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This journal ©1975, 1986, 2012

"Jenny"

"Jenny"

This is a true journal of a trip to Chihuahua, Mexico, from the summer of 1975, written by “Jenny Davis.” All names have been replaced with fictional names, to protect the innocent as well as the guilty.

One journal post is being posted each day, beginning Jan. 1, 2012.

Print (book) version will be available in April 2012 from Everlasting Publishing.

None of the above…

What Really Happened in Mexico coverThis is the new cover!

The Book will be available in paperback very soon!!!

Help me select a cover!

This book is just about ready to be published!

I have several possible covers for the e-book and printed version of “What Really Happened in Mexico.” If you have enjoyed reading any part of this blog, please help me decide by voting on your favorite!

EPILOGUE, APRIL 4, 2012

My Mexican Summer journalLisa went with some of the group onto Mexico City and other destinations, returning two weeks later.

Jenny went on one date with Bart after they came back to the states and she realized they didn’t really have that much in common. (He really was kind of weird.)

She took the highest level Spanish class during her senior year in high school and was the best student in class, sharing many private jokes in Spanish with the teacher, since none of the other students could understand!

Jenny and Lisa have remained great friends all these years. Neither has returned to Chihuahua, but both have considered it. Of course, they would be much wiser, much more cautious, and not take the risks they took in 1975!

FRIDAY, AUGUST 22

Mexican coinsWe are somewhere in a desert, in Nevada, I think. Gregg is driving and the rest of the gang is asleep. I am in love with Jaime, but leaving him. I’m on my way back to my real life and family. No, I don’t think I will marry Jaime, although it is a nice fantasy escape to dream about it. I feel like I am in love with a dream.

Was that all real? Did it happen? Did I dream all of that? The whole trip is just about as real as last night’s dream: it’s a memory; although I do have some tangible proof that I was in Mexico, some coins, gum wrappers, a 7-Up bottle that says ‘hecho in Mexico.’ I have a million memories that will stay with me always, though I suspect some may fade in 60 or 70 years.

Yes, I was in Mexico. Bart told me he’ll call me sometime. My good friend, Bart. He really is nice, in his odd way.

And Lisa. What a time we had together! I feel like God put us together so that we could have exactly the kind of trip that we did have! It’s so funny, everything that happened, like a script to a play and we just wandered in as the characters and lived for a while in Mexico. The experience would not have been the same without Lisa. She is not like anyone else I know!!! I feel like we’ve been friends forever, almost like sisters. I plan to keep in touch with her.

I miss my family. I can’t wait to see them! My life is different now, my whole attitude is different now! My friends will wonder why I stopped getting high. (Maybe I’ll have to get new friends!) Really, I’m high on life! I never want to lose my sight (or my mind!) because of something that I can control. I especially don’t want any substance to control me. (Is that why it’s called a controlled substance?)

I sure feel different about myself, about my life and about the choices I have to make than I did just a few weeks ago! I am OK, just how I am. (Think of the time and money I’ll save! And I am in control now. I can focus in on a whole new direction!)

We’re getting so close, just a few hundred miles or so!  I think I’ll sleep until we get home.

Eso es todo.

LATER THURSDAY

Road in New Mexico

I don’t think I dozed off, but very quickly we were out of Mexico, I mean, we were in Juarez, which is technically still in Mexico, but so close to the U.S., right on the border. Ricardo’s cousin brought the van to the Juarez bus station, and we loaded all our luggage, along with hundreds of souvenirs that the rest of the group had asked us to bring with us, into the van and we proceeded to the border. We waited in line for a long time, and I fell asleep (I had a seat all to myself) until the van finally moved. I woke up, and it was dark, almost midnight, and a border guard was asking each of us where we were born. When he opened the back of the van to do a customs search, he took one look at the tons of stuff we had, glanced at his watch, slammed the door and told us to have a nice trip.

Suddenly, just as we crossed the border, I was homesick, and all I wanted to do was to see my parents again! And Jeremy! I wondered if they missed me? We were in the U.S. again, and I wanted to get home!

We stopped in El Paso to eat American food. (Anita said she never wants to see juevos rancheros again!)  I called my parents, even though it was near midnight back home, and I told them we were on our way!  Dad sounded great!  Mom was asleep, but she woke up to tell me she missed me and to have a safe journey home. Mom sounded great also!

