Cities seem like the heartbeat of human life. Highways are like the arteries, and roads are the vessels carrying the cells that make up the main parts of this circulatory system. Make no mistake, there are circles within the squares of this grid-like circulatory system; a maddening many of them. There are so many circles that a person can become lost if not careful.
All stories have to start somewhere. My novella, The Journey of Samson Pyne, was born here, within the lights of the city that is Albuquerque, New Mexico. Even though the opening scene of this book begins in a small suburban home in Little Rock, Arkansas, it is from this view from the top of Sandia Peak that I began to write about Pyne’s journey.
Some of the most memorable moments in my life were formed while living within this grid among the lights of the city in the image above. As I stood atop Sandia Peak on this particular evening staring down at the city below, the chaotic noise brought on by grief began to take over as a collapsing, internalized, structured past built upon order and routine combined with the onset of rapid cycling mental illness and merged to unravel what ever plans I had for a future here. Armed with paper and pen, in the late night hours of an Albuquerque night, I left the city and headed north on a mission: to write a part in a book about searching for a lost sense of self-esteem.
It was one of the quickest decisions I had ever made, to leave the grid behind, and one of the longest and loneliest nights of my life. You see, at this point I had no idea where I was going.
There is a saying about going to something as opposed to running from it. This city had always been a place I was going to, as in towards something better. But as I drove away into the night, and as the worry and fear of the unknowns that lay ahead sank deeper into my mind, one resounding question kept rising to the surface: if I was no longer going to something, just what was I running from?