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Blue: Audio Version
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Blue: Audio Version

"I still savor that New Mexico blue..."
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*Our paying subscribers can now listen to full audio versions of some of Juke’s most-loved essays. Last time, we heard The Lariat Motel, originally published in June. This month, we’re listening to Blue, which was published in September. Free subscribers and everyone else can hit play for a short preview. Then check out the original piece, linked below, if you haven’t read it before… TM*

photo by Tonya Morton

“I am writing from a bench outside the hotel room in Santa Fe. I have been here a while, drinking slowly from a bottle of Mexican Coke. I had been planning to leave an hour ago. I am running behind on the day’s drive, but I have accepted that. I can’t do anything about it. 

I am looking at the light, that special New Mexico pale white sunlight. It is painting its way across the adobe facade of the hotel rooms in the courtyard. The morning is still cool, but the sun holds the promise of the day’s heat. Another hot high desert day, with the sun so close it makes you weak. I have been sitting here, slowly drinking from the Coke bottle, thinking about gratitude. The unexpected kind. 

This summer is hotter than last summer. Last summer was hotter than the summer before. So, given that logic, I should be grateful. This may be the best summer sun of my future memories. Even though it’s the kind of August sun that bleaches the sidewalks. This afternoon, as I cross the state line, it will prickle my left shoulder through the car window and burn my jeans into my thigh. But this is the only sun we have this year, this blunt, angry instrument. It is better than next year’s sun. I know, by tonight in Kansas, I will be thinking of the flat plane of butter yellow, spread all over the hotel. I will already be missing it. I am beginning to miss it now. Each turquoise window frame shines in the light. 

Another blue. As I woke up today in my private storm, I thought of Joni Mitchell. Not because of the window frames. Because of the pitching of the room. 

‘I’ve been to sea before…’”


Read the full piece here…


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