12 - A Simple Twist of Fate
Sunday May 31st 1998
After Las Cruces I headed north towards White Sands National Monument. Damn it was beautiful. Just miles and miles of nothing but massive white sand dunes, rolling on forever until they hit the blue mountains in the distance. It was here among this desolation that I met Emily Remington (yes she was related to the Remington gun guy). Anyway, she was 22 years old and had been on the road for four weeks now. She had just graduated college, broken up with her fiancée and decided that she had to get away for a while. Get away she had. So, as I am driving through the dunes I came across a large car with the hood open. I pulled aside. We ended up sitting and chatting for the better part of three hours. She saw my plates and was shocked that a New Yorker would pull aside to help anybody… We got to talking and it seems that after graduation she is moving to Manhattan to become an accountant. I don’t know - she seemed to me to be a very confused person, torn between idealism and reality, torn between her heart and her future. In more ways then one it was like talking to a mirror of myself. We talked, took some photos and exchanged addresses - then came the proverbial goodbye - and she was gone. Literally off into the desert. It was like something out of a movie. She has actually been mirroring my exact route since the east coast, just a day or two behind.
I do have to say that the majority of our conversation focused upon the subject of fate, which in turn led to a detailed discussion of God - the existence of or absence of both in the world. Emily was a staunch atheist, a justification for her family’s connection to the death of so many people at the hands of their “family product.” She claimed to not have believed in God since the first grade when the knowledge of the family history took hold. She did believe in fate however - which was hard to understand, the existence of one and the absence of another. I am still up in the air about how I feel on both, although the “chance” encounters I have been having make me wonder.
What it all comes down to is the fact that we are both on our own roads, our own journeys and we just happened to bump into one another at a crossroads. I don’t think I have heard the last from her either. We exchanged numbers and supposedly she will be moving to LA for the end of the summer to finish her program, before moving permanently back to Manhattan. So maybe I will drop her a line when and if I make it to Los Angeles. Maybe fate holds another crossroads for both of us. I hope she is happy and safe out under the big desert tonight. As for me, I am huddling in my tent somewhere in the white sand dunes.
He woke up, the room was bare
He didn't see her anywhere.
He told himself he didn't care, pushed the window open wide,
Brought on by a simple twist of fate.
If your wondering what the heck this is all about, go here.
To keep track of progress on a map - here.