It was our first trip to Mexico.
The dust; the sand being kicked up, filtering life and finding every single nook. Three years without rain had driven new species of animal into the American part of the high plateau; alert-eyed little monkeys, wild boar with round chins.
A bag of ice cost just as much as a gallon of gas. You were equally dependant on both as you headed out into the rocky landscape with your tires red from sand and the car radio filled to the brim with wounded country songs or trembling corridos. It was a record heat out there, some 115 degrees in the shade as we touched down in Tucson, Arizona, a dry heat that swept away every drop of sweat.
We were joking about Mexico, the way you do when you´re so close.
Where the asphalt ends you step into darkness, it´s kind of like free falling. Losing both your compass and your moorings. The tortillas are hissing and sizzling, just like in Kerouac´s “On The Road”. The ingrained folds back like a curtain. On the other side of the starred sprinkles of the night the world begins, the global countryside. Where the dogs bite.
We were two tall, pale Gringos passing the border with our cameras and notebooks. We met a social worker and followed her to a hill with squatters, where some fifty homeless families had built shelters out of cardboard nailed to wooden frames with soda tops. It was there, on the slope in Mexican Nogales, that the dog appeared.
Piercing, exact, no frills. A white trouser leg started bleeding from two dark holes. Nobody knew whose dog it was and it disappeared just as quickly as it had revealed itself.