In the summer Craig asked her again to go to Mexico
with him, and she said yes. They decided to go as
soon as finals were over, and she was eager to get out
of her parents’ house, even if only for a couple of
weeks. So on a sunny May afternoon, Craig showed up
in front of her house in his convertible black Camero
and she immediately ran out, bags long since packed,
and - not able to wait for the cheap stuff sold on the
Mexican beaches - she was already half-blitzed on
Craig’s previous tan had worn off a little bit, but
he still wore the same-type muscle t-shirt, and it was
obvious he had been working out from the fresh new
centimeters of muscle he was sporting. He whistled at
her when she got in the car, and the two exchanged a
greeting peck before Craig whistled again and shifted
the car into gear. For a second Angela thought the
thickness of his neck and limbs almost seemed
grotesque, but he looked over to her and smiled, and
the feeling passed. She turned to face the road and
the wind swept over the windshield to lift her hair
skyward. She pulled herself up on top of the seat and
waved Miss America-style to the passing cars,
collecting honks from everyone they drove by. Then
she swung back down into the seat, put on her
sunglasses, and lit up a cigarette.
It took three hours to get to the Mexican border, but
it was only three minutes before Angela realized she
had nothing to say to Craig. Even in her drunken
state, her brain refused to cough up a question or
topic of conversation. Luckily, Craig’s inclinivity
to talk kicked in not much later than that. So most
of the car ride was spent listening to Craig talk
about his goals, his achievements, his life and times.
Angela dozed in and out, and after a couple
of hours, Craig noticed that she wasn’t listening to a
word he was saying. That shut him up.
After a while, Angela noticed that the talking had
stopped and decided that it was time to see what was
playing on the radio. She turned the dial and upon
finding a classic rock station, Craig’s hand on hers
was the signal that she should turn no more. Well, at
least they had that in common. To the Elton John,
Fleetwood Mac, and Lynnard Skynnard bursting out of
the speakers, Angela and Craig lent their full voices
and it was singing along to the Beatles’ "Love Me Do"
at the top of their lungs that they reached the bridge
The border patrol signaled for the car to halt and
came up to Craig’s side. "How y’all doing today,
"Just fine, sir," said Craig.
"You two aren’t going to get into any trouble over
there, are you?" Something about Craig’s all-American
appearance made it seem unlikely, so before they could
respond, the officer stepped back from the car and
waved them through towards the line of cars on the
"You’re not worried about something happening to your
car over there?" Angela had never left her home state
before, much less her home country, and she was just
fishing for reassurance.
"Oh, shit you’re right!" Craig yelped. "I forgot all
about the car. Stop the bridge, I wanna get off!"
Then he winked at her and she hit him in the arm.
"Angie, Mexico is as safe as countries get. The
reports of crime here are greatly exaggerated.
Actually..." Craig’s voice became supernaturally low
at this point in an attempt to keep the secret he was
about to speak just between the two of them.
"Actually, people who go all the time spread all those
stories in order to keep the paradise to themselves.
The last thing we want are hordes of everybody and
their mom coming over here on vacation." He leaned
back in his seat with a look of satisfaction as if he
had just figured out who really did kill Kennedy.
With a nod to the police on the Mexican side, the two
of them were soon cruising the streets of the Mexican
border town. Craig dismissed the bustling marketplace
with a wave of his hand. "This is just a tourist
trap. All these prices are worse than in the U.S.
I'm going to take you inside Mexico, the real Mexico.
I thought we’d start with Guadalajara, and go from
there." His hand casually fell from the steering
wheel onto Angela’s knee. "But we should go ahead and
stop here somewhere for the night so that we can get
an early start tomorrow. I need a break from
Angela gracefully moved Craig’s hand onto the car
seat. "Don’t worry, Sunshine. There will be time
enough for that later. Right now I could use a nice
hot shower and some dinner. What do you say?" She
was secretly hoping that another few doses of tequila
in the local cantina would raise Craig’s
attractiveness quotient at least to marginally
acceptable. She was finding it harder and harder to
feel desire for the boorish jock she had somehow
become hopelessly entangled with.
Craig seemed satisfied with her modified rebuff and
he started scanning the buildings in the area for what
appeared to be a Mexican version of Holiday Inn.
Funny thing was, down the next street they passed
Angela could see very clearly a Holiday Inn sign. She
pointed, but he was quick to say that they would be
fools to pay for an American brand name here. With a little searching, they
could get "five times the quality at one tenth the
price, no problem." He kept driving, and Angela was
worried that they would soon reach the end of town
when Craig let out a "Wa-hoo!" and pulled into what
looked like a Spanish villa, complete with tile roofs
and palm trees. "The Desert Chihuahua," he said, as
if that explained everything. "I’ve been told by many
a knowledgeable person that this is the place to go.
This is where the locals stay when they’re in town, so
you know it has to be a good place."
Angela was about to say something, but thought better
of it and started to gather her things out of the back seat.