Sunday, April 24, 2011

Deja Vu, The Return from San Miguel Rev 1

Our shuttle is late. The schedule was posted on the office door; I’d been back at Casa Luna for an hour trying to capture some details of the week so I can write from my blog later before it all fades. Every time the buzzer rings the staff has to walk through two gates and gaze through the little window. The guy selling dirt, the woman selling nopalitos dragging two toddlers door to door, young men looking for work. It’s the Wednesday after Palm Sunday and I am headed home to San Diego from San Miguel de Allende via Houston.

The owner calls the shuttle company and only gets cell phones. He is very responsible, they probably got stuck on the way, and maybe another procession around holy week, I’m sure he’ll be here. Somehow, even though we are on the list on the office door, clearly marked for a 2:45 pick up, out pick up got cancelled. The owner calls another company, and we are escorted into the little gated room by the front door with our luggage. It’s now almost an hour later, and we are ready to dash the hour and a half or so to the airport at Leon. The buzzer rings, and it’s another street vendor. Finally the shuttle arrives. We find out it will be $90 US dollars to the airport, plus a tip. We don’t care. Our plane takes off at 5:50 and we have close to an hour and a half drive. The shuttle arrives; we hop in the car and are on our way.

It takes forever to get out of town with all the normal mid day traffic. They are putting up decorations for more holy week processions, all over town on all the buildings. The driver almost hits two young women attempting to cross the street, and then veers left down what appears to be an alley. The three of us all get a little nervous, but one of us speaks Spanish, and in a second I recognize the railroad tracks and the area we went through on our way into town a week ago.

Out in the countryside now, the other ladies ask me about the shrine we can see on top of the mountains, and I tell them I can’t really remember except that it is a catholic church. We ask the driver if people make pilgrimages to it, and he reminds me that it is supposed to mark the geographic center of Mexico. I knew it was something more than a church, but it went in and directly out of my head on the way into town because I was so excited to be here.

We pass by horses and burros and cactus, and look down into beautiful valleys, we are passing cars and trucks and I closed my eyes a couple of times. One of the ladies, one of two from Arizona, told us a story about when she worked for the Make a Wish Foundation, and she knew a woman with a really big heart, a soft touch. They picked up a Native American on the road who asked for a ride home, across the desert in a landscape very much like the one we were passing through. She pointed out the mountains in the distance, way in the distance, and said they kept driving and driving and he said, we’re almost there and hours later they dropped him off amidst some shacks and abandoned cars. When they picked the guy up, he told them he had found the tools he was carrying laying on the ground near a fossilized dinosaur egg. He told them he wasn’t digging it out, but it was really cool and he knew it was worth money. His take on the place they picked him up was that he was shocked that someone was digging the egg out, since there was some sort of prohibition against it. He wasn’t the one doing it; he just happened upon the tools and then discovered the egg.

There was no mention of gas money, even after over an hour on the road. We’re almost there, just a little bit further. He said he would sing them a song if they liked, he was from a long line of singers in his family, and could he sing them a song? They agreed to let him sing and after a short pause, he screamed out an Indian chant that went on and on, ricocheting off the walls of the SUV, and almost breaking their eardrums. They both tried hard not to laugh, but it was so bizarre, they had tears running down their cheeks by the time they dropped him off near the abandoned looking shacks on the distant hills.

About this time of our journey we turned onto a highway that headed to Guanajuato (sp) and passed a very spacey, modern looking building and wondered aloud what it was. The driver didn’t know, we guessed it was a church, and the ladies guessed a Mormon church. I mentioned the cool looking druid church in University City that looked like something out of a Star Wars movie at night. We all pounding down water, and one lady finished off almost a gallon of bottled water, since we knew we couldn’t take it on the plane. I thought to myself, I hope she doesn’t pee in her pants before we get to the airport (ha).

We jumped out at the Leon airport and gave the driver a $100 US bill, and dashed into the building. The Mexican customs officers, two young women with latex gloves, asked us to put our big checked bags on the table, and proceeded to do an inspection. They were very thorough, but at least re=zipped and re-latched everything the way they found it, unlike my experience at the US border in Arizona and in Tijuana, where they rip apart the car and your luggage, and then leave you to put it all back together. We got to the gate at Continental, and I handed the agent my passport and he printed out my boarding pass, and then asked for the little tiny piece of paper that the Mexican customs guys had torn off the form when we arrived a week ago. I had that paper, but where it was at this moment, minutes before our plane takes off, I had no idea. He hoisted my bag back onto the scale; I found the keys again and did a quick check, coming up empty. It was either hiding somewhere I missed, or was in one of two carryons. I checked the carryons and no luck. It was hot and humid and I began to panic a bit. The agent said he would hold my bag while I filled out another form to be obtained from the Immigration office. I took off across the terminal like a bat out of hell, still holding my passport and an empty bottle in one hand, and my two carryon’s in the other. I sat down on the first row of benches to find a pen to fill out the form, trying not to panic. I’m sure my face was beet red, and I was dripping sweat. Where the hell are my pens, I knew there were several somewhere in my luggage, but who knows where. I had one $200 peso note so I ran into the gift shop and bought a pen, then ran around another corner after being directed by a very nice guy in a customs uniform to the next building. I ran up to the woman at a podium outside the Immigration office and she waved me to a counter and told me to push the buzzer (in Spanish). She didn’t speak English. I crinkled my eyes and looked through the slit on the metal windows and saw two guys look in my direction out of an office about 200 ft away, then go back in the office, so I rang the buzzer again, and finally one of the men sauntered over (I guess it was break time), I was working myself up even more now, since my Spanish is limited and I couldn’t answer/guess at all the questions on the form that I knew must be completed before I slid it under the gap in the metal window. I went for it, signed the bottom, left some spaces blank, and although he didn’t speak any more English than I did Spanish fortunately he saw the stamp in the passport at entry, waved it toward me and said tourista? And I said yes, so he stamped the passport and the form a couple of times, brummmp, bruumpt and slid it back under the door. I ran running past the woman sitting in security and she smiled as I scooted by, and finally made it back to the check in counter. The agent was waiting on someone else, but saw me coming and passed me the boarding pass with my luggage receipt with his left hand! I yelled thanks as I dashed back to the woman in security and they just waved me through without even putting my bags thru the x-ray machine. On the other side, I rounded a corner and when I focused saw the two ladies sitting sorting through their bags and I collapsed into the seat next to them, asked them to watch my carryon’s and made a dash for the ladies as my bottled water was close to creating a puddle in my seat.

