Hi. This is Gordon. We met at a rest stop in the Sonoran Desert National Monument while I made a cup of coffee. He works at a nearby truck stop, travels via his bike (actually cycled here from Washington state), and sleeps out of doors. He seems to approve of his lifestyle, but also seems rather lonely, as he talked and asked a lot of questions of me. It’s the sort of thing one does when one lacks regular human interaction on a level beyond convenience store clerk.
I don’t remember a lot of what he said, partly because I have a poor memory for that sort of thing, but also because he seemed to ramble quite a bit, and talked just to talk (I don’t like talking just to talk). One constant topic of conversation, though, was illegal immigration and the border patrol. He didn’t have a stance on it as far as I could tell, but he just liked to talk about it a lot. It’s a thing that happens commonly enough in southern Arizona—illegal immigration that is. I should add also that there were a pair of shoes and an abandoned backpack beneath the picnic table we’re sitting at. These things prompted me to ask about them, and away we went. He said they were from illegals that had been picked up here by the patrol. A lot of times they just drop everything (not that they have much to begin with), though they’re allowed very little once they’re caught, anyway. He finds it can be nerve racking sometimes sleeping out at night when he does hear footsteps and the border patrol is everywhere (they like to hassle him a bit) and who knows what the demeanor of the nearby migrant(s) might be. But eventually I left, because it wasn’t in my plans to sleep at a rest stop with a man I barely knew, but also because I became no longer interested in hearing him talk.