Now we are driving in New Mexico. Everyone is asleep except Bart, who is driving. (He confessed to me that he is only 17! He even showed me his driver’s license, so I know he was telling the truth. He was only 16 before his birthday, but they let him drive the van just because he looks old enough! I didn’t give away his secret. Wow, now he seems so different, now that I know he’s younger than I am.)

I suppose it is now time for me to sleep, also, since I don’t like to write when we were moving! Speaking of moving, we are going to drive straight through, and only stop to eat and get gas, no motels! That’s fine with me! I want to get home!

JUEVES, EL 21 DE AGOSTO

On Jorge's motorcycle

The alarm woke me at 6:30 this morning. Lisa was sick again, so she stayed in bed. (She didn’t have to catch the bus anyway.) I told her about Jaime’s proposal, and she congratulated me, although I told her I’m not at all ready for marriage, and I doubt that I will be in just one year! She and I agreed to keep in touch, and we exchanged phone numbers and addresses. She has become so close to me, like a sister that I never had, a wonderful (non—paranoid) best friend. I can’t describe in words how I feel about her, because the words don’t have meanings when I’m trying to describe these feelings. This is just something that I know. I really like her and I wish all good things for her. She lives in a different city, but we are now bound together by our mutual experiences!

Jaime got up at about 7 to help me get ready to go, and he offered me a ride to the bus station. He gave me a huge hug, a gentle kiss, and reminded me to think about him (as if I needed reminding!) After I packed all my stuff into my suitcase and other purses and bags, I had to go to school to take finals! I had thought we were finished with school, but there was this one last morning of two exams. (Lisa didn’t make it.) The tests were so easy, the classes were more like good-byes, saying adios to all my classmates (that I didn’t really get to know, but, oh, well, we had fun!)

I was on my way home when Jorge pulled up beside me on his motorcycle and offered me a ride. I told him I was leaving in about an hour. He gave me one quick ride around the neighborhood and he told me he will miss me. I’ll miss him too, and his humor, his smile, his companionship. He’s such a sweetie! I thanked him for the ride and entered the house. Cande looked kind of sad, but also relieved (probably because she wanted her privacy back, which she’ll get when Lisa leaves later this evening. Were we good house guests? Cande does look like she has aged a little since we’ve been here. Maybe I should have spent more time with her and gotten to know her better.)

Lisa was up, but still feeling sick, and Jaime was rather quiet, almost mad, I felt, and they both helped me get my things into the car. Suddenly I was leaving Mexico! My trip was over! It happened so fast: Cande handed me a bag with some food she had prepared for me, Jaime drove me to the bus station, un beso, el beso ultimo, Jorge appeared at the bus station for a last good-bye, Bart had saved me a seat on the bus, the crowded bus, and I looked around to see Diego, Carlos, Gregg, Alice, and Anita also on the bus.

The bus was moving, leaving the home I had come to know, and I watched the familiar sights vanish and be replaced by desert. I didn’t want to go. I didn’t cry when Jaime and I parted, but Bart sensed that I was feeling a little down and he tried to cheer me up with some jokes, songs, and funny remarks spoken softly so that only I could hear.

A LITTLE LATER WEDNESDAY

Rocks I found near las barrancas de cobre

Rocks I found near las barrancas de cobre

“Who lives here?”

“I don’t know.”

“Then why do you have the key?”

He just smiled mysteriously and let us in the little cottage. The front room was smartly decorated in maroon and beige, and I noticed an 8 X 10 photo of Jaime on the huge console TV. I wondered if this were his girlfriend’s house, but he interrupted my thoughts with a whisper in my ear.

“I love you, Jenny.” I felt a tingly feeling rush through my body. I held him and he hugged me, and he told me he wanted to be with me, but he was afraid I would get pregnant. I wanted to say something, to do the right thing, to just say no. Although I was a little unsure about the whole situation, I let my passion sweep me away, and I followed him into the tiny bedroom (very cute, in dark blue and white, and as neat as a motel room!) where he kissed me like no guy has ever kissed me before! We slow danced to the music on the radio and held each other close. Everything was perfect. We were in perfect harmony, as close as two human beings can be. I felt a love for him that was so strong.

The next thing I knew, we were in the living room watching cartoons, Road Runner y Speedy Gonzales. Jaime brought me some corn chips and 7, and we crowded into one chair and giggled together.

Now, it all seems so crazy, but at the time, it was the most natural and wonderful experience. I squished my hands in his hair, to feel the funny texture, and he stroked my hair, telling me it was the most beautiful hair he’d ever seen. What a romantic guy! (So why does it seem a little bit corny when I write it down? He made me feel so good!) Before we left the house, he turned me so that I was facing him, and put his hands on my shoulders.

