The Aztecas marching band is an unstoppable juggernaut, kind of a mobile conjunto assassin squad (picture a Bowie High version of the Borg).  People are cowering in phone booths and doorways.  Abuelas are crossing themselves, mumbling novenas, and fingering rosaries.  It’s a bad day in downtown EP.

The place is crawling with police cars, but the cops don’t seem to be doing anything to stop the Aztecas.  Eventually, through the grapevine, I hear that the cops have a pretty sound strategy:  They know that if they shoot at the Aztecas, the Aztecas will get peeved and shoot more civilians.  So the cops are loading as many people into their cars as possible and hustling them off to Azteca-free neighborhoods.

Well, I figure it’s a good approach overall, but it’s also an approach that got me into this jam in the first place (can’t really blame the cops–they had no way of knowing the Aztecas’ itinerary).  I figure there has to be a way out of this sorry pickle, a way that doesn’t involve relying on the fuzz.

A-ha!  Railroad tracks.  Marching bands don’t follow railroad tracks, railroad tracks lead from downtown to the hinterlands, and as long as you’re close to the tracks, you’re bound to run into civilized people who can point you back home.  So I head for the tracks.

Turns out I’m not the only one who had such a bright idea–there are hundreds of people already there, trudging along out of town.  Looks like an exodus.

Pretty soon, EP’s empty.  Just the Aztecas and the cops are left.  The rest of us are wandering up the tracks, not quite sure where to go.

Then a loud noise woke me up, and that was that.