One journalist's musings about the beautiful, bizarre world in which we live
DAY 13, NOV. 21 – 6 DAYS UNTIL THE WEDDING
Again, we hit the road. In New Mexico, now, and stopped for dinner in El Paso.
I have this meshuga, a neurosis – a “propensity for pantsless propulsion,” said a friend.
In other words, I don’t like driving in pants. I’d much rather sit in the driver’s seat in my underwear, especially in hot weather.
Tonight, my travel partner was again sleeping in the passenger’s seat, and I was cruising down the highway with Ciudad Juarez in the right corner of my eye.
It started with one simple sign. “Stop for truck check when lights flashing.” The lights were flashing, and trucks were moving into the right lane.
Then another sign. “All trucks stop on right.”
Then some pylons appeared, directing traffic. A police car was pulled into the ditch on the left.
Next sign: “All traffic stop for inspection.”
Lights. Police. Border guards.
Dan slowly woke up, again wiping the sleep out of those dozy eyes to find himself surrounded by the po-pos.
“Why is it every time I fall asleep when you’re driving I wake up surrounded by officials?” he said, hunting for my skirt in the back, finding one and tossing it at me.
I wondered if I had taken a wrong turn and was now headed into Mexico. And when we reached the front of the cue that’s what the guard told me.
“You’re headed into Mexico, yup,” he said.
I started frantically worrying aloud, while Dan made excuses for me in the passenger’s seat.
“i just – we were just going to South Padre Island – our friend’s getting married – we just – ”
“She just made a wrong turn, officer – I fell asleep and this is where we – ”
“I’m just kidding. You folks have a nice day now,” and he sent us off.
Turns out it was an impromptu border stop to check papers and ensure that people weren’t carrying illegal immigrants into the country.