“Next summer, please come back to Mexico so I can marry you,” he insisted.

“I-we-I need-we have to see what happens this year,” I stuttered (sounding like a total fool, I’m sure!)

“No matter what happens, I will always love you, Jenny,” he told me, looking directly into my eyes with his milk-chocolate, sleepy brown eyes. I believed him, but I was unable to say anything! Imagine that, Jenny Davis without a thing to say!

We left the charming little house and walked (on clouds) back to Cande and Miguel’s place. Lisa was in the kitchen talking to Miguel’s sister and her husband, and she beckoned me to join them. I know I was beaming, but I couldn’t follow what they were talking about; I had just had a marriage proposal! (My second one this week! Yet this one was more realistic.) So how could Jaime act so normal? He was so calm!  Well, he did seem extra happy, but he’s always so optimistic anyway.

I was dying to talk to Lisa alone, but we didn’t get a chance. (She seemed to be completely healed!) She was totally involved with the people in the kitchen, and Jaime wanted to sit in the car with me to talk privately for a while. Un beso, dos besos, tres besos. I will miss you. Sure. I will! Sure. I understand, for I will miss you. We promised to write.

Night was falling, and I was very sleepy, so I came to bed to rest, hoping Lisa would come in to talk, but she’s still having a great time in the kitchen. I guess I will talk to her tomorrow. Oh, I can’t believe it, tomorrow is our last day here! Then, most of the group (including Lisa) will be going south to Mexico City and to the coast, but some of us have to return to the states (like I do.)

This different life is almost over! Goodnight!

MIERCOLES, EL 20 DE AGOSTO

historia de amor book coverI woke up very late this morning, talked to Jaime for a few minutes, then walked to school. (Lisa was still sick so she stayed home.) No one was at school, so I walked to a little market to buy some gum, Rolaids, and a newspaper. I passed Claudio walking down the street (seemed like weeks since I had seen him) and we spoke: Que pasa, No mucho, Hasta luego.

When I got back to el instituto, I saw my classmates entering the building, so I caught up with them just in time for a boring lecture. I don’t even know what it was about! Yeah, I know it was about 45 minutes long, then we were free, so I rushed home to see Jaime again.

Jaime was waiting for me to get home, and he asked me if I wanted to go to his cousin’s house with him, and I said sure. First, we walked to his father’s house, where his father lives with his new wife, but no one was home, so we walked a few more blocks to Jaime’s cousin’s house, to take some pictures. We ate lunch there, some veges and rice soup, and the cousins were very nice to me. (They didn’t speak one word of English, though; more Spanish practice, and I understood it all!)

We left and walked to the library, where I bought a copy of ‘Love Story’ in Spanish (‘Historia de Amor’). I thought it was kind of odd, the library selling books, but things are different here and I have come to just accept the odd things as being normal! Jaime and I left the library and walked to a small park and took turns reading portions of the book to each other (How romantic! It sounded even more romantic to hear it in espanol!) but we avoided reading any of the last chapter. I didn’t want to start crying.

The weather was warm and reading made me feel drowsy. Jaime suggested that we go someplace to rest, but not back to Cande and Miguel’s house.

“Adonde?”

“No importa.”

We started walking up the hill, and a light rain started to fall. We started running, and ducked under a tree as the rain got heavier, and just like in the song “Laughter in the Rain,” we were soaked to the skin and I turned to him and he kissed me. We laughed and held each other, and I never wanted that moment to end. I could see in Jaime’s eyes his love for me, he was so sincere and sweet, (so unlike the conceited Dany, eh? Indeed!) I felt the warmth of Jaime’s body, and the warmth of his smile. We decided to run for it (to where? I still didn’t know, but I trusted Jaime) and we cruised as fast as we could a couple of blocks to a very cute little house.

A BIT LATER, STILL TUESDAY

el instituto americano de chihuahua
When we arrived at the house, Lisa was awake and very sick. She was crying from the pain and confessed that she was afraid she was pregnant. She was vomiting and feeling dizzy. Jaime asked her if she wanted to go to the clinic, to see a doctor. (Jaime’s not yet qualified to diagnose an illness.) Lisa said yes, please, anything to help her feel better. I was really getting worried about her.