I washed my hands returned to the seat, and they told me they thought I got on the original plane, and wasn’t sure where I went. We all laughed, a shared adventure, but we made it, and now we were waiting for the plane. I saw an interesting looking guy with a very small carry on holding a tweed jacket, and a bag that held something wrapped in bubble wrap. The plane arrived and we got up and passed into the hallway that led us outside to the plane. They bubble wrap guy had a straw hat on and sunglasses, and we passed him as the crew checked out his carryon. We walked across the blacktop to the stairs and boarded the place. This was a small one, two seats on one side, an aisle and one seat across the aisle. A young woman sat next to me, and was texting away, when the bubble guy finally made it in, and sat in the seat opposite me on the aisle. I wanted to get a closer look at him, but he was less than 2 ft away and I was trying not to be obvious. He was cute, and by now there was something bugging me, something familiar about him.

I was exhausted after the stress of the last few hours, and the humidity, and closed my eyes to try to relax a bit. As always, my knees were jammed into the seat in front of me, and as I sat there I drew upon my feldenkrais lesson sat up straight, and tried to release all tension in my body and it actually worked. The flight attendant gave us all snacks and they weren’t bad, some sort of crackers, a spreadable cheese, and some kind of fruit/granola bar and a Twix. I decided to save the Twix to accompany a cup of coffee, since I still had Houston and the 3 hour flight to San Diego to go. The cart rolled just past me and the bubble man, and I heard him order a coffee with one artificial sweetener, and when she then asked me what I wanted I said “I’ll have what he’s having nut with two sweeteners” and got my coffee, happily downing the Twix. I don’t know if bubble man overheard my conversation with the attendant, but I thought it was very smooth. He had taken off his hat and sunglasses when we boarded the plane, and I managed to sneak a look at him when he was glancing out the window.

One of the ladies headed for the restroom and startled me awake by touching my arm as she headed back for her seat. Do you know if your bags are checked through to San Diego or not? I think mine are checked through to Phoenix, Do we have to go through customs in Houston? I saw bubble man glance at us when she mentioned San Diego, then the lady and I talked about maybe eating something in Houston before we headed off to our domestic gates for the last legs of our journey. As she walked away, I stole another glance at the guy across the aisle. He seemed so familiar. Hmmmm, I know him, I know I do, but who is he? I feel like I had spent time with him, but a long time ago. Is it that friend of Terry’s shown in a photo from the 70s with me in a booth at Alfredo’s? Is it the ex-roadie for Frank Zappa I dated for a short time in late 1979, or who? I dozed on and off, in my dazed state almost felt arms hugging me, and came to abruptly when the plane landed. I still hadn’t spoken to him, or looked him directly in the eyes. The minute the plane stopped he got up, got his bag, and perched on the seat across from my diagonally, even closer to me for the 10 minutes or so we had to wait. I didn’t look up, just sat and watched while everyone pulled up the sliding hatch and got their bags, and headed towards the front to disembark the plane at Houston. He had a good look at me then, and I just have the feeling that he too, was trying to place me.

The ramp to the terminal wasn’t level and I headed up unevenly. The ladies were long gone, but I caught up with them at the bottom of the escalator, and we found carts to haul our luggage when it made it onto the automated whatever you call it. A goofy sort of guy that was directing people towards our last security checkpoint helped me hoist my bag onto the cart, and another man watched with a smile in his eyes. I had a dress on that wasn’t meant for bending, either from the front or the back.

We handed in our customs form and headed for the area to recheck our bags for our respective flights. We handed them off to a young man and flew through the narrow aisles with our hand luggage just to stand in line for another security screening of our carryons. Made it through this one without incident, although I did forget to take my liquids out, at least I remembered the laptop this time. One of the ladies got diverted to secondary inspection, and since I was still a little dazed, I followed her over to that area until a customs officer (female) yelled, no talking no touching. I was carrying my shoes, my net book and my carryon’s, so I went over to a bank of seats about 20 ft away and saw the other lady running off towards the gate. When I headed out, lady #2 was still being checked. They only had 30 minutes till their plane took off, and I thought oh boy, I don’t think either one of them is going to make it. I got to the gate and sat down, still trying to organize myself. I didn’t have time to eat anywhere, and my last meal was probably 8 hours ago. I wanted to make sure to have my debit card handy since they don’t take cash on planes anymore. As I was sitting there, with probably two hundred others, I saw Mr. Bubble wrap arrive at the gate, waiting for the same plane I was on. He was across the room and I don’t know if he had spotted me. I tucked my debit card into my bra, and scrambled for my boarding pass and passport, but they didn’t need the passport anymore I guess. Where am I?

