It was February in the year 1991 when I had my experience with a ghost. I was 17 years old at the time. One Saturday evening in Phoenix, my high school was having a basketball game, and afterward my cousin and I left the school gymnasium at around 10 p.m.
My cousin is from Tohono O’dham, and I was going to spend the weekend with my aunt’s family. Like myself, my aunt is Yaqui. She married a Tohono O’dham man some years ago and had two kids. One is my cousin.
We got on Interstate 10 and then switched on to South Highway 15 for the drive to the town of Sells on the Tohono O’dham Reservation. About 40 minutes into our drive, we were deep in the desert.
Because my car needed new tires, I had to drive just below the speed limit. The treads were just about completely worn out. I guess I had the type of car that we Indians call an “Indian car.” It was a pretty beat-up looking car, but it got me where I wanted to go.
Anyway, there we were, driving in the middle of the desert with the CD player going, and the darkness all around. Suddenly, a large javelina crossed the road, and I hit that wild pig with a big old “bang!” I didn’t have time to think about stepping on the brakes, because one second there was just the road before us, and the next there was this javelina.
I knew we had some big trouble with the car, because the radiator began to hiss, and steam began pouring out. I immediately drove to the side of the road and stopped the car to check on the damage. Sure enough, that animal had hit the front grill head-on, and a piece of metal had punctured my car’s radiator.
Directly behind the car in the darkness e could hear the pig loudly squealing. It was a weird experience to be alone at night in the desert and to hear the dying sounds of an animal just a few yards away. It kept up the terrible squealing sound for a long, long time. I had a flashlight, but I sure wasn’t going to go check on its injuries without a gun. I know that javelinas can give a nasty bite when cornered or injured.
My cousin said, “You know, with a busted radiator, we’re not going to be able to go any further tonight.”
“Yeah,” I answered. “We’re going to have to spend a cold night in the car, or else start walking and hope someone picks us up.”
We decided to stay with the car, open up the hood, and hopefully, if anyone driving by saw us, they might give us a lift. After about a half hour, the javelina stopped crying.
As we sat in the front seat, we waited and waited for a passing car. A few passed by, but none stopped. I looked at my watch, the time was 12:10 am. Aside from being cold, we were both sleepy. We decided to turn off the car’s radio in order to conserve the battery. At that time we also decided to go outside and sit on the car’s trunk, to keep from falling asleep.
We kept each other up with jokes and talking about the basketball game. After a while we ran out of jokes and things to say. We each started to yawn every few minutes.