Part 33

May 23
Woo-Hoo! Memorial Day week-end! A long needed, much deserved break from the writer's dungeon I have locked myself into for the past few weeks.

Artie, Edmund and I have planned a trip to San Diego for some fun-filled days and night sipping pina coladas by the ocean. We called Chloe again and again to find out if she would like to join us but the girl has written us off faster than you can say “Bling-Bling.” Probably off to a romantic get-away in Waikiki or Paris along with her sugar daddy.
Well, juts because we are all dirt poor, that's not gonna spoil our fun is it?

May 24
Saturday Morning, we wake up at the ungodly hour of 6 am to get a head start on the 405 freeway. Grrrr… Not a smooth way to start off the holidays is it?

But after getting a few cups of coffee and donuts (how White trash can we get!), we are happy campers, even singing along to Artie's special road trip mixed tape, full of old school Prince, Michael J. and Madonna. I love the 80s!

We arrive in San Diego, where we are staying at Edmund's parents' very posh house in La Jolla. Thank god the parents are off to Vegas for the week-end which mean we get the beach house, with its spacious four bedrooms, all to ourselves. Woo-Hoooo!!!

1 pm
The ssshhhhh'rrrree of usssshhhhh are awwwllllreeeeedeeeey shhhhdrunk assshhh shhhhkkkuuunnkkksssshhhh Hehehehehe… . Liffffe eessshhh goooddd… Viva all drinkshhh withhh little umbrrrelllaassss

10 pm
sshhhtttiillll shooooo drrruunnkkkk… Whoooppsss, who eesshhh deesssshhh I ammm danceeeeng wiitthhh? Ohhh… waaaiiittt … dattt'ssshhh not a pershhoonn… It'ssshhh juuusshhttt a… pole????

May 25
8:32 a.m.
Arrrrggghhhhhhhhhh… Must decapitate self before head explodes from hang-over… . Where is… water?…

1 pm
Mmmmm… Got out of bed to the smell of delicious French toast and other breakfast goodies prepared by none other than Artaches the Greatest Armenian Cook on earth…

— “Artie, are you sure you're a hairdresser? You could make a really good chef… “

— “Shut up and eat!”

— “Ooohhh, you're so beautiful when you're angry!”

8:45 pm
Edmund is having a party at his house, a mix of Angelino friends who have come down here for the week-end, and some of his old buddies from San Diego, where he grew up.
Luckily, any concerns that I may be the only one on “my” team in this joint are dispelled when I meet some very dashing, and very straight, men among the mix.

We spend the better half of the night dancing and drinking until the wee hours of the morning. After our group is reduced to a more intime circle, we decide to move the party to the beach, where we build a little fire. One of the guys, a brooding, Kurt Cobain type, whips out his guitar and starts singing, with a raspy, sexy voice. I can't believe it. This is too picture-perfect, like a scene from Beach Blanket Bingo! Thankfully without the motorcycle gang members.

May 26
— “Come on sleepy head… wake up… WAKE UP NAZ!”

— “Hmmmm… Leave me alone… I don't wanna leave this place… It's paradise… “

Edmund laughs. “Well, you're welcome to stay, my parents would love to have the daughter they never had moving in… “

— “Deal!”

Reluctantly, I eventually get up. I never thought it would be so depressing to go back home.

12:25 pm
Oh my god… I… I can't believe what's happening. Edmund is losing his mind and… I'm damn near tears…

On our way back to Hell Ay, we encountered a police check point while still near San Diego.

— “What the hell? They're checking for alcohol consumption on a Monday morning?”
Artie shifts nervously.

— “No, I don't think so Naz… I think… They're checking for passports… “

— “What??? That doesn't make any sense. Since when do you need a passport to travel insidethe United States.”

Edmund frowns. “Well, I guess it's cause we're so close to the Mexican border and all… “

I shrug my shoulders. “Still doesn't make any sense… In any case, I just have my driver's license… If that's not good enough then… Hehehe… See you later boys.”

But nobody laughs.

It gets to our turn and the border agent or whomever he is, leans inside the driver window, looking at the three of us suspiciously. He is very tall and built, with his pale, freckled skin burnt by the sun. He has been standing in the horrible heat for hours and he is in a bad mood.

He starts asking us questions, such as our names, where we live, where we are coming from, etc… I try to stay light-hearted but I don't know, it's weird, his questions or rather his tone are making me feel guilty, like I am trying to hide something. Artie meanwhile has turned white. What's his problem? And then, suddenly I wonder… Nakoneh… . No that's impossible, he's been living in the States since he was three. No way he is an illegal… Or could it be…

Whatever it may have been, whether it was the officer's particularly bad mood, or Artie's visible shaken state, we are asked to pull over. The officer signals for Artie to follow him out for “more questioning.”

— “Where are you taking him,” I ask.

“You're nobody to be asking questions!” He replies, before disappearing with Artie.

I am shocked and for once at a loss for words. Tears well up in my eyes and my whole body begins to shake.

Edmund whispers: “Naz, I know you mean well… But don't… It may make things worse…”

— “Edmund, what aren't you telling me?”

— “Shhhhh… Not now Naz… “

After two hours of waiting there, hopeless, I finally make my way to a female officer who is passing by. She looks like less of a bulldog than the other one. Still, I try to be on my best behavior.

— “Please… I've been waiting for my friend for two hours… Could you tell me what's going on?”

Thankfully, this woman seems to be a human being. She asks me to wait and she will inquire as to what is going on.

Ten minutes later, she returns with these crushing news: Artie has been taken away to an INS Detention Center. His name has appeared in their computer system as having been deported years ago!

There's no time to think about if, when or what. There's one person and one person only that I need to contact immediately.

— “Edmund quick get in the car and let's go to the detention center!”

Meanwhile, I grab his phone and dial the numbers.

— “Ali?” I ask breathlessly “I need your help… NOW!”


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