I found my seat next to two guys (I’m on the aisle) and chatted with the cute young gay man next to me who had just done a turnaround to McAllen Texas from PB overnight, paying over !000 for the RT fare. We discussed the “upgrade for more room” offer the airline advertized, and he said he thought he should get the more room for the fare he paid. He asked me about my trip and I bored him for the first hour. Bubble man was sitting directly behind me about 8 rows towards the back of the plane also on the aisle. We finally got in the air, and the captain announced the food service would begin, but all they had on offer was “snack packs” (full of pre-packaged salty stuff) and the a la carte items. In other words, I was not going to be able to order the Asian noodle salad, or anything remotely healthy. I got the healthiest snack pack, the classic, and wolfed down everything but the goldfish, the Oreos, and something else that I can’t even remember. We hit turbulence so they disrupted the drink cart for about 20 minutes two rows in front of me. The flight attendant was a guy who appeared to be Hispanic, reminded me of Ruben Galvan from CH6 the CW in San Diego. I asked for a vodka tonic and water since I still had one drink coupon left for this return trip. He served the water, then handed me my tiny little vodka bottle, and a cute little plastic glass with a slice of lime. The tonic was a full soda sized can of Mexican tonic, - don’t know the ounces, but with the water, that’s a lot of liquid for a 3 hour flight. When he handed me the tonic I didn’t really have a good hold of it and he joked, we’re going to have to cut you off! I laughed and said, but it’s my first drink. It is now about 8:30pm San Diego time. I got up to go to the ladies room and took another look at bubble wrap man, who was dozing. At the back of the plane was a very tall, very, very attractive guy, probably in his 40s, flirting with the flight attendants. His legs were even longer than mine. An old man came out of the toilet, and as his daughter helped him back to his seat he said to me, I’m not sure that door locks right, or maybe I’m just too weak and old to close it. We laughed, but he wasn’t incapable, it was broken. Back to my seat, and did some more dozing and feldenkrais chilling until the guy with the window seat had to pee. This guy maybe had a prosthetic leg, glasses and needed a shave. He told my center seatmate he was from OB but now lived in Pennsylvania, working for an aerospace company part time. He nattered on about the Belmont park roller coaster when he was a kid. I had successfully avoided much conversation with him, since when I told my center seatmate about my cool new rattlesnake earrings, the window guy said you know the rattlesnake dust can kill you in a second, if you inhale it, I had a lot of experience with rattlesnakes as a kid . I thought to myself, I have never heard that OB is a rattlesnake nest, but who knows. I stood up and moved forward a couple of rows to allow center seat friend also to get out, so we could let window guy pee. As we headed back to our seats, I made direct eye contact with bubble wrap man, and we both smiled involuntarily, a warm lovely smile that was confirmation it wasn’t just me. I lowered my eyes and sat down. I knew who it was now, I was almost positive, but it had been 30 years. I had dated a very darling guy back in the 70s who surfed, did some modeling for OP’s Jim Jenks in Surfer Magazine, and worked as a bartender at the “new” La Costa Resort in the main bar. He was originally from Minnesota and his sister had been a contestant or the winner of Ms. Minnesota a few years before. I think she was also tall (he had mentioned). I had two pictures my head of our time together, one at Fidel’s in Carlsbad drinking black Russians, and the other on a Wednesday night up at La Costa when he was working. It was a quiet night in the little dimly lit main bar, and I was watching him work adoringly I recall. I was so distracted by him, I didn’t even notice the couple sitting directly across the bar from me- who turned out to be David Janssen from “The Fugitive” and some blonde. My guy made me aware of DJ’s presence and when he got up and headed for the door I got up to go to the ladies, and we were walking alongside each other for a few feet. David Janssen looked up at me and said My God you’re still growing” and I said “My God I can tell everyone I met David Janssen. We both smiled, he said good evening and we parted. I have told that story a thousand times over the last 35 or so years (how boring am I).

So here I am decades later on a plane from the middle of Mexico to Houston, and from Houston to San Diego with who I am pretty sure, now, is a guy I was wild about in my mid 20s in Encinitas in the 70s. We never spoke, we only had that one moment, and he was gone. It was very special and the perfect end to a perfect trip. Is this the beginning of a story, or just a trip down memory lane. Who knows? I got home, got the shuttle to my car, and made it home by midnight. The dogs were wild, so happy to welcome me home.

I went straight to bed, and got up and walked them in the morning and caught the 9:00am train. I was still too spacey to be driving. I made it through the day at work, and my little presentation in the supervisors meeting, and back on the train home. The next day I had taken off, and I spent a good 3 hours on the internet trying to remember how to spell his last name. I knew how to say it, but wasn’t sure of the spelling. I found a woman with that name, or a mother and daughter in Vista nearby with what I thought was the correct spelling, but who knows. Perhaps he lives in Mexico and was coming up for Easter or his daughter’s birthday. I don’t know that this story will ever have an end, but it left me smiling and feeling loved, so that’s OK. (But it would be nice if this was a beginning wouldn’t it). Time to walk the dogs again, and sign off. I’m going to call it Déjà vu, the Return from San Miguel, at least for now.

