|MC, Janet, and the vic|
Good luck finding Crestone on a map. It’s a tiny town in southern Colorado at the base of mountains. A very small town with dirt roads and no stoplights. Depending on who you ask, you’ll also learn about conspiracies, UFO’s, and the drones.
Some say there’s a certain magic about the area. The Crestone vicinity is sacred to American Indians It is a spiritual and healing buffet ranging from over 20 monasteries, lithium hot springs, and energy vortexes. I’m not going to pretend to know what a vortex is, but I read it’s similar to the rotation left by a moving object, like the wake of a speeding boat.
I pulled in front of the pizza place in town just after noon. As if on cue, a half dozen people gathered, staring and pointing to the sky. I asked and a man said, “We’re looking at the UFO up there.” He went on the say that it’d been up there a while, changing shapes. I didn’t see it right away, but then saw what looked like a large, bright star. I wasn’t overly impressed, although I will say that it was way too early in the day for stars of any size. I got more interested when another appeared, and moved up and down. Someone showed me a close-up of the object taken by their big-lensed camera. It was egg-shaped, no windows or lights. Though certainly unidentified, I think they were of this earth. Just have to do better than floating orbs to convince me otherwise.
Someone pointed out airplane vapor trails very high in the sky. “There they are again.” To some people, everything is a conspiracy, even a Southwest flight from Denver to Dallas. UFO’s and drones be damned, I got tired of watching after ten minutes. I’m glad I did, because the real show was inside the pizza place.
“My name is Marilyn, but I’m now Monte Cristo because when I moved here that’s what the mountains named me.” For the next few hours, when I went to the bathroom I made sure my seat at the bar was saved.
The two women sat on one side of the bar’s corner and I sat on the other. Early 60’s, drinking white wine, I guessed they were retired, wannabe artsy types. More money than knowledge of western art, their houses filled with paintings of rodeo cowboys, bronze eagle sculptures, and the obligatory wooden totem pole in the yard. One wore a weathered and bent cowboy hat, probably exactly how she purchased it at Bob’s Cowboy Hat Emporium.
Oh, how wrong I was.
“Well, I’ll just call you MC,” I said. Told them my name, didn’t mention I hadn‘t heard from the mountains.
Janet was MC’s drinking companion. MC displayed her magic the minute she opened her mouth. It took about five minutes of conversation for Janet to spill, “When my mother died, I went to Florida to sell her house and I was institutionalized.” Only the UFO landing next to my car to offload Elvis atop a unicorn could pry me from my seat. I never asked, but I’m pretty she wasn’t institutionalized for moving pencils with her mind, like the Travolta character in Phenomenon.
Neither one was much for a single train of thought. Like talking to a couple of five year olds. No doubt the 60’s had its impact. A wave of panic swept through me when I thought of these two enticing me into a three-way, then murdering me. My dismembered remains would never be found.
Eventually, I knew someone would ask my sign. Janet didn’t disappoint, but when I asked her to guess, she gave up after five tries. “I’m Leo with Pisces rising,” I said. Years ago, someone told me the rising part. No idea what it meant. Just said it to fit in. When Janet disagreed, based on my birth time, Dave, sitting next to me, stepped in and did the math. I was correct.
Dave was the town’s jack-of-all-trades. Since Crestone didn’t have much in the way of industrial parks, I presume he wasn‘t the only one. Though it sounded like he made a living at it The longer we talked, I found that wasn’t necessarily so.
Dave could have made a few dollars as a Kevin Costner look-alike. He was divorced with a daughter, for whom, like any parent, he said would do anything. Unfortunately, during a tough financial time that “anything” turned out to be a federal crime.
He was arrested at a small airport by dozens of well-armed DEA agents as he tried to ship 20 lbs. of pot out of state. Friends set Dave up. He took a plea. It’s his first offense of any kind and so he hopes for a sentence on the lighter side of the seven years maximum. If there was ever someone in need of my buying them a beer.
I talked to Dave for quite a while and walked away knowing he was a decent guy who did something really, really stupid. I’m hoping the judge sees it the same way.
Next on the menu was a man and his two young daughters. He wore what looked like a knit turban. Dave told me that when unwrapped, his dreadlocks fell to the ground, something I imagine my back hair doing in another 10 years. I spent the next hour or so talking to his girls, who took Janet and MC’s places at the bar. Ice cream was their poison. Their dad mingled around the bar with the other locals, keeping an eye on the stranger talking to his kids. I went over and introduced myself, telling him that at least he’d know the creepy guy’s name. We both laughed. The girls were 10ish. Bright, funny kids who seemed to be doing rather well without Facebook, cell phones, TV, and I’m guessing, Sunny-D (the fake orange juice drink that’s loaded with high fructose corn syrup).
It was time to wave good-bye after talking with Chris. He was an EMT with a radio show on the local NPR station. Way too normal. Kind of creeped me out. Probably didn’t even know his rising sign.