Back down the mountain, we drove out to the airport to get Becky's rental car, with the intention of going for a late lunch before I headed back to Silver City. The rental agent gave us a teensy map that showed the location of nearby La Cuenta restaurants. It looked like an easy drive straight down University Boulevard to Lomas, turn right, go less than a half-inch and there you are. It took longer to drive the distance than the map implied, especially since University Blvd. is discontiguous, a fact that the map didn't show. We stumbled onto Yale, then Gibson, traveled through a space-and-time warp, and ended up back on University.

We poked down University behind a bus, looking for Lomas. We found it and made the turn, escaping from the bus. The street turned out to be Las Lomas, not Lomas Boulevard, and rambled into a university parking lot. Becky drove into an alley that opened back on University. We turned onto the Boulevard just behind the same bus we thought we'd outsmarted a few minutes before.

Lomas Boulevard was the next big intersection and we turned right when we got there, heading toward the hospital, where the Grim Reaper, in a hooded robe bound at the waist by a piece of rope, was walking gloomily in the rain, carrying a stack of textbooks instead of a scythe. "Local color!" I screamed and scrambled for my camera. "It's not local color," Becky explained. "It's just some goofy college student." "Nah," I replied. "It's a monk. We have a monastery in Silver City and they look just like that." I snapped the picture anyway, but when I reviewed it, the absence of a face inside the hood scared the hell out of me and I deleted it.

We left Ted's Saturn parked out at the airport's rental car visitor parking lot (note, Albuquerque visitors--FREE PARKING!) and after dinner, drove back out there so I could head home. We drove mostly along the reverse route of our trip to the restaurant, but recognized some of the names of streets we bumped into earlier. "Yale," I said. "We can turn there and we don't have to go clear back out to University."

You'd certainly think so, wouldn't you? Yale ends at Las Lomas in the same parking lot we drove into when we didn't escape from the bus. At least we knew how to get back to University this time, so we did. Near the airport, we followed the signs for "Rental Car Return," which we assumed would take us directly to my car.

Not a chance. We followed those signs meticulously. They led us to onto Sunport Drive, then to Arrivals, pointed us to the cell phone waiting area, led us 240 degrees around the parking deck, back onto Sunport Drive, then back onto University, from whence we had just come. Becky and I had another blinking moment and simultaneously said, "What was THAT all about?" Another warp in the fabric of space and time.