Let’s hope “to be contined” 

©2011 SharonJCorrigan All rights reserved

Found Money Rev 2

Picking it up out of a oily, nasty looking rain puddle, he unfolded a think clump of $100 bills. What kind of joke is this he thought. On the same day his car was repossessed, he finds enough cash to pay it off plus. The sky was ominously dark, and rolling waves of thunder shook the ground under his feet. A bolt of lightning illuminated the figure of a man hunched over near a dumpster down an alley, just past the back door to the bar. He thought about it, not longer than a second or two and kept walking. The seven cocktails he’d downed in the last 2 hours hadn’t put him out, but his comprehension of the world had taken a detour that wouldn’t rejoin the main road until sometime tomorrow afternoon.

He was approaching the diner, the fluorescent lights like a ships beacon on the point. The curved booths embracing young couples in love, and lonely old men. He could see Sally, his favorite waitress in her red checked uniform with the puffy sleeves and a full shirt. She was pouring coffee into the mugs of his friends, who had been loitering there since early afternoon. It’s really quite inspiring he mused drunkenly, bursting into giggles at the pretentious thoughts that the found money were planting in his head. Perhaps I shall, he paused awkwardly as he missed the curb and his left food landed in the middle of a filthy puddle, perhaps I shall make it all up to her tonite, leave a $100 tip on the table when we depart, making up for the hours spent occupying the best table in the joint without leaving a bloody dime. To be continued.

©2010 sharonjcorrigan all rights reserved

Sports, Whatever Rev 1

My life is a train wreck. You’re welcome to watch.

I hate gym class or rather I hate the uniforms, the smell of the lockers, what the sweat does to my hair, and most of all taking off my clothes and taking a shower. They give us tiny little white towels that only cover the front of you, and if you have no boobs like me, you attempt to create them with air using artful draping techniques. I am not graceful and the shorts always look way too short on my long legs.

Then there is the actual sport or activity. Let’s start with pushups. When you have long arms and no boobs you have to have serious upper body strength to push back up- after the first down movement. And you usually hurt your back because your elbows are reaching for the ceiling as you try to keep your back straight and not lift your butt first.

Next we have running- on the dirt track- around the football field where the boys are practicing for the game tonight. I think running is a stupid activity and I do everything I can to get out of it including hiding behind the stadium electrical box on the first circuit and reappearing on the last pass at the back of the herd. My gym teacher, or rather all the female gym teachers, don’t wear makeup; have short haircuts (not hair dos) and walk like men. They make me nervous especially when they yell at me for incomplete sit ups, or ducking out of the way at the mound when a softball heads in my direction.

I’d rather be at the library sitting on a bench near the lily pond, reading a romance novel. Looking charming and feminine, just waiting for my prince to kneel before me, take my hand, and kiss it.

Next week is a football game and a dance after. I work Fridays nights and Saturday afternoons at an ice cream place, so I don’t have to stress about standing on the side waiting for some skinny geeky guy with acne to sweat all over me during a slow dance.

On Fridays we have square dancing instead of PE and Im not crazy about that either since its all girls in the class, and some of the athletic ones like to push you or trip you, or try to pull your shoulder out of the socket like a runaway teacup at Disneyland.

to be continued.
copyright sharonjcorrigan all rights reserved

Freeway Personals Rev 1

I should’ve had the air conditioning fixed and gassed up this morning, Sarah thought. well, there’s no sense dwelling on it now since I’m going to be either stuck here in traffic, or stranded at the side of the road- a mile or two from the Genesee exit. There are no gas stations nearby, so I’ve really got a couple of hours to kill.

What’ve we got here? She wondered aloud. I’m bored.

The car just ahead was about two months overdue for a wash., although it was a late model Lexus. The rear bumper was covered with stickers” Hang up the damn phone and drive” “Jesus loves unborn babies”, “My child was a royal screw up at Billings Elementary. The back windshield continued the diatribe “You suck, I’ll eat baby deer if I want to", next to a large rifle shaped sticker screaming “Shut the F### Up!"

Oh boy, I thought, here we have a real winner. Is it a man or a woman? Where do they work? The driver of the Lexus turned her head and Sarah realized it was a woman. Oh God no. Her face reflected in the rear view mirror, zeroed in on Sarah, sending a look that almost cracked her windshield. Avoid eye contact, she thought. Pretend to be singing with the radio and bob your head around.

Bet that bitch is single or divorced. Wow, what a prize she would be on Angry soul.

Brunette Lexus driving siren with a yen for the printed word and a ride though the suds at the car wash seeking her chamois man. No experience necessary. Hearing or vision impaired men 18-80 strongly encourage to respond.

Oh boy, wouldn’t I love to see that meet up. She glanced up and saw that the Lexus lady was focusing her negative energy on the car in front of her now, wildly gesturing and driving in a crazy weaving motion, slamming on her brakes just sort of the bumper ahead of her. Indiscriminate rage.

Let it go, yoga breathe.

Who is next to me. It’s kind of disturbing because they are driving at the identical pace, and I sense it’s a creepy guy who will probably follow me off the freeway and into my community and I’ll have to drive around for an hour until he gives up. Shit, I forgot about the gas tank.

