Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Off to Mexico

By this time, they had nearly reached the Mexican border in their 1970 lime green El Camino. San Diego disappeared in a blur of conversation on meditation and altered mind states. Vince who had traded in his Beamer for the perfect getaway vehicle kept his eyes focused on the road while he listened to Joey talk extensively about his two favorite subjects. Eric sat in the back seat leaning forward in an attempt to hear the topic of conversation over the howling wind.

“The mind is our last frontier,” Joey continued with exaggerated gestures like those of a television salesman. “There is so much to be explored and so little explanation on how to do it,” Joey said. He was too excited to stay sitting in his seat for long. When he turned his head towards Eric, like a dial or knob his hips would twist as well. “The geographical world has been uncovered. Nearly every inch and cranny fully explored and charted extensively except perhaps the deepest oceans and the coldest parts of the poles.”

Vince turned to look at Joey over the rim of his ice black sunglasses. His dark eyes and brows were relaxed. He observed Joey's quick movements and excitability and wondered how long his energy would last. Their trip to Mexico had only just begun and they hadn't even approached the border yet. Vince nodded because he agreed with Joey's ideas and the car peeled down the highway.

Eric watched Vince's shortcut black hair grip the wind, followed his strong neck down to his arm which he held out the window. Anxious, because he got caught up in the spontaneous decision to blow off everything and drive to Mexico, Eric crossed his black shoes at his ankles and held his restless hands in his lap drumming his fingertips together. He leaned further in towards the console trying to hear Joey talk over the high winds storming around the convertible.

Joey's demeanor relaxed for a moment and he took a breath.Vince let go of the wheel and clicked on the radio. A hissing jazz station came on it. He drew his left arm in from the arid burst of wind and stroked his hand through his hair. With the convertible top down, the alto sax's faint call could still be heard over the wind tumbling past the windshield.

Freeway signs for 905-East shot by the El Camino which continued on towards Tijuana. Other green signs announcing the approach of the Mexican border sprouted up in the highway embankments like Picasso cacti. Joey reached out and pretended to grab the distant sign in a tight fist. When it quickly bolted past, he darted his arm back and released his grip. The frills on the sleeve of his red leather overcoat got caught in the wind hurricane rushing by the convertible. The walking bass of the jazz song inflected the wind's roar with a heavy swing.

“There's no rush to get where we're going,” Vince said lifting up his glasses and showing his white teeth in a smile. His faint five o'clock shadow gave his jaw authoritative definition. “Sit back. Enjoy what's brought to us as a gift. We are the prize.” Eric nodded and looked at Vince's sleeveless black leather vest. His muscular upper-arms had several dark tattoos which writhed as he gripped the steering wheel. Vince swung his glasses back up to his eyes shielding them from the afternoon glare and hung his left arm loose out the side of the car. Eric tried to sit back and feel relaxed, but he couldn't get the feeling to stick. He couldn't appreciate that this adventure had really materialized and they were now on the road to Mexico, on a whim.

Joey settled his back against the passenger door and bowed his head down to listen closely to the music. With his focus he picked out sounds amongst the environmental chaos of a drop-top convertible and identified the Dave Brubek quartet. He could hear the familiar song now amongst the gusts of wind. He closed his eyes and filled in the missing pieces till it came in clear.

Soon the traffic around the El Camino began to slow as the border approached. As the car's speed reduced the wind's monopoly on the rider's ears let up, and the end of the song was audible. While the drummer faded out the track with cymbal rolls, Vince switched off the station. Eric looked around at his surroundings and realized that he was scared that it was too late to turn back from this unknown adventure.

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