The Border: So Close, Yet So Far.


IMMIGRANTThe other morning I was standing out in the side yard with the dogs, Chihuahuas, I’m wearing pajamas, and drinking coffee. The Border is a short distance away.

Suddenly Thelma, Louis and Roger start barking, raising hell. I begin looking for a rattler. Roger found one the day before. I hear water running. The fence runs into the well house. Just outside the enclosure, attached to the well house is a spigot.

I turn and lean over the railing and there’s a guy filling a water bottle from the faucet. It’s morning cold, he’s wearing a broad brimmed felt hat, green hiking jacket, khakis and light brown blanket booties whose purpose is to hide his shoe prints. They’re tied up over his ankles.

He’s shaved, his face is clean, hell, he’s better dressed than I am. My pajamas are a little ragged

He looks like a character out of a Goya painting. A long pleading face, he holds up the water bottle, “Augua?” Looks at me, and I nod yes. He leans back and takes a long pull from the container and holds it under the waterspout again to refill what he just drank. He drinks again and refills again, then gives me a thank you salute with the bottle and takes off. All this happened in less than five minutes. I know I was surprised. I’m sure he was.

He headed north up our valley; I never saw him again. Probably looking for work, or maybe trying to rejoin his family.

My name is Wally Runnels and I write Border Pulp.

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