Day 20 – Monday

Escape from Tucson: Day 20 – Monday

Just when…just when I think it won’t get any more bizarre, it does…and in a big way. “How so?” you ask…great question! How about the prettiest little 6-year old blonde-haired, blued-eyed little girl sleeping five feet from me. Oh, and a 120lb dog curled up next to her wide awake, ears up and flicking around listening for any sound at all. Yeah…too freaking bizarre. Oh, but trust me…it gets ever weirder. But I better back up to last night and explain myself.

I had a very rough day of it yesterday, it was so hot and no place for me to really stretch out and sleep. Plus I had to keep moving around to stay in the shade of my poncho. Miserable day. It finally came to an end as the sun was dipping low to the west over the Peloncillo Mountains. I was none too patient to get going. I actually headed out well before dusk, earlier than I normally do, earlier than I should, but I had to get moving.

I knew there was the last turn-off before the railroad tracks; to the right led south to the tracks/interstate, to the left led to a windmill, at least according to my map. I needed to water-up so I was going to windmill and hope for a stock tank. Figured I’ll fill-up and then backtrack to the road and head south. I didn’t really have a plan on how far I was going to walk, I just figured I would keep going along the tracks once I felt it was safe enough to do so. If it wasn’t safe…then I would come up with a different plan. I headed out.

I found the turn-off to the windmill and I no sooner stepped onto that two-track and I felt inside “For this purpose you are here.” What????? I don’t talk like that. Heck, I don’t even think words like that. Then once again, clearly…“For this purpose you are here.” I figured too much sun earlier and too little sleep. I headed to the windmill a couple hundred yards in front of me. Then Beans got weird. I almost don’t even take notice anymore, she acts weird more than she acts normal. But, maybe for her weird is normal. Who knows!

I go into defense mode, pull the Shield out, and start letting my Situational Awareness ratchet up a whole lot. Nothing, I see nothing, I hear nothing, I smell nothing, I sense nothing, and Beans is staying about four feet in front of me. She was crouched low taking no more than a step or two at a time then sniffing the ground. I didn’t like it, nope, not a bit. I was about to turn around and leave quickly, and “For this purpose you are here.” I gave up and walked towards the windmill and I noticed the stock tank which is normal but this one is pretty big. OK, I am supposed to water-up or take a bath is all I could guess. And of course about that time Beans starts to growl, backs up into the front of my legs. I am thinking this is where I die.

I am looking everywhere, I didn’t see a thing, nothing. Beans has her head cocked one way then another. She is sniffing the air so hard I thought she would inhale the water tank a hundred feet away. The thought raced through my mind that I wished I was home watching the “Last Ship.” And of course that is right at the time when Beans took off running at full speed towards an old rusted-out pick-up truck not far from the stock tank. And to make it even better I lose sight of her completely. Hey, I could just turn around and walk away right then and be perfectly accepting of my decision…no remorse…Beans could be on her own.

The of course Beans starts barking like a madman. Well, technically like a mad dog. I quicken my pace towards her like an idiot to see what she is barking at. And then…a little girl’s scream. I think that is when I wet myself. OK, not really, but I thought I might. Beans comes bounding around the pick-up truck like she is playing, then charges the pick-up truck again. And another little girl’s scream. Beans is killing a little girl!! I was ready to shoot Beans.

I was running and didn’t even realize it as I came around the corner of the pick-up truck ready to shoot something or someone. It didn’t really seem to matter to me who or what I shot, I just needed to shoot something. And there’s Beans running around and jumping at this little girl like she is at the park on a Sunday. They are just playing…playing for crying out loud!

Did I mention they were playing?

It was a surreal scene. The end of the world is less than a month old and here is a huge dog and a little girl romping around like they don’t have a care in the world. Playing in the desert, in the middle of nowhere! I was jealous.

