Friday, September 09, 2005

excerpt 2 from mother mexico

Lacking a cooler to hold the milk – the two jerry cans were taking up a bunch of room in the small backseat – they had packaged juice and crackers for themselves. Second-guessing her decision about the milk was a waste of time, she consoled herself. He’d be fine. This hot Mexican sun could have changed Thomas’ nourishment into sickness and they still had a long way to go.
The drive was not without incident. Without a concrete plan, they bounced along dirt roads toward an unknown destination. Carl had hedged his vote on anything urban while Natalie had a rural setting in mind. With the weight of their votes as they were it was a given they would end up pretty close to town, but certainly nothing to complain about. The whole country had the unfinished feeling of rurality. The VW bug they had purchased for $300 ran as well as promised.
“No guarantees,” the redheaded owner told them, but he tucked a few spare parts in the trunk as an extended warranty. Carl had already used one of the packaged spark plugs and he had broken open a pair of Natalie’s still packaged queen sized pantyhose to make them a fan belt. Each time they started the car up after a night’s sleep or an afternoon break, Natalie found herself cringing until the ignition caught. Around a particularly sharp corner, they narrowly missed hitting a roaming goat and Natalie suspected Carl was starting to feel the heat. The adrenaline that had driven them across the border from Douglas into Agua Prieta was long worn off. It wouldn’t be long before he would be driving droopy-lidded and irritable.
She shifted and peeled a spread-out thigh off the sweaty seat and ventured, “Perhaps we could stop for something to eat?” Carl glanced at her and gave in with a surprisingly easy, “OK.” So he was feeling the drive. Her stomach smiled in anticipation. The next establishment to come into view was “Café Luna” whose dinner hours didn’t start for half a day yet. The owner, after hearing their request for something simple like beer and chips and with their payment in American dollars, let them sit on the patio. Carl nursed a few beers and they both stuffed themselves and got a mug of warm milk for Thomas. Natalie fed him some bread softened in the milk and put the remaining liquid in his bottle. Sated, Thomas settled into the kind of sleep that would allow for quite a few more hours of driving.

3 comments :

  1. Corinne9:22 PM

    The details are intriguing and real, the mood sets me on edge. I want to know what happens next, and why they are on the road exactly.

    Excellent! Keep writing I want to read more!

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  3. As a guy reader I like the panty hose being used for a fan belt, having once narrowly escaped being a casuality of a remote back road short cut by improvising a fan belt repair.

    There is plenty 'goin on' in your narrative: geography, psychology of a relationship, parenting, original expressions coined. Great! Can't wait to read to the book's conclusion. ldm

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