Border Questions

I really should do the metaphysical equivalent of dumpster diving to find my source material, as I’m sure I’ve recorded these events before. Observation, opinions, and questions, no answers, just an observer with “no dog in this fight,” except for my own citizenship. I guess.

The first dates back close to a decade, and involves me driving a first edition Prius along my favorite juggernaut, Interstate Ten, just east of El Paso. Border Patrol stop, outside Van Horn, I’ll look for that entry, and an officer Gonzales getting up, in my face, well, getting blustery, at half a foot or more shorter than me, and I was wearing sandals, he wasn’t ‘in my face’ so much as a guy with a badge and a gun.

I do tend to obey, just easier, these days, and I was trying to capture a setting sun, a rising moon, the valley, the light, and the border stop was the wrong place to do it. Wanted to make sure I was a citizen. At the time, lots of sun exposure, I was, might’ve, doubt it, but I can dream, I might’ve looked something other than ‘pale white guy.’

I’ve traveled West Texas for so long, flying in and out of El Paso quarterly for more than a decade, I’ve watched as the town’s population has exploded.

It’s the airport I know. More so than any other airport except maybe Dallas Love Field, or Phoenix Sky Harbor, El Paso is a special spot. Leaving, there’s a long hike from the curb check-in to the first security check-point, not even there anymore, and then escalators up to the next heck point, disrobe, dump out the backpack, struggle out of boots, and then, long hike down the concourse.

Approaching the landing, from the ground level, between two and four border patrol agents peer down, and I’ve watched, from time to time, as agents have tapped passengers, the agents apparently requesting ID, ticket and residency status.

I used to be able to carry a ‘folding hunter,’ slip-joint folding knife with a five-inch blade. Never raised an eyebrow at the El Paso airport. Pre-911, best guess.

Is it right? I don’t know.

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