"MEXICO CITY, HOME & ME!"
by Judy Jones
Whoa! Night, a woman alone
with a heavy backpack taking the subway
in Mexico City, could be dangerous. My
thoughts as the bus pulls in the station
from Santa Maria Orphanage.
I made it! Startled, the front desk
clerk at the hostel I made reservations
at stutters "Eh, Er this is a 'youth' hostel'.
"Yes, I am a tad older than 'youth' but
I'm leaving at five in the morning to
catch a plane and I can take a few
hours with noisy college kids, so
don't worry about me!"
"We only have one bed, its a top
bunk in a dorm with eight guys",
he answers still trying to
"For eight dollars a night,
I'll sleep on the roof. I'll take it."
The room is a disaster..exactly how
it should be with eight college guys.
Climbing up to the top bunk, suddenly
I stop in midair..no-way, I'm afraid of
heights. "Take mine" beckons a sweet
voice from below. "Oh thanks!" I reply
Curling up for a much needed nap
before going to eat, accents from
around the world filter in my ears.
Peering out thru the iron bars at
the foot of my lower bunk I see
long moving legs! The bars remind
me of a prison movie.
There is exhilarating energy in this
youth hostel..passing on information,
making dates for the evening. Lots
of laughter. Makes up for all the dirt.
Smoke, I smell smoke! (not so exhilarating)
I didn't know they allowed smoking.
Well, it is only eight bucks I remind myself.
Mexico City is bustling at nine at night.
Its a great city. I take a cab to the Zona
Rosa tourist area to find a restaurant.
The cab drivers have been wonderful
and inexpensive. All the propaganada
that keep us afraid (like I read about
Mexico City cab drivers) is a killer to
life. I would rather die living than live dead.
After I eat I search for an internet cafe.
Many to choose from! Going in one I flee
quickly..smoking..everyone is smoking.
I find one two doors down. For twenty
pecos an hour I am connected to the
whole planet earth. I'm one of the few
artists that welcomes the rapid
technological evolution our planet
is going thru.
Popping in a cozy looking bookstore
on my way to finding a cab, the armed
guard at the door saddens me. Would
he really shoot someone for stealing
a book? The huge gun he is wearing
says 'yes'. I decide not to stay and
head for the hostel.
Its 4:30am and the cab the front desk
clerk was supposed to order for me
last night hasn't arrived. Panic stricken
I finally see one from the window, run
outside and jump in. The driver nodded
yes to taking me to the airport.
Five minutes later he pulls up in front
of a hotel in the Zona Rosa district.
I hadn't brought a Spanish dictionary
so I draw a picture of a plane for him.
Nodding he drives to another hotel!
(I had considered myself an artist)
I flap my arms, no recognition from
the driver. Rolling down my window
I shout to a passerby who explains
to the driver who immediately whisks
me to the airport just in time
to catch my plane.
Watching the ground turn into tiny
dots as the plane takes off, I realize
I am only half alive until I become
all I was ever meant to be,
"ON THE ROAD WITH JUDY!"
The Bones of the Homeless
by Judy Jones
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