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Every day but one, my day starts the same–I go out into the desert and test my courage against the wild creatures that inhabit it.

I do this with a certain fatalism I admit, for sooner or later the odds will catch up with me, but I’m a cheery sort, so I whistle Dixie in the hopes that that will confuse them.

Anyway. . .

I was walking on the home stretch, a bit before 7 am, on a mostly cloudy day, with the rays of the sun having just topped the summit of a peak in the Organ mountain chain. I had given up on the Dixie melody and switched to a catchy Beatles tune from the 1980’s. I was groovin’ to the Pandora-picked selection and not thinking about much of all except that I was gonna love the feel of the pool, later that morning.

When. . . .

I came to a screeching halt. I mean my tennis-shoed footsies actually slid to an audible halt. Ignoring the niceties of game protocol, I did not say “mother may I” before taking two giant steps backward.

I looked down and out at a sly and wily creature who flicked his tongue seductively at me, but nary moved a muscle (if indeed such demons have muscles). No clicking of rattles were to be discerned either, though I can not be sure, since my ear pods stayed securely in place while John crooned about things I could imagine. (I of course had a few things he could imagine too at that point.)

I stood perfectly quiet, and amazed myself, feeling neither the warm wetness indicating I had peed myself, nor oddly, my throat was not raw from an animalistic primal scream either. My heart was thumping a bit unnaturally, but heck that happens a lot at my age, so I paid it no attention.

We eyed each other in a knowing way, sure that we had met in other universes in other time eras. While he bore no resemblance to any relative of mine, alive or dead, one can never be too sure about these things.

He spoke not a word but went straight to his work. . . .oh wait that’s something else again. No he remained so quiet that I feared he might have passed on from the sheer joy of beholding a human for the first time in its life.

I figured we could stand around all day, or I could do the polite thing and grant him the right-of-way. Or her, it could well have been a her, but I had not the stomach for rolling her over to determine if a vagina was in sight.

I tipped my hat, and sidled gently to the right for about three nautical miles, or until I could smell the Gulf coast, and proceeded upon my way. I was not prepared to grant any greater right-of-way, even though etiquette might suggest that I had not given enough ground.

She/or he, did not bother to shrug. When I resumed the road, I could just see it, still in the road, basking it seemed in the first rays of sunlight.

Now you may think this made up, but I can assure you, I have no such imagination. It’s the God’s honest truth (does God have dishonest truth?), I swear.

No doubt any New Mexican who had witnessed my encounter would doff his/her hat to me, as a native-born. I was that good.

It was only when I arrived home, locking the door behind me, that I began to call for my mommy.

When this epic adventure is made into a blockbuster film, I’d like Angeline Jolie to play me. It’s cuz we look so similar of course.