Thursday, January 4, 2018

I hope I was helpful

I was at the rest stop on I-8, next to the Imperial Dunes, carrying a sack of trash to the dumpsters. A blue Ford pickup rolled my way, the driver waving at me. Was it someone I was supposed to know? He pulled to a stop next to me. The driver was a white-haired Mexican man, skin like saddle leather, with a walker stuffed in the passenger seat.

“¿Los Algodones?” he asked. Did he mean he remembered me from one of my visits there? I must have looked confused. He repeated himself, this time pointing in random directions.

“Ah! How do you get there?” I replied.

“Si. Yes.”

I wish I had been able to answer, “Ve por allí, dieciséis kilómetros, al lado del casino.” Instead, I pointed east and said, “That way, about ten miles, by the casino.”

He smiled and nodded as if he understood, then drove away in the correct direction. The casino is a very obvious landmark, and there’s a sign at the off ramp pointing to Mexico, so I assume he got to Los Algodones okay. I just wish I knew more Spanish.

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