Anyway, how will I describe him? Pleasantly plump, rosy cheeked charmer with full street credentials seeks a compatible partner for movies, conventions and unnatural sex acts in your parent’s bedroom during their weekly dinner excursions to Denny’s for the senior special. Any female, any age, welcomed with open arms.

Oh God, I’m giving myself the creeps.
To be continued

©2010 sharonjcorrigan All rights reserved

Monument Sign Rev 1

I’d been waiting for the monument sign for six weeks. The company had broken the mold and had to order a new one from the factory.

Urger Shack, people drove by and laughed and no one stopped in. What the hell is an Urger ? They’d yell as he sat on the bench outside the front door, always leaving the AC on since it was the middle of summer and the food in the kitchen would spoil fast.

For six weeks he’d sat on this bench, trying to figure out how to use “urger to his advantage, maybe start a trend, even a cult would work if it got people to stop at the care, even for a coke.

Urger Shack, Urger shack. Wait? That ‘s it. If we’re going be silly let’s go for it. Urger Hack, get rid of the S and pretend it was cool. Urger Hack, Urger Hack, or Hurger Sack, no that made no sense at all.

It was getting later, around 3 or so in the afternoon when the bus stopped. A bus, 37 screaming kids in a school bus from Salinas. Hey buddy the driver yelled, got any ice cream to shut these punks up? He was a large man with mutton chops and a big red, bulbous nose. Ice cream, I said, what in the hell would make you think we sell ice cream at the Urger Hack? All I got left is baloney, mustard and alittle sugar packets.

The breads gone bad, but maybe we could call it country bread and they’d never know the difference.

He was still sitting on the bench, really not quite believing that there was a bus full of rowdy boys and a sweaty looking driver actually asking him a question.

He had not had a conversation with anyone for six months. To be continued.

©2010 Sharon J Corrigan All rights reserved

Runaway Rev 1

She was gone. Again. Running away from home. The creaking of the double silled window sliding slowly down after she crawled onto the fire escape. The flashlight used sparingly, just enough for safety, not enough to draw attention. Even though she weighed only 90 pounds soaking wet, Cindy’s footsteps on the metal decking made a squishy sound that was unmistakably her.

Should I tell mom?. Now before she goes too far? I don’t want her to go, not again. I miss her. I sat up and walked over to the window to see her join Billy in his convertible, idling quietly on the next corner. At least she’s not alone this time, I thought. At least she’s with Billy

He was her tennis coach, not hers really, but the “Girls” tennis coach. He had been a senior in high school when she was in junior high and he was friends with Jimmy, their neighbor up the hall.

At least she isn’t alone this time. I wonder why I keep thinking that. I noticed a movement and saw Jimmy run up and jump in the back seat.

The first time she ran away, she was gone for six months and when she finally came home, she looked scary. Her hair was all chopped off funny and she had ugly scratches on her arms and feet. I could never figure out how she got those weird scratches. Maybe she was living on a farm picking blackberries or in a rose garden somewhere. I don’t know. Why would she run away to live on a farm or work in the dirt when she could stay here with us and have her own room and an allowance?

Billy had just moved back into town and got the job at the high school. Nobody seemed to know where he had been the last few years, but apparently wherever it was, he stayed out of trouble, or they wouldn’t have hired him. When he was a kid, he was always in trouble, the instigator. He led the pack, the boys followed him around wherever he went, and did pretty much whatever he wanted them to do. He wasn’t particularly tall, or handsome, but he was clever and interesting looking, and his parents were well-to-do, and travelled a lot, so he had been to of places that most of us couldn’t even dream of.

Jimmy was the kinda guy who kept being held back, grade after grade. I think he finally gave up after his third sophomore year. So, he had more years of schooling than a doctor, but no diploma or skill. Maybe he liked the attention he got in detention, or from being older. I can only guess at what went on inside his head. He was always polite when older people were around, but a bully when they were out of sight. Everyone’s parents thought he was a nice boy, a little quiet, but we all knew better.

Cindy hopped into the passenger seat after flinging her backpack into the back. She didn’t know Jimmy was going with them, that’s a little odd. Hi baby, Billy said, ready for a road trip? She leaned over, and with her arms lifting her off the seat, kissed him on the nose. He grinned and shrugged her away. It was damp inside the car, but the heater worked at least. The window on the passenger side wouldn’t close all the way so the air was bothering her eyes. Can’t we put a towel or something in that window, she whined, and the boys ignored her. She leaned back and closed her eyes, trusing the boys to do what they needed to do, to protect her on this journey. Drifting off to sleep, she heard the boys begin to whisper in a low tone, but was too sleepy to try to figure out what they were talking about.

They pulled over at the truck stop and left her sleeping in the car. They sat at a booth in the corner and waited until the waitress brought them coffee. So where do you think we can get the most money for her Jimmy said. Billy grinned again, the same grin he gave her after she kissed him on the nose, and said Brownsville. Brownsville TX. They will take her into Mexico and put her in a room, and then they send a cut of her pay to us every week. I’ve been dealing with this guy for years, and I know where his family lives so I trust him. Ramon, that’s his name, Ramon.

So how many hours till we get there. She’ll be missed by end of day tomorrow, so there won’t be any alerts until at least tomorrow night, and we should be well on our way by then. Jimmy sighed and picked up the mug and took a sip of his coffee. Shit, he said, that’s hot.

