La Conchita -- reviewed by Mimi Carmen
Imagine what it's like to be making a delivery so important a woman will die if you don't make it on time, and along with everything else there's always the threat of Freddie Altirnato, your chief competitor who "moves like a spirit raptured to heaven" so you're eating the road, slowing to 70 instead of 90, because it's raining cats and dogs, the highway is slick as an ice skating rink, the cars, especially Hondas with their superior attitudes, they really do, and others slower than Methuselah, and you with this mission, like you are a God and Christ knows you're not, and ,yes, you, Gordon, even have a gun, you keep just in case, (you never know, do you) but hey, right now, the most important thing in your life is to get that thing in the trunk of your car to its destination.
So the highway is your savior, your fait accompoli, but whizzing along, suddenly from nowhere, the little town of La Conchita, like part of the mountain, only now there are tons of mud, and an odor like opening a grave, there's a u-haul coming up, a "zombie" driving, his "Zombie" girlfriend and a little white dog, and they're passing you because even you know when to stop, and so they slam right into a Mercedes, the U Hall on its side, the little white dog laying in the road and God knows what else in store, and there's just you, the dumbest cluck in the world about CPR, and that thing in the back of your trunk ticking away in your ears., as if it's the devil incarnate.
So the houses are caving in like "broken eggshells", the mud is like pancake batter, and bristles like an animal. Then you hear a voice, a female begging you, imploring you like a movie star, like the blessed Virgin on the altar, like your mother making you say a prayer. "Help me"
And you are frantic and torn, and in a horrible dilemma. What should you do? There's that thing in the trunk of your car, depending on you to save a life, whispering in your ear as if it's the raven in Poe's poem.
So it comes down to what happens when a decision has to be made, which defines what a person is. I believe that is what the story is about.