I leaned into the phone booth situated near the police station in downtown Oaxaca and swiped tears and sweat off my face. The cobbles beneath my tennies felt sticky and I could barely hear the international operator. I added more coins. The line rang. And rang. 

            Then there was Sam’s voice, and I wailed, “They stole ALL my clothes, Sam. Five suitcases! All I have are my pajamas and the jeans I had on last night,”

            Pedestrians skirted the phone both, hurrying past.

            “Have you reported it to the authorities?” Sam’s calm voice grated on me.

            “Yes. They aren’t going to do anything. Six bathing suits, Sam! And the sandals I had made in Denver.” I started to cry again.

            “What do you want me to do?”

            I sniffed and wiped the back of my hand across my eyes. “I have a trunk of clothes in my storage. Get me the red sleeveless t-shirt, the peach flounced dress, my deck shoes…”

            Why would anyone break in to my bus and steal my clothes? All the stuff sold together wouldn’t be as valuable as the Honda generator, but the pendejos left that. Well, they didn’t get my computer, printer, tape deck, camera or jewelry, that was a consolation.

            “I’ll fill a suitcase for you, Ann, just pick me up next Saturday at the airport. At 4:00.”

            “I’ve lost weight, Sam. I guess I’m an eight now. Tell Mom. See you in Mexico.”

            I hung up the phone and slumped into the stone building, tears streaming off my chin. Pedestrians gave me funny looks, but none as funny as I was giving myself. I didn’t want Sam in Mexico with me! What had I done?


2 thoughts on “Uno

  1. You didn’t !!! you didn’t invite Sam to Mexico ! This is a powerful, wonderful ,universal freak out moment. I feel the town and the heat and the rubber neckers and most especially the queasy state of being. How many times have all of us in all sorts of ways sabotaged our adventures by “inviting Sam to mMexico” –


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