Billy ignored him, watching the waitress bend over the table in the opposite corner. He could see her ass, he thought, she knows that. She’s sending a signal so strong I’m going to have to do something about it. I’ll keep my eye on her, he thought, she’ll give me a signal, head into the restroom or something, look back at me, and we’ll hook up.

What, he said, turning back towards Jimmy. What did you say? How many hours to Brownsville? Six, he responded, six hours and a bit.

Time to get moving Billy said, and they threw some change on the table and headed back to the car.

Cindy heard them get back into the car, and then drifted back to sleep. The car started, the heater kicked in again, and they were back on the road.

The hours went by, one two three, and Billy pulled into a rest stop to pee. Both Jimmy and Cindy were out cold, so he left them sleeping, and headed to the other side of the stop, near the toilets. He pulled out his cigarettes and shook one out the end, pulling it out with his lips. Reaching in his pocket, he grabbed the blue plastic lighter and lit the fag in one continuous move. Inhaling, breathing out slowly, he could see his breath and the smoke in the damp air. Might as well as enjoy this dampness now, he thought, there sure ain’t going to be any in Brownsville. Just hot, dry, dusty, hard to breathe there, not going to hand around long. To be continued.

©2010 sharonjcorrigan all rights reserved

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Last Day San Miguel de Allende

Really meant to keep up with this, but the minutes turned into hours turned into days turned into margaritas or art workshops or eating or shopping and here i am for the first time sitting still for an hour or so on the last of the battery.  I am totally spacey, yesterday took off my shoes in my room at lunch, and when i went back to the workshop i was wearing one tiva and one ecco sandal, and they don't even look alike.  I spent the whole week with these women but still couldn't keep their names straight.  Re hid my passport a million times and fortunately found it a million times.  Playing with the little white cockapoodle or whatever they call it that lives here.  The art we all created was amazing.  We all got along with only a few whines.
Age range I'd say 50 something to 80 something.  I never got sick although a few did -  I have a pretty strong constitution.  Had rose petal ice cream, had walnut soup with chipotle, a seabass in a giant mocajete (i think that's what it is called) with a pineapple orange bubbling broth, great bread, tortillas.  My first night i got some sort of steak dish that was excellent.  My first margarita was so weak when the waiter asked me if I wanted another, I told him "with tequila this time" ha.  The bubbling thing was at Ten Ten Pie , night before last at Bouganvilla and had carnitas tacos, some spicy vermacelli, and shared a salad. We had dinner last night at Casa Luna, and we did a flash mob dance in the dark and candlelight to live Mariachi's La Bamba- we looked like a bunch of witches in the dark at Mi Casa in the Art Allende Building.  The view of the cathedral lit up was spectacular!  One of the San Diego artist guys Joseph is a hyponotherapist and also does past life regressions.  I was going to do it ($100 US for 2-1/2 hours) but my rattlesnake earrings took a bit of my spare change , but one woman did do it and said it was wonderful and interesting.  His partner Eli is a love and teaches spanish here to foreign residents -  we saw them in town on shrine night and they came last night to our show and tell.  Cool guys from San Diego. The shoes I brought were perfect on the cobblestone streets. On Palm Sunday i wore my hiking boots, and since we did the marathon walking day, they were perfect.  I've traded off between my cute Eccos and my old Tivas (or is it Tevas), anyway, I haven't fallen or done much damage to my body, other than scraping myself on the hinge of the old dresser my first night. My tetnus shots are up to date, so i don't worry.  My gel nails held up pretty well also considering the paint, glue, resin, watercolor, etc we were playing with all week. Our breakfasts at Casa Luna were different each day- always fruit and cereal and bread, tortilla s and good coffee, fresh squeeze OJ.  Entrees  varied from pancakes, to stratas, to spinach quiche, to scrambled eggs, to chilequiles and beans with cheese.  The lunch at Diane's rancho was as grand as the residence-  cucumber mint tea, gazpacho, black bean chilie, great bread, salad greens with nopalito salad, freshly made beet chips, flan, lemon bars, brownies.  Tour of organic gardens.  What I loved about this place is everyone has dogs and they all are rescues and everyone is so proud of the fact they are rescues.  Cats too, but mostly dogs.  The group has renamed Montezumas Revenge to Tres Leches Spa because of a cake that was served at dinner to some of us last night

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

San Miguel -the last few days

I've lost all track of time, and my iphone by the way.  I've spent the days making art mosaics painting making books, shopping eating talking.  We went to visit artist's home-  Joseph and Eli and playing with dolls, Anato and his husbands amazing mosaic rancho using recycled glass and natural matrials.  I've bought rattlesnake rattle and turquoise earrings, and a beautiful tied stone necklace from Anato. We followed the procession on Palm Sunday through the Streets of San Miguel, went to visit the Unesco site At Antonico (sp), had amazing meals.  I've lost all sorts of things, mostly on the properties where we are staying. I had dinner one night with an older man Joseph, last name to come, his wife, her sister and friend from North County San Diego who I'd imagine is in his 80s from Oklahoma, who is a sailor, a sculptor a jeweler, and has a beautiful home ful of vintage items imported from the states.  It's been hot and humid and I gave up wearing makeup after the first day.  Most of us did.  Pretty amazing group of women, for the most part getting along, although most of us are pretty outspoken and a little bit cranky at some time of the day. Today is the last day and I feel like most of it has been in a fog.  Maybe it's the excess of Margaritas Salt and guacamole.  Dinners on the town have been really outstanding.  I'll have to devote an entire listing to the food alone.  The place we are staying is magical and colorful and centuries old.  The plumbing is so ancient we fan't put toilet paper in it, instead using a trash can.  The courtyard at the main property is full of palms, vines, suculents, ferns, , graqmed Mexical decorative textiles, wooden furniture, clay tile of stone floors, arched colunmns surrounding open patios.  Like the food I'll have to devote a post just to each of the classes, and my thoughts and excitement at each stage of the creation of the many things we did, six hours a day.  It is the last full day, tomorrow it's back to the airport and I'll be home with my dogs by tomorrow night. 

