Anti Arizona (45)

We were having breakfast together at my favorite place, Palm Greens Cafe, where once when they brought my food I commented about what a glutton I was being, and the kitchen staff serving me smiled an impish smile and said, “Yes, but a gluten-free glutton!” If I hadn’t already been charmed by the place, that alone would have won me over, stolen my word-loving heart. But when Corina told me she was considering Arizona for the next stage of her young wandering life, I think I went into some weird autopilot. I don’t remember half of what I said, only my gluten-free vegan pancakes with blueberries sitting untouched before me during my diatribe and the surprised looks on her parents’ faces across the table. I know I told them I didn’t want to spend one cent in Arizona because of their racist legislation and their lies. (I read one of the reasons they claimed to have crafted the anti-Mexican, anti-immigrant laws was because of increased violence along their southern border. But in truth, violent crime has gone down there in recent years.) I know I told them if I needed to go to New Mexico or Colorado from some reason, I would fill up the gas tank in Blythe and drive straight through their pretty desert state. I know my voice and my words were harsh, maybe shockingly so. I called Corina later to apologize for my vehemence. “I know it’s beautiful,” I said. “I can understand you wanting to go there.” But I’m still praying she’ll pick another spot.