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Tuesday, January 6: Leaving Taos

Long before dawn I am awake with the ghosts. I can feel the chill in the adobe walls and in my bones. I can hear the dry voices, rehearsing. They can tell from the packing crates and disarray that we are moving. You’ve picked the perfect day, the old dry voice calls from the darkness. As usual! The movers were supposed to be here this morning, but I called yesterday and canceled, figuring to save seven or eight hundred bucks by doing it myself. I was sucked in by a U-Haul commercial touting “Adventures in Moving.”

I draw the blanket over my head and count the reasons never to move again. I mean from this bed. I can hear my wife’s light breathing and the rustling of the Airedales as they sense it is about to begin. The U-Haul truck that I rented last night is stuck halfway up the icy, rutty slope that masquerades as a driveway here on the Llano Quemado. 

I haven’t had a cold in two years, but I’m catching one now. A monstrous one. Without looking, I know it’s snowing again. We may not find the truck until spring. I know, too, that the last piece of firewood is now cold ash. The utilities will be shut off in a few hours, if they don’t go off by themselves, which they frequently do during a snowstorm. Moving is nothing more than a test of character, but I don’t know if I have any character left.

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