Saturday, April 16, 2011

Arriving in San Miguel Rev 1

So we all made it on the flight to Leon.  Small plane, not sure how many hours in the air but not too bad. Taxiing runway, rain on the ground, lots of chatter about raincoats and umbrellas.  The plane touches down and we head down the stairs, a short walk in the drizzle into the customs building.  We all got our bags, and introduced each other while waiting to go through the x-ray machine and the suspicious search lines.  Step up one at a time, hit the button, will it be red and I'll have to open my suitcase or do I get the green light and get to shoot right through to the line to the outdoors where the smokers are.  Fortunately not many, easy to get away from.  I stand outside, already realizing that I should've thought "Aussie" clothes vs San Diego clothes because it is really humid. Everyone makes it through customs without incident and we pile our luggage and our stuff into two vans for the ride to San Miguel, windy roads for about 1-1/2 hours.

The countryside reminds me of Morocco, and the old buildings with hand painted signs are picturesque.  Two horses stand in a field with two cranes.  Someone mentioned the cranes are probably eating the flies off the horses.  It was cool to see.  Dogs everywhere, smiling at us as we pass. We arrive at San Miguel and see a giant bridge, with a large bronze statue of de Allende, we can see the cathedral, not the main one, but the other one. I ask the guide what they grow i the area and he thinks it's alfalfa, water is a problem he says.  We pass through a small town and see the sign to Antonitico, and we turn in the opposite direction.

Through narrow colorful buildings with amazing carved doors and iron work, we stop in front of a wall with a door and doorbell and the drivers begin unloading our luggage.  The doors open and we are in the first of 3 outdoor rooms divided by gates.  Some of us are staying here, some.

Thursday, April 14, 2011


4/13/11 Air between SD and Houston TX on a Continental flight.

My eyes itch; my knees are pressed up against the seat pocket where the sick bag sits. My arms are squeezed against my side, trying not to crowd the guy in the seat next to me, who has never made eye contact. I was going to say good morning but I am guessing he would prefer his privacy and to tell you the truth, so would I. This is just the transition. On my lap is my wallet with my cash and credit cards, and a thank you drink certificate from my friend who is a flight attendant for watering her plants last week. I am a little groggy this morning and am not sure if it is the Claritin or the Ambien hangover although I didn’t take a whole one last night. Its 9:29 California time and I just ordered a red wine since they don’t have sparkling. I felt the need to explain I was on vacation and the flight attendant; a guy,obviously didn’t care in the least. – Not whether I had the wine or not, nor whether I existed really. I don’t think he is making more than the briefest of eye contact with anyone. Perhaps too many shifts or a bad morning. The cheese platter is pretty good and a reasonable price considering it s exactly what I wanted. Kindles ipads, net books and game devices are all out and in use, the curtain between coach and first or business class looks like mosquito netting, it is transparent. I think that normally on the planes I've been on the curtain is opaque, I’ve always assumed so we can’t see the food and drink the big buck fliers are getting and revolt. I didn’t bring my expensive glasses with me, I don’t think, but I did take the older pair or transitions and the red framed arty ones. My only jewelry is the journey silver necklace I bought from a catalog, and my tiny opal drops from la Costa gems. I always enjoy browsing through sky mall to see what new gadgets are out, but I’ve never ordered anything from it. I’ve also done a brief tour through my new sonny camcorder instruction manual, but am not really focusing. There is an older woman o the plane that looks vaguely familiar, don’t know where from. At the airport I tried to figure out how to send a compliment to the continental headquarters about Noemi who is an agent in San Diego and who was very helpful and caring. I tried using the virtual agent on line, but comments weren’t on the agenda. Now at last I’ve captured her name so I could do it later. I wonder if I took a vote of all the passengers how many would think I had a drinking problem by seeing me order the red wine at this time of day. Geesh I don’t ever drink alone, and only on rare occasions like travel do I drink during the day. Funny in all these ye3ars I’ve never seen Saundra in a uniform; I’ll have to ask her if she has a picture. Another agent who was guiding people into lines, an African American woman, had a double breasted dress sort of uniform on. I complimented her and she said I guess it’s cute but I have to wear it every day, but I do have a job, I guess that is a blessing isn’t it. My shuttle driver from the parking lot is from Michoacán and knows san Miguel. He told me a story about when he was 16 the government in Guerrero negro was offering free land and building materials to adults, but he was only 16, his brother 17 so because they didn’t think about getting a fake ID they lost out on the land. So here he is now, living in TJ, working in San Diego, but he is lucky. All of Baja is full of immigrants looking for their dreams to come to the US, and he is doing that. I told him I had never been south of guaymas on the mainland, and he said san Miguel will be much different than anything I’ve seen in Baja. I told him I’m looking forward to it. I asked him if he’d seen me walking Rosecrans to work, and he said he never notices the people on the street. How odd that seems to me, a visual person not to notice the fixtures.

