@44 Cherry Street
The day had finally come for Lorraine’s departure. She was ready to begin the difficult journey back across the border to the US. It was insane, she thought, that she, an American citizen and tax payer, had to sneak across the border like a refugee, but the border had been closed during the pandemic. In addition, it has to be mentioned that she had neglected to grab her passport when she ran away from the hacienda of El Chapo. Crossing the border would be difficult under any conditions.
Lorraine cringed when she put on the clothing that her helper found for her. The togs were worn army surplus camo. She squeezed into a large pair of pants, which she had to roll up at the hem, and a man’s shirt with lots of pockets. Also in the shopping bag were a rain poncho, a serape, and a nasty sweater. She really didn’t want to be bothered taking these, but she had been given a fanny pack with enough room to stuff them into.
“Is cold in the desert at night, señora!” she had been told. “And you don’t want to get wet in the heavy rains.”
She applied her make-up as usual, because that was the first thing she had grabbed before leaving the hacienda. She tried to do something with her hair, but found it was useless, so she found a sombrero on a hook outside the bathroom of the cafe, and she stuck her hair up inside it. She avoided looking at her reflection in the glass window of the cafe.
When she entered the dining room, she saw a pile of boxes in the center of the room, and a line of rag-tag people each being handed one. Each box bore a picture of her lover, Chappie. She asked her English speaking helper what was going on. “The sister of El Chapo, she give this food to the people.” He then muttered something in Spanish.
“Ah!” exclaimed Lorraine. “They are such kind people, aren’t they!”
“Well…” began the man, but decided against bursting her bubble, so stopped himself.
Lorraine knew she would never forget Chappie. He was such a wonderful man and had given her so many valuable gifts. Her Vuitton bag was still stuffed with gems. Obviously there were fewer jewels in the bag because she had to use them to pay her way back home, but she had saved the prettiest ones.
A small cluster of peasants were huddled in a corner of the cafe. “What’s going on over there?” she asked her friend.
“They go across the border too. We wait for the guide”
Lorraine looked them over and decided to keep her distance as they probably had lice.
Suddenly the cafe door was thrown open and a man who looked like a darker version of Indiana Jones strode into the cafe. “You are ready??” he boomed, addressing the peasants. Lorraine’s heart pounded in her chest. The adventure was about to begin, and the guide was so hot!
She obviously didn’t want to leave behind the voluminous dresses she had been given at the hacienda. They were beautiful, colorful, and they fit over her expanded girth. She quickly layered all the dresses on over her camo clothing and then replaced the sombrero on her head. “I’m ready to go!” she declared. Then she turned to her friend. “How do I look?”
“Senora, you are beautiful!” he said. Then in a whisper he added, “You look like a grande piñata.”
“A word of warning, señora, beware of people coming at you wearing blindfolds and carrying long sticks.”