We drove to a clinic and Jaime went inside for a few minutes, then came to the car and told us we had been referred to the hospital emergency room, so he drove us there. We all went inside, and Jaime spoke with the doctor, who didn’t know English. The doctor did a bunch of tests, told Lisa she’s not pregnant (whew!) and gave her three kinds of medicine to take. Lisa fell asleep in the car, and Jaime carried her into our room when we got home. Lisa didn’t wake up. I hope she feels better soon. I don’t like to see her like this!

At 8:00, Jaime took me to a big fiesta at el instituto. Almost all of our classmates and some of the host families were there, dancing and singing and taking pictures. JoAnne was curious to know who my new guy was (Bart wasn’t there either, Diego said he’s sick also. Must be something they ate at the canyon?) but Jaime wouldn’t even look at JoAnne. A janitor came at 10 and told us he had to lock the doors, so we moved the party to a disco called El Padrino and we danced there for a while, then we all walked the mile or so to La Fuente. Jaime and I danced every dance, and he held me very close during the slow dances. I felt something so strong between us, completely different from the feeling I felt when I was dancing with Claudio the night before. (I hadn’t felt anything for him, I just had a nice time.) But with Jaime, I must’ve been dancing about two feet above the floor, with such a sweet guy right beside me. The dance floor was completely dark during one love song, and the DJ. turned a spotlight right on us! I felt like we were the star couple, like we were glowing! Que suave!

Even though it seemed like we had only been at La Fuente for a few minutes, closing time came and Jaime and I walked home, holding hands. He whispered in my ear that he loved me, and told me that I was the most beautiful girl in the world! Well, thank you, Jaime, you always know exactly what to say! He didn’t try anything, but he gave me a warm, lovely kiss at the door of our room, then he excused himself and went to the guest room.

Lisa is still sleeping. She looks a little better, not so pale. I’m very tired now, what a day! It’s almost 3 A.M. already. Where did the time go? Buenas noches.

LATER TUESDAY

I didn’t have time to dream. Suddenly it was time to go to class, I was already an hour and a half late! Lisa was still sick, so she stayed home to get some more rest. (Miguel went to work this morning, so Lisa won’t have to worry about him again, at least not today.)

When I got to school, Diego told me he was skipping History class, and that sounded like such a good idea, I decided to skip it also.

We went downtown instead, and I bought a couple of cassettes at Discorama and a few little items for myself. Diego bought a flour-sack shirt and a pair of huarachis. We got back to school in time for art class, which was fun, and we made some beautiful flowers that we presented to the teacher as a thank-you for teaching us how to make all the neat things we made in her class.

On the way home from school, I saw Roberto in a foosball hall, and he asked me if I could help him get a sliver out of his finger, so I did. He asked about Lisa, and I told him she had been sick all night. He was worried about her, so he walked home with me. Right when we got to the house, Jaime drove up in Miguel’s car and asked me if I wanted to go to el supermercado with him. Sure, why not? Roberto was checking on Lisa, so I decided to go with Jaime.

The supermercado was more like the stores we go to in the states, with big aisles full of groceries, shopping carts, and a wide variety of processed food, frozen food, and the kind of things we see back home. This store was not at all like the corner mercado Cande goes to every day for her bread and milk. This supermercado had just about everything. The prices were a little higher also. Jaime bought fruits and vegetables for Cande’s kitchen.

We stopped at a small ice cream parlor and ate ice cream cones. Jaime spoke very softly to me and gave me a very special smile.

At that moment, while eating our cones, I felt myself falling in love with Jaime. I don’t know what came over me, but an attraction was building between us, something that I couldn’t control. I could feel his warmth, even though we were sitting four feet apart from each other. When I looked into his eyes, I never wanted to look away (But, of course, I eventually had to tear my eyes away from that beautiful sight.) I didn’t say anything about it, and he just continued to smile at me, very kindly.

I don’t recall the drive back to the house. All my attention was directed toward Jaime. I was trying not to act all goo-goo eyed, but I felt like I was suddenly crazy about him, unable to think of anything but him. I was snapped back to reality when we walked in the house with the groceries; Cande asked us to please go to la farmacia to get some medicine for Lisa, who had gotten worse. I quietly opened the bedroom door to check on Lisa, but she was sleeping. She looked very pale. Jaime and I drove to a place that had a drive-up window and a man gave Jaime a small bottle of pills. We took them back to Cande, and she told us to stay away from the house for awhile, so we played basketball across the street for about an hour, then walked a couple of blocks to Jaime’s cousin’s house. We only stayed for a few minutes. Jaime introduced me to them and then talked to them about his mother (she lives in Mexico City) and then we walked back home.