Wednesday, 25 February 2009

24 February 2009

worse. These people don’t bother with appearances.” The first town ahead that had any consequence on the map was called Sabinas Hidalgo. We looked forward to it eagerly. “And the road don’t look any different than the American road” cried Neal “except one mad thing and if you’ll notice, right here, the mileposts are written in kilometers and they click off the distance to Mexico City. See, it’s the only city in the entire land, everything points to it.” There were only 767 more miles to that metropolis; in kilometers that figure was over a thousand. “Damn! I gotta go!” cried Neal. For awhile I closed my eyes in utter exhaustion and kept hearing Neal pound the wheel with his fists and say “Damn” and “God what kicks!” and “Oh what a land!” and “Yes!” We arrived at Sabinas Hidalgo across the desert at about seven o’clock in the morning. We slowed down completely to see this. We woke up Frank in the backseat. We sat up straight to dig. The main street was muddy and full of holes. On each side were dirty brokendown dobe fronts. Burros walked in the street with packs. Barefooted women watched us from dark doorways. It was incredible. The street was completely crowded with people on foot beginning a new day in the Mexican countryside. Old men with handlebar mustaches stared at us. The sight of three bearded bedraggled American youths instead of the usual welldressed tourists was of unusual interest to them. We bounced along over Main Street at ten miles an hour taking everything in. A group of girls walked directly in front of us. As we bounced by one of them said “Where you going man?” I turned to Neal amazed. “Did you hear what she said?” Neal was so astounded he kept on driving slowly and saying “Yes I heard what she said, I certainly gawd-damn well did, Oh me, Oh my, I don’t know what to do I’m so excited and sweetened in this morning world. We’ve finally got to heaven. It couldn’t be cooler, it couldn’t be grander, it couldn’t be any-thing.” “Well let’s go back and pick them up!” I said. “Yes” said Neal and drove right on at five miles an hour. He was knocked-out he didn’t have to do the usual things he would have done in America. “There’s millions of them all along the road by gawd!” he said. Nevertheless he U-turned and came by the girls again. They were headed

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