In New Mexico there was also a lot to photograph. It was a pretty photogenic place. I didn't take photographs constantly—there was too much work to do—nor did I constantly want to take them to jail perfection, but I did have the sense, that had I wanted to turn my trip into a photo safari, I would have been surrounded by an abundance of wildlife. Like Eric, the plumber, and his lethargic dog. Like the bear scat outside the front door. The point is that abundance is relative. What seems abundant to one person, seems shabby to another. If the trip had been reversed, and I'd left my life in New Mexico to work on a small farm in Massachusetts, Massachusetts would have seemed amazing and New Mexico would have seemed shabby and boring. The real truth is that for all the faith we put in imagination and possible realities, fact has one course, and in my case that course brought me back home to Massachusetts, not New Mexico or some other place, and Massachusetts looks, for having traveled, somewhat lovely and somewhat sad. I'm down to taking pictures of my freezer. I am writing as much as I can.
"My freezer is not such a bad freezer. It's a very red white and blue freezer. It's a freezer good for a patriot." I say this to myself, and I feel a little bit stupid. I am writing about my freezer, saying, "check out those frozen peas, they're 100% organic!" But I know that a freezer can only hold so much interest, and that's the point of a freezer. A freezer shuts down whatever life there is; it stuns all the biological processes and renders them inert. A freezer is a kind of arrested development. The tomato sauce in those freezer bags may indeed be super sweet, but until someone removes one of those icy freezer bags, the sauce within will remain solid and cold. Frozen sauce is somewhat like an old memory. It stays the same until you change it. My old friend is married now with children, and I know that, but I mostly remember her on her birthday, wearing a spotted party hat and blowing out the candles atop a brown cake, about thirty years ago now, and this, really, from a photograph.