In Writing

Saturday, October 18

Today is packed with two events plus lots of driving in between. I love handling the details of travel – packing and hauling my bags (and learning to pack lighter and lighter), finding my way on unfamiliar highways. It makes me feel badass.

The two events are awesome (I pilfer posters for posterity).

Highlight: I check in at Embassy Suites and I’m informed that I’m just in time for complimentary cocktails. And although I haven’t had real alcohol in months due to The Stomach Issues, I throw caution to the wind and have two Cosmos. They’re divine. They’re made yummier by the too-young cutie from Chicago on a business trip who strikes up a conversation at the bar. He makes the move but I assure you I keep my virtue intact. Mostly because at this point I’m so sleepy that I’m sure I’d fall asleep on him mid-tryst. Also, damn Catholic schoolgirl morality.

2:10 am
Throwing caution to the wind with those two Cosmos was a really stupid idea. Feeling it in my belly something awful.

Sunday, October 19th

I lounge in my beautiful king-sized hotel room reading Gone Girl, not wanting to let it go. Finally, I shampoo my hair and fuss over it. I discover what it takes to get my hair to hold a curl: wash it in San Diego water. It’s never looked more fabulous.

The last event is the best attended, a hometown crowd for two of our authors. The Barnes and Noble guy who put it together is awesome, bubbly and enthusiastic. It’s so great to meet cool people all over the place.

I linger after the event, change in my travel clothes in the bathroom. I’ve got six hours to kill before my flight.

Then it occurs to me how damn close I am to the border. I haven’t been there in over 35 years. Since I crossed it undocumented. And suddenly I know I am going to go see it again.

I head down the 5 to Border Field State Park. It takes a little over 40 minutes and there I am on the dusty, solitary road. It’s only 15 minutes until closing but the baby-faced uniformed girl still charges me $5 to get in.

I drive the car through the twisty one-lane path, to the edge of the beach. I am completely alone. The sun is going down. I take off my sneakers and walk as close as I can get to big, ugly fence, then turn right walk toward the water. On the Mexican side, they can get all the way up to their side of the fence. A few people peer at me curiously, this sweatpanted, barefoot woman staring back at their side. I am looking for something familiar.

I watch the sun go down for a bit, take a few pictures. There’s no fanfare. I am here, on this side. That is all.


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