No Papers No Fear Dispatch: Farewells and Full Moons
In the magic hour, under the light of a full moon it was a long good bye in Phoenix Arizona for a group setting off to defy unjust laws in order to dignify them.
The scene was frenetic. A group hunched over a generator, trying out the 5th theory of how to kick start some a/c. The flowing finishing touches of clear coat paint, a labor of love created by many different people. Bags being packed, like a crowded freeway when everyone’s trying to get home.
A lot of anticipation, stress, questioning and excitement. For the last few months I’ve been neck deep and in a serious doggy paddle planning for the No Papers No Fear Ride for Justice. It has been a stretch for me in a many ways. I have questioned its possibility and purpose from every angle. Ran through a million scenarios. Stressed about some potential ones. It has been a heavy lift, with risk for many different people.
The bus took off, Priscilla, my beloved low rider bus. And once the breeze kicked in it didn’t sting so much that there was no AC. After people both cheering the bus and its riders on, there was an element of sadness. Once we turned off into the main street, turned onto the I-10 everyone become silent, turning into themselves perhaps already feeling the distance of their families and daily lives.
The solemn mood was shook when all of a sudden, we pull over and the announcement comes from the front, ‘Bus is overheating!’ Not even out 40 minutes from Phoenix and everyone shoots up and spills out onto the highway. Out of the city, it was all stars and moon front and center. It wasn’t long before someone bellowed out, “This is like the movie ‘The Hills Have Eyes!” We waited there, sitting alongside the road, braving the big trucks passing by at what felt like breakneck speed. We took turns cracking jokes and talking shit, claming each other jokingly for Priscilla’s malaise. Maybe an hour passed, and I began to worry about how this was all going to shake out. I realized that this was going to be a very long night, and that our first stretch of plans would be a victim to reality. I’m deep in thought, pondering how people will handle this curveball, how will we fix it? In the distance I hear Selena…’Carcacha..poco a poquito..no me vayas a dejaaaaar,’ and hearty laughter coming from inside the bus. I laughed out loud. What else could any of us do?
After all of the planning, checking, looping back around..when the rubber hits the road, there’s no telling what will happen. So far, spirits are high..and I am more aware than ever that its the places we’ll go, but the journey will also be those moments, when things are not as planned and when no one is watching. When each of us is faced with a dilemma, with the opportunity to demonstrate character, learn and teach. So far, so good.
P.S. Priscilla eventually cooled down and made it over the mountains. Up next ABQ