Texas is so different from the rest of the South. First it was Spanish, then Mexican, then its own nation (after Mexico refused it statehood, as a result of the American Federalist Spirit, resentful of taxation without representation, home to Texians), an American state, proud keystone and stepping stone in the southern United States and in manifest destiny. Had Mexico decided to grant Texas statehood, the United States would not be the country it is today, in terms of size or power. But what was fated is.
It’s a rich state. The roads are smooth, that’s a good way to tell. The farther west the fewer trees. The speed limit is 80 as we drive past cottonwoods and live oaks and olive trees, then the tress get smaller and shrubbier and there are vermillion mesas and from the tops of rolling hills unfurl twenty miles of little gray ribbons of road. We drive high walls, leveled dynamited ochre rock, with striations of thin frozen time–it’s all so wide and open and American.
Manifest destiny. Our space is greater and bigger than anywhere else except Russia and Canada and who wants to live in the Arctic circle? At least cars start in hundred degree heat.