In four decades of family history on the ranch no immigrant had ever made contact. The effort to capture them, though, is omnipresent in the post-9/11 militarization of the borderlands. The number of vehicles on constant patrol in the Big Bend Sector has more than tripled. Helicopters circle, sometimes for entire days, scanning the hills, bearing down on migrants, driving them to the point of collapse.
Every night, I built a blind in the field from heaped tires, shot pheasants from there. I’d found the rifle at the abandoned shooting range. It was an air gun, fired pellets with hollow points that left holes the shape of keyholes in the targets. So far I had killed two pheasants and, accidentally, one squirrel. I had never seen another person. Squatters occupied the other abandoned warehouses, but squatters avoided the warehouse in the field.
Adulthood has often been explained as the moment you are supposed to know what you are doing. With your life, your job, your hair. Yet judging from the think pieces that continue to trickle out of the Internet, and conversations I’ve been having with people as young as twenty and as old as fifty, it seems that no one really knows, or admits to, having figured out how to be an adult.