When my driver first pulled in, I was a little confused because his front plate looked European to me and he was driving a Volvo wagon. A lot of European drivers here will keep their plates because my state only requires a back plate for the state. When I got into the car, I noticed his voice was heavily accented, and I thanked him for finding me, and I asked if he minded telling me where he was from. (He also had on very, very strong cologne. Yikes! Don’t get me wrong, I sometimes miss manly men and cologne, but I also have mast cell activation syndrome, and I start getting hives all over from strong chemicals and smells.)

The driver explained that he was originally from Mexico City. He said he learned European English, so when he emigrated to the U.S., everyone complained about his English. He had an extensive vocabulary so I can’t understand the complaints. He was very talkative and it was great conversation that flowed easily. I can’t remember how everything evolved in our conversation, but I mentioned that I lived in New Mexico for a time, and that my former boyfriend’s dad worked at Los Alamos Labs and it was always very secretive. He asked if that was the same as Roswell with the aliens. I laughed and said no. The driver said he knew people who had lived there, and they talked about working at some sort of base where an “official” came to visit a couple of times a year and everyone was forced to turn around when the guy entered a specific door. No one was allowed to ask him questions, and no one was allowed to look inside the door. This was happening in the ’90’s. And when the driver was still living in Mexico City, there were many sightings of unusual activity, and he had wished he had the equipment to capture it himself. We agreed that it was very presumptuous for us to think that we as humans on Earth were the only intelligent life forms in existence and there had to be more and different out there.

Talk turned to his family. I asked if he had family here in the states and he explained that his mom and aunts were here now. We talked a little about the surname naming schemes in Latinx culture and how reliable the records are at the points of origin. He told me his entire name and I told him it sounded like poetry, and he thanked me. He told me his son is a writer, and is doing research to write about their family. My driver’s great-grandfather was set to become governor but was instead murdered by his friends because they didn’t like that he was a champion for poor people, even though he was a successful farmer himself. He said that his family was all still very close, and his elderly mom takes turns staying with him and his siblings throughout the year. She is the most important woman to everyone in the family right now. It’s something that I’m endlessly fascinated by because my families are stoic and tend to take on the motto of “Every man for himself,” and it’s the opposite for Latinx families and cultures. Once you’re in, you’re in, but you had better show up for life.

Here is some alien art, in case you haven’t had enough of it:

Get the dog! Get the cat! Alien laundry day!