LA CALLE ENTRE DE TAPACHULA Y OAXACA — For those of you who took Spanish in high school or college and forgot most or all of it since, the dateline reads, “the road between Tapachula and Oaxaca.”
I’m headed north, which wasn’t the plan at all. In fact, at no point on this journey did I think I’d be backtracking 12 hours for any reason. And paying a cool $1,000 American for the privilege of this one-way ticket aboard a brand new Ford F-350 dually with a covered flatbed…complete with a “Made in Kentucky Ford Truck Plant” sticker in the lower right corner of the windshield? Definitely not. Yet, here I am sitting in the cab next to Jesus. (Can’t make that up!) And riding in the flatbed resting up for his shift at the wheel on the way home is none other than Juan, which of course translates to John.
Jesus, Juan and Adam riding through the mountains at night on their way to see the wise men that know how to fix my lame steed.
And then theres Paul. Or Paolina rather. (Believe me, she’s no Paul.) The chica whom I met in Ciudad Mexico who’s going to take a 6-hr bus ride to Oaxaca to see me.
If this is some kind of all-saints express, I wish my moto were not the sacrificial lamb. But that is the metaphor at work here, and who am to argue with that?
One of the rules of this trip for me was “Barone, don’t fall in love. Seriously, love has been such an overwrought cliche in everything you’ve done. Seriously, don’t. I know you have a weakness for deep brown eyes, mocha skin, and all that is lovely Latina loveliness, so indulge if you must, but for St. Pete’s sake… Love. And. Leave.
And I will. I’ve told Pao that I am committed to the completion and mission of this trip and that nothing will stop me, not even those dimples.
Yet, both man and machine have conspired to send me back in her direction. Man as in Germans not licensing a single BMW Motorrad dealer in the entire Mexican State of Chiapas. Machine as in the Rumble Bee being a little bitch about keeping her engine parts cool under the blazing Sol de Mexico.
I really am just the rider in all this. One, maybe two months in Mexico has become three and counting, but at least I’m still riding. Whether in a truck, on my moto, or the waves of cosmic events.