July 21, 2008

Short story: I picked up a hitchhiker and didn’t die.

Long story: In the process of trying to get moved, and in the process of making a trip to my new job to fill out insurance paperwork and the like, I lost my driver’s license and social security card. Normally, this would not be a big deal. I would have returned to NM this Friday, gone to the DMV, and got it taken care of there.

However, this is not the case. First, my mother pointed out to me that the DMV closes at 4.30 on Fridays, and since I will be here trying to get campers out the door, it is unlikely that I will be able to get back to NM before then. However, that is the least of my problems, as, back in May, NM implemented the same process for licenses as Texas: come in, do the paperwork, get a temporary, and the real one will be mailed to you in two weeks.

Granted, all I really need in this moment is a temporary so I can get the Uhaul truck. Unfortunately, if I had them mail my license to the address I currently live at in NM, it would stop there, because you can’t forward a driver’s license into another state. My mailing address will change before it will get to me, so it will probably just stall out in the post office, or whatever happens to it. Luckily, some friends of mine still own a house that they are trying to sell in the next town, so I’m putting that address on it and send it there. When it arrives, the realtor (of all people) will be mailing it to me. And because of the closing hours for Friday, it meant that I had to go back to NM today to get the temporary.

Getting the license itself was difficult as they don’t have a credit card machine in a state office (go figure), so I had to wait, leave and get money, then wait again. Wahoo.

I’m driving back to Texas just an hour ago, and I see a young woman in t-shirt and jeans and backpack thumbing it. She looks clean, she looks like a teenager, and as I whiz past her, I can’t help but think, “Oh man, she’s just a kid and she’s hitchhiking! I can’t leave her out here.” Granted, it was just two in the afternoon, but eventually, it wouldn’t be, and there are few places anymore where people should be out walking alone at night.

I circle back around and roll down my window. She sprays Spanish in my face. It takes me a second to get my bearings and pass her a “no habla Espagnole.” We work out that she just needs to get to the next town, and so I tell her to get in.

We fumble through conversation. I learn that she is an ecology student from Peru traveling in the area, and that she is with the Advent Church, or wants to go there, or something. She mentions she has a friend in said next town that can translate. I tell her I’m a music teacher, and we discuss our ages. Turns out, she’s 28. Ha, what did I know.

There is a long silence as we both give up on trying to communicate beyond hand signals. We pass a feedlot, and she makes the casual remark that the cows stink. I agree. Such is Texas.

I let her out, we say our goodbyes, and I’m on my way. It’s funny how just a few days ago, I bought a book on French. If I had gone for the Spanish book, like I nearly did, I might have done just that much better. Oh well. I don’t have an axe in my chest, so I’ll chalk this one up to a good experience.



  1. Glad to know you are safe:)

  2. Glad you’re one of the few good people left in the world. C’mon now ‘Lissa and I always talked back and forth in French and Spanish to each other. The words are quite similar.

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