Sunday, December 28, 2014

Lalo, he said.

The sky was a harsh, vivid blue and a freezing gust blew over the vast desert. Everything was colorless and dead. Typical panorama of The City this time of year. I elbow my way through the post-Christmas throng in centro and quickly cut in the glass entrance to the cafe. Not quickly enough to not allow a swirl of gritty dust to follow me.
I took my seat and croak my hello toward the staff and regulars. I ordered my usual of ham sandwich on toast with coffee and settled in to my work. Updated corrections to all my published works. I have learned a thing or two since 2006 and I reckoned it was time to throw some professionalism into the old stuff.
As I sat typing, a fairly handsome young man in all black entered. He casually approached the counter and I noticed when he inquired about me. The owner smiled and pointed in my direction.
A myriad of catastrophic images washed through my paranoid mind as I glanced at the lad with a look of aloof suspicion. Did I owe him money? Was he the jealous lover of a past fling? Federale who finally came to collect payment due on that foolish incarceration?
The owner smiled and stated, "This young man is interested in purchasing one of your books!"
Still didn't click. I blankly stated, "Seriously?" Here? In Juarez? In this artistic wasteland?
And indeed he did. He introduced himself as Lalo. He had visited the cafe a week or so before and leafed through the copy which sat on the bookshelf.
"I want to buy a copy, if that's possible?"
"Of course." I blubbered and as I was about to write down the address to the web site which sold them, I remembered I had an extra copy in my laptop bag. I mentioned that and stated I would love to offer him a signed copy. It was the least I could do for acting like a pompous ass at first approach.
He sat and we chatted. He related a bit of his past and his love of cinema. I was in a state of confused shock. Delighted, but in shock, nonetheless. Here was a young man sitting with me, speaking elegant English, relating on subjects I too adored and for once in seven months it wasn't about sex and how much he plotted to pump money out of me. I must admit, it was a relieved breath of fresh air. The exact type of conversation - to simply sit and discuss like-minded passions on art - that I had secretly desired of for months with it not having to result in some intoxicated tumble with the finished product of me attaining a sore ass and empty wallet.
I sincerely didn't wish it to end, yet it did. He gratefully took the book, bid his farewell - offerings to keep in touch from both ends - and he left as quickly as he arrived.
I must say, even after all these years of online praises and positive reviews of my writings, I still confront this mediocre fame as something completely alien. Will I ever get used to it? I do not know. All I do know is, it really made my day...

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