santa outside tuba city
Luci’s trailer on Christmas Day
It only got up to 23 degrees today. Not only was it cold, it was windy as shit. All day. Cold + windy. As I was driving from the rez into Flagstaff I was thinking of the effort Klee Benally is making to distribute warm clothing and blankets to indigenous folks staying outside in the winter. His campaign is called No More Native Deaths (I think.) As I was driving I remembered seeing the last time I was in town a Diné friend who has fallen on hard times and who is living outside in Flagstaff now. I wondered if he’s staying at the mission in town.
I made it to Flagstaff and was running errands when I encountered the friend I’d been worrying about. He was dressed in many layers on this cold + windy day when the temperature only got up to 23 degrees. His speech was slurred and he had a swagger in his step. I gave him a hug telling him:
“I’d been was just thinking about you in this cold weather as I drove in from the rez. Are you staying at the mission” I asked.
He confirmed that he’s not staying at the mission. I told him about Klee’s campaign and that I worried about him living outside now to which he replied:
“5 people have already frozen to death this week.”
He said he wanted help with some food. My friend with whom I’d just eaten and I had some nice leftovers and shared those. He thanked us, we hugged again and went our separate ways into a wind that cut like a knife.