Ciudad Juárez, this infertile woman’s last hope

Never in my wildest dreams, would I have imagined going to Juárez in search of a baby.

Chapter XIII – June 1998

“We crossed the bridge into México, like ants, in sweltering bumper-to-bumper traffic. Two boisterous, mariachi-singing kids jumped on the hood of our rental, sprayed our windshields, and wiped them clean before we could tell them a pair of clowns had already beaten them to it.

“Cleen, meester.”

“Buen servicio.”

They reached their hands into Marty’s window, hawking more of their services as they eyed and counted their coins. We never had the heart to stop them, and we did have squeaky-clean windows. When we thanked them and shook our heads, they tapped the car door and were gone. Heat waves formed in the distance. A wide swath of asphalt split into six lanes overloaded with vehicles and people as far as the eye could see. We moved a car length forward. Stopped.


Minutes passed before Marty shifted. Cars overheated. I fingered the car buttons then checked the glove box and console. Old ladies draped in dirty shawls begged, hands upturned in supplication. Semi-trucks bellowed. Horns blew. Men hawked Jesus statues and velvet paintings of Elvis and mariachi crooner Vicente Fernandez. Buses spewed fumes.

I smoothed out my skirt. Replayed everyone’s good wishes. Pulled my hair back. Checked the bags under my eyes. All the while conjuring in glorious perfection what our Kodak moment would look like. Sappy and saccharine, but all mine.”

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