I’m in Texas the next two weeks, and while I’m here, I thought I’d drive around some of my old haunts and photograph places that turn up in my Texas fiction. I did a little of that when I was last in Texas, back in April 2012. That’s when I took these photos. They relate to my story “Barefoot in the Guadalupe“:
I took the Datsun out into the backroads, weaving fast through the cedar clutches beyond the highway. I was due at work that afternoon, but I didn’t even bother calling in. I just let the trees wash past, the post-and-wire fences, the goats and small cattle. I hit 27 west and got out past Comfort, the windows down. Driven fast like that, the curves winding around the hills were a constant surprise — I never knew if a deer would run into the road, an armadillo would wander under my tires, a pick-up would barrel into my lane. It didn’t matter. I wanted surprise, not what lay behind the hills but the hills themselves, hulking blanks that told me nothing. Then, at Center Point, I veered south toward the bridge and parked nose-down in a gully that led to the Guadalupe. I slid down a rock-and-dirt embankment, jumped onto a huge rock nested in the riverbank, and sat down. A pick-up rumbled overhead, a bass beat thumping the bridge, and then, everything settled. The Guadalupe was thin here, thinner than usual. I pulled off my shoes and tugged my pants up my calf, past the knee, a warm breeze through my leg hairs. I took my socks off and stuffed them in my shoes. I bounced my feet on the rock a few times, imagining pedals. Then I lay back on the rock, knees bent and eyes to the treetops, and I threw my arms behind my head. I could hear the water whispering over the tiny river stones, the same way I could hear the blood moving through my ears. Without sitting up, I dropped one leg over the lip of the big rock, then my other leg, knees on the edge and my bare feet hanging over what was left of the water, my toes still a good twelve inches above the water but it was close enough.