Dream of: 14 January 1998 "Risky Business"

A tall strong American Indian-type man was standing in front of me, listening to me explain my plans to travel to the interior of Mexico in search of psychotropic plants. I anticipated the man would be accompanying me, and I wanted him to understand exactly what we would be searching for. Basically, I would be concentrating on psilocybin mushrooms and cacti. I told the man we would find whole fields full of mushrooms and I also tried to describe to him the small peyote cacti which would be growing close to the ground, about the size of a curled-up hand.

***

My plans had changed radically. Instead of mushrooms and cacti, I was now concentrated on marijuana – a lot of marijuana. Walls would be traveling to Mexico with me, and he was now driving the car in which I was sitting in the front passenger seat. The plan was growing increasingly complicated. We pulled up next to another car and with my window down, I began talking with a woman sitting in the other car. I was planning to buy the marijuana from her, and we discussed some of the terms. At first we were talking about hundreds of pounds, but as the negotiations progressed, I decided it might be wiser if I only bought one pound the first time; I could always buy more later, when I became better acquainted with the woman.

***

The woman and I were sitting in the back seat of the car which Walls was driving. She was probably in her early 30s and had short brown hair. Although I wasn't completely certain of her role in the proposed marijuana deal, I was immensely impressed by her bearing and aplomb. She clearly understood the risk that would be involved, especially with crossing the border into the United States with the marijuana; yet she had successfully conquered her fear and was willing to take the risk. Her fortitude empowered me, and I saw more clearly that I was also convinced of the importance of the task before us. After all, this is what I had long wanted to do, but had been too timid to act. At last I felt free of my own fear, and was ready to proceed with the effort.

Our first task was to decide exactly where we would cross the border. We were driving around the streets of Laredo, discussing our plans. Being in Laredo allowed me to call upon old memories of a previous successful marijuana smuggling operation in which I had once been involved. Those powerful memories were still vivid in my mind, 25 years after the fact. I could still see Buckner, in the dead of night, swimming back across the Rio Grande from Mexico, holding onto a black inner tube with the bricks of marijuana secured in a plastic garbage sack, while I waited on the high bank on the American side. The episode had been so long ago; but it gave me so much experience upon which to call. Maybe I wasn't an expert in this business, but I wasn't a complete novice either.

Besides having previous experience in smuggling, I also had another skill which would prove valuable: I spoke good Spanish. The woman and I had already been out of the car once and I had spoken Spanish to someone on the street (it seemed most of the people in Laredo were Hispanic). I was sure the woman had appreciated my ability with the language and she had immediately grasped that my Spanish would later be of great help.

At the moment, our principle concern was deciding exactly where we would cross the border back from Mexico. I wanted to go somewhere west of Laredo, perhaps even to another state. I recalled the last time I had visited the Big Bend area I had been impressed by the wide-open spaces of the mountains along the river. Although the terrain was difficult, the area was almost completely un-patrolled. If we could work out the logistics, the mountains might give us the best protection.

Or we might go even farther west. I had difficulty remembering which state neighbored Texas to the west. The woman pulled out a map, and mentioned that one state along the border was Idaho, where she lived. I had forgotten Idaho was on the Mexican border. Beyond Idaho was California; I supposed it was possible we could go all the way to California, but I didn't want to go that far, mainly because I figured the California border was heavily patrolled. In all likelihood we would end up staying in Texas.

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