if not El Niñero too


Tonight, I practiced weightlessness.

After a good late hour of pushing a 75-lb wheelbarrow full of soaked wood chips up a couple hills about a dozen times I was ready for a respite from the agrarian toil.

We’re building a nice path to a sprawling hammock that will now swing parallel to a new garden Chelsea is planting above the backyard at 48BRE, my acronym for our little house at the end of the arroyos.

We’re “slumming” here living out of a suitcase and few boxes while the concrete floors are completely sanded, re-stained and polished up at 36HTR.

No complaints here, as it’s a marvelous holding post where we’re surrounded by crimson cliffs, a pack of coyotes that howl at 7:15 every night; birds that delightfully chirp all day long; the church bell chimes that announce the hour any time the wind blows that I bought at the Tractor Supply Co. the last time I was in town; and then there are those sweet-sounding ting-ting-ting-tingers that we bought spontaneously at some grocery store in somewhere-who-knows-where Missouri-maybe?, a pit stop on our cross-country road trip from New York/Michigan.

Either way, whether it’s the gentle accommodations that remind you of this awesome planet called Earth or a good steady push up a hill in the name of regenerative landscaping and gardening - the feel is real, it is earned, it is home.

Thus, after Milo and Olivia were asleep and I had put away the tools, picked up the gloves strewn about the lawn and stripped down to my skivvies, I slid into the lukewarm hot tub that was no longer working, but remained a soothing 75 degrees-or-so for me, nonetheless and allthemore.

There, I let myself melt into the warmth and let the letting-go lift my arms as if they were weightless. I sat still with my eyes closed in this position for a good thirty minutes, listening to the avian chorus, the occasional roar of a jetliner landing at Santa Fe, or the rrrr-rrrr-rrrr of one of our neighbors riding their motorcycle about their off-road dirt track that you can see from the south end of Hacienda Dominguez & Chelenzo Farms.

A good 15 minutes in, my arms began to tingle until these limbs and my torso felt as if they were set in jello - my breathing accentuating the notion that I was the hero and I was trapped in some silly contraption from an Austin Powers movie.

My marquis-moment came courtesy of the physical wear and a puff of weed - a parting gift from a friend, Tony Baloney, who saved my ass my very last day in Peekskill.

It was 7:45 am, and I was tired after having just finished 90-straight-days of packing, only a few hours earlier at 2:30 AM. I called the truck dispatch, fully expecting, “It will be there sometime after 3 in the afternoon...,” but instead heard, “It should be there pretty soon...”

A shot of adrenaline, coupled with a bit anxiety-cum-necessity, spurred me out of bed, the bed being a king-sized mattress that was the very last thing to be loaded on the trailer and virtually impossible to wield-and-wiggle down a winding flight of stairs on my own, which is why I called and texted TonyB in a panic - luckily his youngest was playing with his phone, which is why he noticed my early morning text-of-desperation. And albeit I got all but five hours of slumber that morning, it was the last good night’s rest I’ve had in a week.

Anyway-anyhoo-and-how, with a little Jay named Mary, a sip of wine and a 1994 Marquis Jacuzzi, which only works half-the-time, all combined to serve as the levitating conduit into my own private magical Altered State, except, unlike Hurt, I only transmogrify back into a more-relaxed me, a Patrón-to-be, if not El Niñero too ( Sylvia, Lina, Fabio, y Natalia - ya tu saben); a country boy in-the-making - already loving the taste of a bit of dirt road that gets between my teeth, up my nose and in them ears.

So, if you ever find yourself helplessly restless, you just can’t sleep and are convinced you’re an insomniac - just pick up a shovel the next day and dig a hole or dig with a hoe, and push a wheelbarrow till your arms begin to curse at you.