As of this writing, Dear Reader, Your Reporter is sitting in the 24hr Internet Cafe on 2nd street between Constitution Avenue and Revolucion Avenue in downtown Tijuana. How did I get here, you ask? I will relate the past two days two you, Dear Reader...
Flashback: I was lounging in my apartment in Juarez City sipping a whiskey sour and finishing that fierce chapter of Tralala in Shelbey's Last Exit to Brooklyn when there was a knock on my door. I answered and it was my boy, Tony. He asked me to come down stairs because he had a surprise for me. Down the concrete stairs and into the dank alley and what I saw was a banged up powder blue 1989 Ford Mustang. I asked where he got the car and he said his uncle gave it to him. That was good enough for me. After a booze fueled trip around the city, we parked up on a ravine over looking the city and in a tender and romantic moment watching the sun set over the Franklin Mountains, Tony cam up with the idea of moving to San Diego and starting a brand knew life together there. I confided in him that jobs were better, living conditions were better, just everything was better. So, the agreement was made and before we could change our minds our bags were packed and we were crossing the international bridge to El Paso.
We were both high off of quite a bit of tea when we crossed to the customs officer, but by a miracle, he glanced over our identifications and just waved us on. Wow.
After a brief breakfast at McDonalds in Las Cruces, N.M., the morning drive on the I-10 was pretty uneventful. I dozed off as Tony drove. We heard this loud pop and steam began boiling from under the hood. We pulled over, and as Tony checked the engine he finally realized that the motor had blown its gasket. Well, we didn’t have an extra one, so there we were searching among the shrubbery for some damn metal stopper. Once found, Tony screwed the thing back in and off we went. Not thirty miles down the road the damn thing blew out again. Finding it in the bushes, once again Tony asserted it in its place and we drove on. About twenty miles down, it blew out again and I nearly lost my mind. There was a truck stop nearby in a town called Deming in southern New Mexico; we drove the smoldering car there to the garage. The inbred grease monkeys that were somehow employed at the service station stated that they could replace the gasket with a new one. I said fine and that set me back for about seventy dollars. Tony and I ate lunch in the diner surrounded by surly truckers waiting the hour or so to replace an object that Tony screwed in under a matter of minutes.
About two hundred miles west of Demming, the spanking brand new seventy-dollar gasket blew out and rolled into the middle of the interstate. During a dust storm, Tony and I searched for the piece of shit, found it and drove up to a motel/rest area in the middle of the New Mexico desert. We inquired about a mechanic and were told that “Chief” was gone but would be reached on his cell phone. We were asked to go wait in the bar next to the little motel; we would be notified when “Chief” would arrive.
And so, in a dark bar, sprinkled with Indians and red necks, Tony and I downed a Coors waiting for “Chief”. There was this old coot telling a story to two scrawny blond haired farm boys. At my feet sat the biggest damn dog I’d ever seen. It looked like a cross between a rottweiler and a Dalmatian. It slobbered profusely.
I sat listening to the story the old wrinkled cowboy was telling the farmhands over a couple of beers: “My partner was going through the joint. The guy was sleeping, and I was standing over him with a three-foot length of pipe I found in the bathroom. The pipe had a faucet on the end of it, see? All of a sudden he comes up and jumps straight out off the bed, running. I let him have it with the faucet end, and he goes running right out into the other room, the blood spurting out of his head ten feet every time his heart beat.” He made a pumping motion with his hand. “You could see the brain there and the blood coming out of it.” The old man began to laugh uncontrollably. “My girl was waiting out in the car. She called me—ha ha---she called me---ha ha---a cold blooded killer!” He laughed until his face was purple.
Suddenly, the door of the bar flung open and standing in the blinding light was an ancient Indian wearing boots, tattered jeans, a colorful southwestern shirt and black Stetson. The man was drunk off his ass.
“Which one of you motherfuckers need a goddamn gasket?!” He bellowed, swaying in his alligator boots. Obviously, this was “Chief”.
“Uh.” I stood up with a little wave. “We do.”
He stared at me hard. Looked at Tony, with his vaguely Indian face and smiled, “Well, boys. Let’s go check on your car.”
I explained our trip to Chief as he checked under the hood. He mumbled something and then stood up straight. “Okay. That’ll be two dollars for the gasket and twenty dollars for the service.
It’ll take me about an hour to go to my garage and get the gasket, return, and put it in. Is that fine with you?”
We both smiled. I said, “Where the hell were you in Demming.”
“Yeah, there are a lot of dumb ass crooks around.” Chief smiled a toothless old woman grin; “We’re all in this together, right?”