Its 9:53 and I’m nodding off, after two lattes and that small bottle of wine and the Claritin I guess I’ve mellowed out. Still at least an hour and a half in the air. Maybe a short nap while I can.

Sunday, April 3, 2011

The Reluctant Musician Rev 1

My night as a musician began in an ordinary enough way. The thing is I had no formal musical skills other than perfect pitch. I’d never held a guitar, never moistened a reed, never pushed down on the pedals of a piano. The air was thick with smoke, the chatter deafening, the women loose, the men rumpled and charming.

I stood in the alley looking in as people arrived and chose their perch, preening and screeching like macaws in the bush. I dropped the butt, embers scattering on the oily blacktop near the dumpsters and quickly stamped on it with my new leather shoes. I downed the last of my beer and took a place in the second to the last row of the orchestra, on the end. The girl sitting next to me was wearing a red satin shift that floated around her ankles. Her skin was the color of a glazed donut and she smelled like the gardenias in my mother’s garden.

The conductor stood up, nodded his head and began waving a stick around. I sat up straighter in my seat, a tambourine at the ready, trying to remain motionless so I didn’t screw this up. My auntie was dating the conductor and she badgered him into letting me sit in, without an audition. Since I had no idea of what music was to be played or where the tambourine fit in, other than a pointed finger and a wave at a page of musical notes by the boyfriend, I was a tiny bit insecure, but I was sure I could handle this, I had been in band in high school hadn’t I. I knew about beats, although I couldn’t read music and this was written by some foreigner, a Russian I think, many decades ago, probably when he was drunk, so it was harder to anticipate the breaks.

The amphitheatre was full, hundreds of people, and there were about 70 musicians so when we started the sound filled the space beyond the rim and shot out into the night. The sun had just gone down and the sky was glowing red. “Red sky at night sailor’s delight, red sky at morning….) It was warm and the air was heavy with heat stored in the concrete structure after days of 90+ temperatures with just a hint of the ocean breeze. To be continued

©2011 SharonJCorrigan all rights reserved

The Library Rev 1

He was beautiful that’s the only way to describe his features; a tennis player body, thick hair that looked like it would take a team to cut, long legs and great arms. You know the kind of arms that say tennis or surfing, not free weights and the gym. He was unconscious of her presence and she stood just outside, half hidden, half visible, turned in such a way that she could stare but turn her gaze elsewhere should he raise his lips towards her. Wait, I meant his eyes.

He was dressed comfortably, casuall,y but not carelessly or sloppy. There was no scent of tobacco or stale alcohol or the opposite extreme, girly freshmess from scented soap. His hair was shiny but not the 20 something shiny, just a healthy shine. His hands were smooth, his nails clean and neatly trimmed. It was obvious he wasn’t a laborer, or a real estate agent. An artist or a writer, I’d guess, from his quiet meditative pose, and from the glimpse of his expression visible through his mane of hair. Not a pretty boy but a man, powerful and confident not boastful and obnoxious.

I walked away from the hallway and into the stacks; afraid I would be, or wouldn’t be, noticed. I glanced his way again at the end of the aisle and was given a different perspective. You know he’s got it if the back of his head sends chills down your spine and makes your knees weak.. Unconsiously, she began moving towards him like a moth to the flame. She wanted to press her lips to the side of his neck, to hug his body from the back, her breasts pressed against him like an oversized wool blanket rolled into a cylinder, a little bit scratchy but pliant and indestructible, all at the same time.

She knew he was aware of her now, a tiny shift in his posture, chin raised just slightly like a dog sensing a bitch in heat. She stopped, frozen, unsure of what to do. He leaned over and put the book in his backpack. To be continued

©2011sharonjcorrigan. All rights reserved.

Irritating Stranger Rev 1

OMG Aggie drawled, a very fake and pretentious accent clipping every word with hard edges. So obscure and amateur that I could hardly look her in the eyes. We were in the line in the ladies room at Lefty’s in Ketchum, when she got her period and asked to borrow a tampon once we were settled in adjoining stalls.

I can keep my mouth shut, I thought that’s the safest way to opt out. No that won’t work. So Aggie, how do you and Susan know each other? It was difficult even looking in her direction. She had a top on that was straining at the seams around her bosom and the cap sleeves revealed a sloppy job of washing, evidenced by wet circles of perspiration under her arms, outlined in cakey white anti-perspirant. Her top was hot pink with silvery cowboy hats on it and her matching pants emphasized an extreme lack of fitness. It could be worse, I thought, she could be in a miniskirt.

That blonde woman, what was her name Susan? You know, that loud drunk blonde who was drooling on Eddie. Susan, did you hear me? Susan, Aggie shouted over the other conversations in the hallway at my sister in law. Susan what was her name. I winced as her high pitched voice assaulted the other guests and several people looked in our direction with evident irritation.

I returned to the table and leaned back in my chair, hiding behind her bloated torso. Susan got unsteadily to her feet and glided around the table to where we sat. Aggie, what are you talking about she shrieked! You aren’t telling him about Lefty’s are you. As she leaned over her red wine sloshed against the side of the glass and sprayed onto Johnny’s raw silk shirt. Oh Johnny Susan said, I’ll buy you a new shirt. I’m so silly,

Aggie stood up and hugged Susan, both of collapsing in amusement at themselves.
©2011sharonjcorrigan. All rights reserved.