Lorraine was on the road! She had felt a leading to leave the splendor of the hacienda of El Chapo to return to the States to rescue dogs from the danger of Covid-19. She had seen a news report on her cell phone where the cutest pug had contracted the disease, and she wanted to help other dogs who might be in danger. She remembered her precious dog Suki, and was making this sacrifice in Suki’s memory. 

It was a hard decision to leave Chappie. He treated her like a little princess, bringing her pretty baubles and instructing his staff to keep her comfortable and well-fed. She had enjoyed the time beside the pool, margarita in hand, and would miss it, but she was a warrior and had to jump into the fray. She kind of identified with Wonder Woman but slightly shorter. She couldn’t find her luggage, but had layered on as many dresses as she could, and had jammed as many jewels as possible into her Vuitton handbag. She had picked her way across the jungle floor in her soft leather pumps and had reached a road. Honestly, she thought the shoes would never recover, and it was so hard to find shoes in her size: six-A, so delicate! When she had stuck out her thumb, a man driving a donkey cart had stopped and Lorraine had shuddered but climbed on board. 

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The peasant had eyed her curiously. She was draped in layers of colorful muumuus, her eye make up, normally perfectly applied, had melted into the skin around her eyes, and her black hair which she kept perfectly straightened was a kinky mess. “Gitana?” he had asked. Gypsy?

She sniffed loudly as she did when she was about to make a pronouncement. “No. Airport. Going to airport.” Why did he think she was going to a place called Gitana?

The man knew enough English to understand that word. “Closed,” he said.

Lorraine put her hands over her face and wept. “No es possible!” she exclaimed. “I need to get to the United States!”

“United States?” the man asked. “Closed.”

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Lorraine gave him a dirty look. Was this the only word he knew in English. It was impossible that the United States was closed. “United States,” she repeated firmly. “I have to go there.”

The man shook his head sadly, and clucked his tongue so that the donkey resumed his slow pace on the dirt road. “Now we are getting somewhere,” thought Lorraine. Perhaps he would take her there in this little wagon. It couldn’t be that far. 

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It seemed like days had passed and they were still plodding along through the jungle. Lorraine was accustomed to being fed every few minutes, and she was so hungry. She remembered the snacks that she had jammed into her purse as she ran away, and took out a bag of chips. She tore them open greedily and began shoving them into her mouth in a most unlady-like way. She glanced over at the peasant and remembered her manners, offering him some, but hoping he wouldn’t take any from her small stash. He shook his head and pulled a parcel from inside his coat. He gestured for her to open it, and inside was a thick ham sandwich on crusty bread. He indicated that she could have a bite, and she tore into it, only remembering when she had eaten too much of it, that it was probably this man’s lunch. She handed what was left back to him, and he reached under the seat to pull out a leather wine skin. He handed it to Lorraine and she unscrewed the lid, tilting her head back to drink some of the rough wine. 

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They continued this way, passing the wine skin back and forth until it was the sun was starting to go down. When they arrived in a small village, Lorraine was drunk. They stopped in front of a cantina, and Lorraine stumbled as she climbed down from the wagon. Where were they anyway? She rushed inside the cantina because she had to go potty, and barely noticed the eyes of the drinkers staring at her. 

When she came out of the bathroom she scanned the room for her friend. She found him in conversation with an unsavory-looking hombre. They were arguing in Spanish so she didn’t know what was happening. The peasant was waving his hands in the air and gesturing towards her. 

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Lorraine approached the men, and was surprised when the man in the backwards baseball hat and grizzled face spoke to her in English. “My friend here tells me you want to go to the United States. I can take you there, but it will cost you. You have any money Gypsy Woman?”

Lorraine reached into her purse and took out a few of her jewels and laid them on the table. The man’s eyes grew wide.