On the corner of Cerillos and Don Diego I saw a man working on his car as I crossed the street. He had the hood up and was talking with a friend. “Is that a carbeurator?” I asked as I walked up. “Oh yeah, it’s a carbeurator. Got the original clutch in it too man, like a hundred fifty thousand on it.” We talked about how much easier it was to work on carbuerated cars rather than fuel injection. It turned out he and his friend were changing the fluids and getting the car ready for a move. “I’ve been living in this place 12 years man, and they just raised the rent $400. Just like that,” he snapped his fingers. “And so I’m moving south.” I told him I was looking for a place too, but from Taos for about a month and a half. My lease had just ended the day before, so I was staying at a friends with all me and my girlfriends stuff in the back of our pickup. He gave me some tips and said to check a few places. He said to look on Craigslist for sublets or house sitting. “I made it into a job but I never found nothing here man. I’m going to live in this thing,” he pointed at a van parked next to us, with sheets over the windows “until that place down south opens up. I’m camping early man!” he said laughing. We talked for a while longer. I learned he grew up in Española, where he said me and my girlfriend “wouldn’t really fit.”
“But you know man I wouldn’t fit where you come from, no offense.”
“No but you could hang out with us,” I said. He and his friend laughed.
“Well good luck, I’ll pray for you,” he said, clasping his hands at his chest.
“You too man, good luck.”
“If you need a place to stay, let me know,” he said.
“We’re with a friend, but thanks.”
“Well if you need something just come back here. Let me know. Let me know.”
“Alright,” I said shaking his hand.
I walked away feeling awkward and humbled: someone I barely knew, maybe in worse position than me, yet offering what he could. As we waited to cross Don Diego Mercedes and BMWs ripped by.
We walked down the street, and into our friend’s house, and opened our laptops to look at Craigstlist again.