An Old Cowboy and his Dog - Santa Fe Revisited
As I sit in Starbucks at 7am (9 EST) in historic downtown Santa Fe, I am struck by the residents of this uniquely artistic town. A cowboy working on his computer sits beside me with his faithful companion nestled comfortably under his chair, another elderly long haired gentleman with a ponytail and earbuds plugged into his flip phone sits beside me at my table. And another man with a ZZ Top beard and cap with New Mexico stamped on the brim sits across the restaurant - eating his uniquely Star Bucksey breakfast - rich cake, a bottle of OJ and a tall coffee. The old and the new - the authentic cowboy and modern technology - the contrast is jarring.
I have come here, committed to two hours of writing the next draft chapter of my fledgling historical novel, but the gorgeous chilly mountain morning and its early risers are completely distracting me. I have stumbled upon the townies; the store owners, artists and laborers who own this amazing little city. By the time the midmorning sun rises and the air is warm, they will fade into the landscape of tourists, convention goers and women holding plastic bags filled with souvenirs for their family that will fill the street. The quiet will be replaced by southwestern performers singing on the street corners and the rows of reservation Indians hawking their jewelry on the sidewalk that lines the museum’s street front. I have been here twice before and those are the images I remember.
This experience, right now in Starbucks, is a new one and will imprint - it will be the one that stays with me now. I have tripped into the world of the inner circle and will always savor it. My urge to strike up a conversation, sneak more secretly taken photos on my iPhone is eating at me. But, I will freeze frame the image in my head instead and get to work.