September 8, 2002
I awoke this morning wishing I could remember my dream
last night, but instead...it seems that today almost was
a dream. I sat up, opened the drapes of my room
on Level 9 of Crowne Plaza Pyramid, Albuquerque
. At that moment I decided that New Mexico
sunlight is brighter than California
sunlight at 7am. I closed the drapes again. After doing the normal morning things and taking a shower, I grabbed my room key and walked towards the door, wearing black slacks and a thin button-down blouse. It was going to be a hot
one. Stopping dead in my tracks I picked up an Albuquerque postcard
that had been slipped underneath the door. It was un-adressed, unsigned, and unlabeled, containing only one sentence handwritten on the back.
"Do what you love, love what you do, and deliver more than you promise." -anon.
Puzzled, amused and grinning, I tucked the postcard into my grey notebook
and headed towards the elevator
. As soon as I stepped out on the ground level, two security guard
s waved at me. I vaguely recall meeting and spending a few moments with them in the dead of last night
at 2:00 AM, drinking coffee
. I grabbed myself a cup of English Breakfast tea and sat down next to the huge three tier waterfall
in the center of the spacious central lobby area, pulling out the postcard again. I couldn't think of a single person here who'd do that... and so I pondered until my eyes settled on a lone figure writing at a close-by table. He looks up, and instantly I knew it was him. His grey eyes
pierce right through to my soul as he starts to speak.
--it was you, wasn't it..
"Beautiful day.. shall we walk?"
--yes, yes, of course.. but, why?
We start to walk
in the broad hallways that circle the lobby... quiet in thought.. Until we reach the gift shop and stop to examine the postcards. Holding one up to him, the one from under my door.. I ask the burning question.
"It was you, wasn't it?"
"Yes, darling.. I saw you here last night cloaked in darkness and quiet. You fascinated me momentarily and I wish you luck in every endeavor.."
--tell me please why are you here, who are you
"Interesting.. but why? I thought no one else was here.."
"Friends come in odd places.. I shall see you again, dear - but now, I must catch a plane to New York."
--why are you holding my shoulders.. hugging me briefly.. kissing my cheek.. leaving. who are you? what are you? name? please?
"Hey, wait! What's your name? Who are you? Do you know me from somewhere?"
"Goodbye, sweety. I am grateful to have met you. Watch out for the world and for yourself."
--and now you're gone. what the hell just happened?
Deep in thought and more confused with every second, I head down the hallway once more, stopping into the Business Centre to lose myself in technology
for awhile. I push the last few moments to the back of my mind, and proceed to return emails and finish up the most urgent things for work. As I am sending my last email to my company's branch in Cambodia
, I hear a loud announcement being repeated in the distance. Closing all programs and opening the door of the Business Centre, I heard the last announcement but couldn't hear what it was saying.
Walking out into the lobby, I notice the entire place is empty
. Reaching the front door a security guard shouts to me to get out of the building now... it's an emergency. I find myself walking quickly out the doors with a barefoot girl by my side, close to my age and height. We're told to go to the far side of the parking lot... over a thousand guests are over there already. We reach the huge crowd and see a man standing higher than everyone else, talking. It was hard to hear his words... but I caught some of it.
"Do not panic, pull yourselves together... There was a bomb threat, we needed to evacuate... This is just someone having a problem with themselves... and we can be calm about this. Look at this as an experience, we all have something to learn..."
He talked for a long while... my ears were ringing with his words.. "A bomb or other devices may be in the building.. stay calm.."
It was easy for me to keep my cool and to stay calm outwardly.. and my companion in bare feet found her family. I head towards my grandmother's car.. to find a phone thrust towards me.
is on the phone, asking how are things. I laughed, said things were interesting
here... he said he heard.
After talking a for a bit with wonderful Achromatic
, I discovered the crowd was in the middle of Darshan
, and I was told I should go participate, so I did. I received blessing
from the man who had been speaking and then we decided to maybe go for a walk, get Starbucks
. On our way out of the parking lot, I noticed an older teenage boy smiling at me from the back of a police
car and a bomb squad
running into the building. The short walk to Starbucks was pleasant and the Iced Latte was even better.
Figuring we wouldn't be let into the hotel for awhile - we decided to go to India Palace
- an East Indian restaurant not far away. Every once in awhile distinctly foreign food
s find their way into my diet. The buffet was something incredible...
Later in the day, things were back to normal and checkout was fast, simple. On the road again...
Midnight in another state, I stop for gas
on the Historic Route 66. It is an American-Indian looking town called Gallop. Worn out looking, crumpled up and thrown in the dirt a bit... Gallop had a lot to be desired and made me realize what kind of paradise I live in. A red bumper sticker saying "cultureshockclub.com" caught my eye and I think to myself that I could never live in a place like this.
"I realize now that I have to be sensitive to that fact that you're dumber than me." -anon. (appeared handwritten in my grey notebook today as well)
The road greeted me in silence and proceeded to not care who I was, what I was wearing, whether I was cute, knew too much, had friends, or cared about anything at all. The open road has a certain raw appeal that could attract almost anyone...
California is calling my name.