On Cormac McCarthy and dusty roads

Back in 1988 I first heard of Cormac McCarthy from a friend who said I should read Blood Meridian because it would blow my mind. I did and thought it amazing, The Judge being one of the great characters of modern lit. Even if he does seem a bit too much the devil at times, the devil as god. That was when McCarthy was a cult figure, the somewhat unknown great writer, and perhaps it’s just me being the mountain hermit of Westcliffe, Colorado but I resent all the Oprah publicity. It’s like when your favorite indie band goes mainstream and then the music doesn’t sound quite as good. I hate how writers, including myself, are now forced to hawk themselves. I admire McCarthy for being aloof and earthy at the same time.
So a couple summers ago E & I are in Santa Fe, meeting up with a friend who lives in Taos, and we agree to rendezvous at an Indian flea market north of town, near the pueblo of Tesuque. It’s a few miles north of Santa Fe and is odd in relation to other U.S. city suburbs, in that there’s basically nothing out there, no outlying business district, minimalls, Circuit Citys (goodbye), etc., but red rock desert landscape and one exit at Tesuque. We haven’t seen the flea market so we pull off at that exit, stop at the only convenience store, and ask an old timer in the parking lot where to go. It looks like there’s maybe 20 houses in that little area, no big development or anything. He directs us up ‘The Road’ to where the flea market is. . . . BUT I just learned that none other than Cormac McCarthy lives in the ‘tiny village’ of Tesuque. So I probably asked him for directions. I know we talked to some old guy who looked like he could see the past and future and look into your soul.

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