Borderless by Deborah A. Upton

Back in the 70s I drove my wife, her niece, and two in-law sisters
down to the border to shop. We went in a pickup truck. Up front were
me, a sister-in-law, and a niece. In the covered back were my wife
and another sister. We crossed the Rio Grande. They shopped for
Mexican pottery, glass roosters, and a concrete donkey with a cart.

I wandered around. One shop had a slab of meat still with ribs
hanging in the window. It looked dried up. Flies had feasted on it,
many still clung to it.

Being hungry, I went back to the truck. Opening the ice chest I found
no ice. I wasn’t in the mood to eat melted cheese on wilted lettuce,
but that’s all I had.

Later, I loaded the truck, almost breaking my back lifting that heavy
concrete donkey cart. By then, I was fed up with the whole trip. I
told my sister-in-law, the one who had ridden up front on the way
down, that since she was the one with the donkey cart, she’d have to
ride in back on the way home.

My wife glared at me.

Later back home, I found out that sister-in-law had a bad case of
hemorrhoids. And I had been so insistent. I’m just glad I was up
front and couldn’t hear the complaining.

I don’t ever want to go back to the border, especially, with a bunch
of shopping women.


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Filed under Deborah A. Upton

18 responses to “Borderless by Deborah A. Upton

  1. Heeheehee *snort* Funny!

  2. a true oddity this – love that people actually go shopping for glass roosters

    • Deborah A. Upton

      I remember glass roosters well. Colors were streaked on the inside of glass. (That sounds like an odd way to put it, but that’s what it looked like!)

  3. Haha! Love the glass roosters, the hemorrhoids. Peace…

  4. Kelly

    just a touch of sympathy about the in-laws ‘condition’ to show he’s not an entirely hermetic fellow – I wanted to know why he was talking, and to whom. nice character sketch

    • Deborah A. Upton

      He evidently does have a sensitive side! Good point: He was talking to a friend. The friend was trying to talk him into going to the border with him.

  5. How I laughed! I could picture the whole thing – especially those riding in the back of the truck. I liked the husband’s voice – and the cement donkey and cart… priceless! Doris

    • Deborah A. Upton

      I wrestled with the words concrete and cement. The donkey and cart were probably made of cement–I can’t imagine sand and gravel being added to the cement to make them! Anyway, I finally settled on concrete because I thought it made the objects sound heavier–you know, like how heavy a freeway overpass would be! The man probably thought that too since it was his back paying the price!

  6. Great details lend to the humor in your piece and I liked the quirky characters also. Well drawn!

    • Deborah A. Upton

      Details help make connections, weaving the story together, so I’m pleased the details I used lead to the humor I was hoping to convey. Thanks.

  7. that was a lovely piece that felt real with undertones of cycnism. refreshing.

  8. Yeah, stay away from them shopping women! LOL

    The guy is well-drawn, but I really liked the detail of not wanted to eat that cheese sandwich so he goes hungry, in Mexico! What a rube.

  9. Pingback: Week #37 – Border town | 52|250 A Year of Flash

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