After a few beers, Tony and I were on our way again happily guzzling Pepsi’s and sucking on beef jerkies. As we were coming into Wilcox, Arizona there was a loud pop and the engine began to steam and then issue black smoke. Tony checked and said it was the gasket. We searched for hours and we couldn’t find it.
Finally, we drove the car into Wilcox and decided to stay the night. Wilcox was a flat town of sage bushes and wind blistered one story houses, a gas station, a hotel, and a bar. I checked us into a cheap hotel and after we showered we walked next door to the only restaurant and had dinner amid three polyester clad geriatrics. We knew that the car was not going to make it to San Diego and so, Tony decided to sell it. I encouraged him in the fact that when he got to San Diego, attained a job, he would easily be able to buy a new one.
After much needed nights sleep and after taking care of each others morning erections, (Tony fucks like a godamn pornstar) we packed our things and headed out to a Ford dealer to see how much we could get for the car. The Ford dealership didn’t want it. We drove over to the junkyard and “Smitty”, the knuckle dragging white eyebrowed red faced junk man priced it at fifty dollars. Disgruntled, we found a used car lot at the edge of town. The owner was a tall skinny older woman with a blond beehive. She looked like Flo from Alice. She wanted the car for one hundred dollars. We both stood there with our mouths agape. This old cunt really knew how to take advantage of a situation. Tired and weary, Tony agreed. As he filled out the paperwork, I made cordial conversation with the owner.
I mentioned. “This town is pretty small. What is you import/export? What keeps this town alive?”
Without missing a beat, she smiled, eyeing Tony. “Oh, we have a lot of sex.” She sneered at me staring at my Willy Wonka sunglasses. "Are those womens glasses?"
I have to get out of here.
We chuckled that off and after Tony finished signing off the title we went to the car to get our things.
There was a young Mexican checking the burned out parts. He stated that it would be cheaper to buy another car than replace the engine. I jokingly repeated the remark that his boss said about the sexual nature of the town.
“She’s right. There’s a lot of goats around here.”
The mechanic gave us a ride to the Greyhound station, which was actually part of a souvenir shop. We purchased our tickets and were told that the bus would not arrive until seven o’clock that evening. Well, since we had ten hours to kill, Tony and I set out to explore the teeming metropolis of Wilcox, AZ.
Tony wanted to find a cool bar and get out of the sun so we wondered into a little cantina on the main strip. It was made out of a log cabin and had all kinds of farmer stuff on the walls. Tony and I drank beer and sampled several tequilas as we played pool. I kept playing These Dreams by Roy Orbison over and over again to irritate the old farmers that huddled over their drinks at the end of the dusty bar, eying us with distrust. Tony’s pick was Hotel California by the Eagles ecstatically playing air guitar with a pool stick, so we alternated between the two. One thing about Tony is that he’s not a barfly as that he is uncomfortable drinking in public places. So, four hours before our bus arrived I bought three forty ouncers of beer and some beef jerky and we sat behind a warehouse next to some railroad tracks to drink and talk.
The conversation pretty much centered on our friendship. I love him so much and he says the same. You know that a couple of forties can really bring out the truth in a relationship. We both became drunk and by time our bus arrived we were sloshed.
The bus was packed and we were forced to stand until we reached Tucson. Tony looked like he was going to puke. The ride there was uneventful. During the night as we came into Los Angeles, there was a gang of loud black women that kept everyone awake with their antics.
“Oh shit! My boyfriend’s got the biggest dick! When we fuck, I be screamin’ so fuckin’ loud the neighbors be yellin’ to shut the fuck up!”
“I knows it! My baby loves it when I be suckin’ his big dick! ‘Suck it, baby, oh shit, suck it!’”
“My baby be fuckin’ my booty all night! I be bouncin’ on that shit an’ we both be moanin’ an’ shit!”
They would all bust out into raucous laughter.
By dawn we had reached the downtown bus terminal in San Diego. It was a very weird feeling. It was cold and drizzling as Tony and I rushed over to St. Vincent de Paul’s to sign up for a bed. Once we arrived, there was a long line. We found out that the shelter was packed because of winter and the rain. There were some people that were the first in line and had been waiting for a week for a bed. That was not good news.
I told Tony not to worry; we’ll just try again tomorrow. We took the red trolley down to the Mexican border in an attempt to check into a cheap hotel. Ah, Tijuana! The hustle and bustle of that crazy town. Nothing had changed. Tony and I took up a room in Hotel Colisio and now live vicariously. As I said, I am up here typing and Tony is downstairs at Nortenos drinking coffee with an American friend.
I hope I can pull us out of this one.