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  • Making my way back East, down a Texas highway, the caprocks came into view. Ahead of me, periwinkle colored plateaus were seated between the bright blue sky and the small mountains that made up the line of the horizon. Their opaque silhouettes became more and more like shadows as I drove toward them. As they came into focus, their purple tint was replaced by the true tones of the earth and plantlife; natural and neutral.

    West Texas is known for its red dirt and mesquite trees, tumbleweeds and barbed wire fences. The ground is made of this dirt we call 'red', which isn't really red, and is as much sand as it is dirt. The color is almost an exact match to that of a baseball diamond. Hills in place of pitchers' mounds and mesquites in place of players. The landscape is weathered and nature's power ever evident where hills and rises have been eroded by strong winds and occassional rain. I think some of the fields look like oversized ant hills adorned with the skeletal remains of yucca bulbs.

    Tumbleweeds, I think, are the seaweed of the west. I follow with my eyes, the railroad track on my right, as I drive. Curious little tufts of dry grass crowd the banks, looking like pale spiny urchins on the reef floor; this one made of quarried limestone rock.

    Thrown tire tread litters the shoulders of the highway like so many inanimate casualties of the well traveled road. My eyes are always drawn to the lifeless bodies that line the highways' shoulders; wild creatures whose grace and majesty have been reduced to compressed fur or feathers and a glistening stain on the asphalt.

    I use my steering wheel console to re-play Paint it Black and I drive.
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