I had been sitting inside all day and was tired of it. I took the phone I had been spinning lazily in my hand and texted my friend Juan.
‘Hey, what are you up to?’
I had suddenly had a a crazy idea.
‘Wanna go watch the Super Moon tonight in a field with me?’
Juan’s response came quickly – he was down. He too had not been up to much this afternoon.
‘What kind of field are we talking about…?’
‘Hahaha. Don’t worry,’ I typed back, sensing that the ellipses were meant to convey a slight hesitance. ‘I’m not going to murder you, I promise.’
Soon we were off in my tiny car – two lawn chairs thrown in the back. The bottles of beer clinked softly in their small red vinyl lunchbox as my car bumped down the road.
We arrived not long after. Parking at a nearby business, we collected the beer and folding chairs and made our way across the busy road.
“So yeah, I don’t know if we’re technically allowed to go in here but…” I trailed off innocently.
“Yeah, it definitely seems like we’re NOT supposed to.” Juan laughed, gesturing to the locked metal gate.
“Technicalities,” I shrugged and handed him my folding chair.
I bent down and swung my body through the space between the wood of the fence.
“Plus, you’re a law student,” I said, bringing my other leg to the ground. “If we get into trouble, I know you’ve got our backs.”
The field I had promised was actually more of a dirt lot. It was a huge open area that sat between a housing development and a stretch of wild brush growth. Every so often, the lot would be filled with hundreds of cars for the area’s local gun show.
Now, however, it was occupied by a huge row of yellow school buses. There must have been at least eighty, lined up side by side. As we walked by them, we saw handwritten paper signs in the windows: NISD, CCISD, AUSTIN ISD, SAISD. In less than two weeks, they would be no doubt be driven out of here and dispersed across South Texas to transport returning students to school.
Although it was still light out, walking along the monolithic row of buses was still a bit eerie.
A small brown hare jumped out in front of us and dashed off into the brush to our left. Our eyes followed it and we saw that beyond the once-green vegetation, partially hidden, sat a creepy-looking ranch of sorts.
“What if someone is watching this place and shoots us?” Juan said with a nervous laugh.
“Oh man, that would be the most boring job ever!” I replied. “Can you imagine watching a dirt field like this all day? In the heat?”
Mild concerns slightly assuaged, we continued walking along. I stopped every so oten to snap pictures while Juan told me about the recent goings-on of his life.
Eventually, we found a spot right next to two gigantic electricity power towers.
We unpacked our chairs, cracked open our beer and sat there talking about our lives.
Behind us, a row of school buses bound for Corpus Christi sat watching in silence. Twenty or so feet in front of us was a long fence that protected a row of backyards. At one point, I caught a glimpse of a pair of sunglasses peering over one of the fences at us. Apparently they didn’t think that we were much of a threat.
Our beer eventually ran out and we went to examine the buses behind us. To our surprise, they were open! We cracked open the sliding door and slowly made our way inside. We climbed the steps and instantly the smell of New Car hit us. These buses were brand new! We quickly exited, not wanting to disturb a brand new vehicle.
By this point, it was almost time for the Super Moon. We sat and watched the sky change as the sun made its journey on to the other side of the world. Wispy clouds burned in the sky and the massive power lines above us hummed with energy.
Soon, the Super Moon emerged on the horizon. It was massive and orange and we watched it ascend into the dark sky. It illuminated everything – I was able to see Juan clearly in the pale light it exuded. I took more than a dozen pictures on my phone, hoping foolishly that one of them would result in something other than a fuzzy ball of light. None of them did.
As we were sat watching the moon, mosquitos feasted on our legs and arms. When a large moth flew into my hair, prompting a flurry of shrill curse words, I knew it was time to head out. We packed up our chairs and began our trek back to my car. The moonlight gave the row of school buses an even creepier feel and we might have walked faster past them than we had on our way in. The brown hare bolted across our path again, bouncing effortlessly across the dirt.
We had most definitely trespassed but we did it responsibly. We took our trash with us, leaving nothing but our footprints in the dirt. I’ve always liked the traveler’s adage: “Take nothing but pictures, leave nothing but footprints, waste nothing but time.”
And that’s just what we did.