The little girl looked at me…the screaming and romping stopped. Beans looked at me like “What?” the little girl just looked at me. I was wondering how long it would be before she started screaming and/or running. Nope! Not today…reality took a vacation. She was just looking at me. That lasted less than a minute…she walks over to me and wrapped her arms around my legs and hugged me. Of course her head didn’t even come up to my waist, she is a little one. But she just hugged me. OK, truth be told, it felt good to be hugged. But, why her? Why me? Why the hug? She should be screaming and running for her life. Beans is just standing there wagging her tail wanting to play some more. Freaking bizarro world.

Maybe two minutes later she let go and started playing with Beans again, never said a word. OK, so what do I do now? Eat of course. I fixed an MRE, the BBQ pork patty to be exact. When it was ready I asked if she would like to share some. She ate the whole thing. I enjoyed the peanut butter on whole wheat cracker. That BBQ pork patty really smelled good.

She was eyeing the Skittles from the MRE and I decided it was time to test my negotiation skills. I told her she could have the Skittles if she would tell me her name and her story. Evidently I have really good negotiating skills or she is a real talker…maybe she just likes Skittles a lot. She started talking…and kept it up for an hour. So where do I begin to even try and relate everything she told me. How about…for now I will just give you the highlights, later I might fill in some of the details.

She had been on a trip with her parents, a family reunion maybe, I am not sure. They were driving at night and the car stopped, everybody’s car stopped. Her dad got really upset and told them to load up their camping gear. Her mom was crying trying to talk to her dad, they were fighting. Finally, they started walking towards some big mountains. Her dad said they would be safe there. She was scared, her mom was crying, her dad was quiet. They walked for a long time. Then the slept for a while. She woke up hearing her parents arguing again. Her mom was saying they needed to go to a rest area till someone came to rescue them. Her dad kept saying no, that it wouldn’t be safe there. They argued a long time. They started walking again. They walked all day and all night.

She said they finally came to a nice place and dad said they were going to camp there for a while. She said her mom wasn’t talking to her dad anymore. After a two days they started eating rabbits and fat little birds that had weird hats on their head. I am thinking quail. They had a place they went to for water, the water ran out of some rocks in a narrow place in the mountains. They only ate twice a day. At night they would sleep by their campfire. She liked the campfire. She would sleep between her parents and she was warm, sometimes too warm.

One night she was warm and got up to go potty. While she was over by the potty bush she saw people walk into camp. They walked over to where her parents were sleeping and “shot them a bunch” in their sleeping bags. She screamed and started to run off. One of the men ran after her and caught her. They started walking away, and walked a long time. There were women with them, mean women.

They came close to a house. The men wanted to stop at the house. The women were scared that the people in the house would hurt them. The men laughed. The women said “no!” They didn’t go to the house. They walked all night. The next morning she woke up and all the adults were sleeping. She ran off and kept running toward the sun.

During the middle of the day she was tired and thirsty and there wasn’t any water to drink and no shade. She stopped and just started to cry because she was hungry, hot, and thirsty. She said three men walked up to her. She wasn’t scared, they were old men, and one of them was a giant. Two of the men stood off to one side like they were looking for someone. The big man came up and held her hand in his, both of his hands. He explained that she needed to keep walking and pointed off in the distance to a windmill. He told her to wait there for a man who would help her and take her home.

I am really struggling to write this, there are tears in my eyes. He said she would have to wait two days but the man would come. She would know him because he would have light colored pants, a green shirt, a big backpack, and a big dog. She asked the big man why he would help her. The man told her that the man would love her and she was the reason he was here. The giant smiled at her and she said she fell over and slept for long time. When she woke up she walked to the windmill. She said she drank a lot of water but had nothing to eat. Every time she would get hungry she would drink a lot of water.

Then she said Beans ran up to her and started playing with her. When she saw me she knew I was the man who loved her and would take her home…that was the reason I was there. That’s why she hugged me. She also said she really likes the BBQ pork patty but she loves the Skittles even more.

Ooopppssss…she is stirring around. Time to fix lunch. I will write more if I can.


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