Imagine yourself in Texas right now. Sleeves rolled up, upper-lip a little sweaty, forehead a little damp, running in a hurry out the back-porch door to greet the morning light — so soft and pink.
Imagine yourself in Texas right now, underneath the drooping string lights of some small-town patio bar. You’re drinking a Tecate, and listening to the soft spring rain on the tin roof, watching as the rain grows into brown, silty puddles and runs in mighty rivulets down the gutter to the soft ground.
Imagine yourself in Texas right now, standing barefoot on the cement of your wrap-around ranch-style porch. You’re watching as the sun sets. A stunning show of deep reds and blood oranges that give way to all varieties of pinks and soft canary yellows, until the sky falls, and the horizon is blue, then deep indigo, and finally black.
Imagine yourself in Texas, driving past epic mountain ranges in the West that scrape the clouds and stand sentry amidst the strong arid winds that rip up the underbrush and then cause the sky to darken in malaise.
Imagine yourself in Texas, where days are marked by bright sun, warm heat, tall grass, red dirt, and chalky mud that dries like cement on the heels of your boots. Here, farmland near the panhandle mimics the undulating waves of the ocean, an infinite pattern of crop land interrupted only by the small dots of one-stoplight towns, accented by the rhythm of ever-present telephone wires.
Imagine yourself in Texas, where the Hill Country is home to lowing, laconic longhorns that keep watch over rural Spanish-style graveyards. A state of tech and innovation in Austin, Houston, and Dallas. A state of heady bordertowns, and global, crowded cities like El Paso and San Antonio. A state populated by thousand-acre cattle ranches that are nestled between craggy mountains, cotton fields, almond groves, and orange trees.
Imagine yourself in Texas. Driving past truck stops with their neon promises of hot food, cold showers, and topless girls. Past ivory style iglesias, past the double-wides circled like wagons around a dusty, barren courtyard. Past the junk heaps and the engine parts brought out to pasture. Past the sotol plants, tumbleweeds, and self-aware ponies grazing near barbed-wire fences.
Imagine yourself in Texas, where the heavy blue sky and the outstretched swath of land are angled in such a way as to become one, where there is no clear delineation between air and earth. Imagine yourself in Texas. Where the never-ending horizon line dares you to keep driving, keep chasing, keep going — until the end of that long white highway line is found.