procreating to perpetuate the plague-like presence of their species.
As we neared the photographic oasis of lake, tree, and windmill, Josh came inches from stepping into the striking zone of a rattle snake hidden deeply in the brush. Of course, we took some time and effort to poke him with a long stick to test his anger threshold. Surprisingly, after a good 5 minutes or so of moving him around with a stick, we realized that he was a little too full to put up a fight, as a bulge in his body signified that he may have just swallowed a small animall.
After we finished taking some photos, a strange thing happened…
We headed back towards our truck, illegally parked on the side of the freeway (I-10). I took a moment to get some video of the train that passed near our truck. While I did that, Josh disappeard to a bushy area, and began to yell after me…
“Jimmy, come check out this snake!”
I took the camera with me and found Josh pointing at a 6 foot snake that was standing up almost like a cobra looking straight at both of us. I quickly approached him with the camera, first noticing that this wasn’t a poisonous snake, and I knelt in front of the snake to get a good shot. He slithered away super fast into the bushes.
I didn’t have time to get any shots of him. We were left alone to observe the surroundings.
A dead crow.
A dead cow carcass.
Another dead crow.
Then, a third snake.
Josh approached the snake, also different than the other two. It was small, like a baby rattler, only no rattle on its tail.
It slithered away in the most creepy way possible, rhythmic, pulsing, strange. It wasn’t fight-or-flight. It was slithering in a mocking way. Like… you guys shouldn’t F@#%^ing be in here.
I looked at the dead cow. I took photos of it. Something felt strange about taking photos of the dead animals. Then I took note of how dry the ground was, cracked desert platelets of dirt, and then noticed how grass seemed to refuse to grow around the small trees within the boundaries of the place. The place wreaked of some unique stench, as if the rotting cow had been sugar-coated with some kind of fragrance.
Josh expressed how uncomfortable he felt to be in there. With a chill, he left ASAP-style. I followed.
We talked about how strange the event was. It was quite close to experiencing a dream that suddenly takes a turn for the worse, a nightmarish trap.
3 snakes. 3 dead animals. An oasis versus a dead zone. It was too weird. We talked about animal archetypes, numbers, and what it meant for the future of our journey.
The windmill was on the left point, the tree and lake on the right, the dead-zone was on the top point, like an isosceles triangle.