Sunday, December 20, 2009
Thursday, December 10, 2009
I slept alone in the basement, always heading to bed at about 5 a.m. with a head full of beer and xanax.
It was musty, and I had to swat bugs away from the walls around the bedposts each night as I lay down.
Worse yet, everyone else got up just after dawn and opened the kennel for the 11 Russian Wolf Hounds that would run around through the 5-acre property and peer through the basement window at me as I slept inside.
The nights were cold, and the whole house was heated by a small fireplace that burned woodchips.
My only friend was a jet-black Feral cat nicknamed Darwin, who would creep into the basement at night and squawk at me to pet it.
Wednesday, December 9, 2009
I can remember arriving at the LAX airport, vaguely. It was about 9 a.m. and I was already thirsty for a drink. Johnny Walker Black Label, on the rocks.
When I arrived to the Route 66 bar and grill inside the airport, the bartender was hunched over the bar with his face against the counter.
At first I thought he might have passed out, but soon I saw that he was snorting lines of cocaine and talking quickly to himself.
I grabbed a shotglass from the other side of the counter and slid it across the counter, striking him on the head.
He jumped and squealed, then calmed down.
"What can I get you?" he asked.
"Black Label," I said.
"Isnt it a little early to be drinking," he asked with a smile.
"Finish your fucking powder and fix the drink," I yelled, then turned to face the TV.
Some kind of college football recap. Boring stuff, but thats all that was on.
Maybe, I thought, there was another way.
Monday, November 9, 2009
There was almost no one in there that early, except for me and some old fisherman sitting and sipping a brew in the corner.
I walked into the fishy establishment and took a seat.
But that is not an interesting story...
Well, just a few more hours until I am on the bus to Mexico City. I hope the meal they are serving is good.
You never know. Most likely a sandwich and a soda. But I can live with that.
I am chomping at the bit here. There is no farewell dinner. No big send-off. Just a box of Saladitas and a dream. Maybe one last beer before the road?
No. Stay sober. Enjoy the final hours here. Once you are on the bus, you are free to move about the country.
Drink this Mojito-flavored 7-Up. That ought to raise your spirits. Sometimes a great notion.
Sunday, November 8, 2009
Tomorrow I finalize my travel documents and get a copy of my lost travel visa and leave Queretaroo on a bus bound for Mexico City.
I am sitting here in the TV room of Proyecto Queretaro and I am doing whatever I can to distract myself from the fact that I have not packed a thing.
I have laundry still at the cleaners down the street and stuff scattered around the house.
Keep Calm. Carry On.
Plenty of time to pack.
Saturday, November 7, 2009
I have been sipping slowly on this tall bottle of Mezcal, and washing it down with Pacifico and Garci Crespo.
How many nights has it been. Nearly two months. Sitting here in this messy table of soda and tostadas and Saladitas with a bottle of chipotle hot sauce and several packets of Jalepeno from burger king.
Pirated CDs and DVDs are scattered about the table.
A bottle of hand sanitizer and a painted burger king hat.
A lone cricket chirps outside my window.
Will I remember this cold night? Ten years in the future, will I be able to look back at this post and understand what it all meant. This wierd moment in time with mariachi music blaring from the neighbors yard and young children screaming in the street.
What was the purpose of this trip... This long excursion into another world.
Is there a reason for it all?
I guess only time will tell.
But for now I have to face the BIG question. What will I do when I get back?
Friday, November 6, 2009
I woke up this afternoon with coffee and a bagel, like I usually do, and turned on the America Network. As usual, Rachael Ray was on TV, and nothing seemed out of the ordinary.
Flipping through the Spanish news stations, I saw teen singers Chris Brown and Rihanna coming to terms with their violent bout of domestic violence.
Then, CNN’s Mexico affiliate suddenly spurred to life with breaking news. A former Virginia Tech student with an Army certified degree in psychology had opened fire at a U.S. Military base just miles away from Waco, and down the street from the horrible Killeen massacre.
The US civilian response was as expected, round up the usual suspects… graffiti on mosques and violence in the streets.
Friday, October 30, 2009
A girl I have known since I was five has a child.
In a few years, the baby will be the same age as we were when we first met. What does that mean? Are we no longer the current generation? Are we a generation ahead? Whatever the meaning, right now, it feels like the party is over.
What a sick notion on this warm October night, just hours after I saw Esto Es Todo -- Michael Jackson's This Is It.
I have spent my life searching for new beginnings, but now I feel like I am watching too many endings.
What kind of shit is this? I have been locked in this bed with a vicious fever for too long. I am becoming delirious. Maybe another sip from this deep bottle of Mezcal with soothe the burn.
I have melted into the seat and there is a row of ashes surrounding me. Dizzy talk at 3 a.m., but I have no real desire to come back to reality. Just get over this sickness. Do some lines and hop on the midnite express.
Eventually I am going to have to head back down the stairs for another glass of water. Ignore the delirium. Ride the wave.
Thursday, October 29, 2009
These are side effects of the terrible Typhoid Fever I have been fighting for just over a week now. Dizzyness and fits of bulemia are not uncommon. I spend most of the days in bed watching the sopranos and trying to figure out some kind of plan for when I get home.
So it was to my suprise, Wednesday night, when Juan popped into the room with a bag of coke and suggested we go to the strip club.
"Shit," I thought. "It beats lying here."
We were up and about in less than 30 minutes, our heads spinning with excitement.
We raced out the door into the car and down the street to some upscale place called Fiesta Charra VIP.
When we walked in, we were the only ones there, save some burnt-out looking dancers in the corner, sipping orange juice through a straw.
"Where is everyone!?" I exclaimed.
"Calm down," said Juan. "It's 8 o' clock on a Wednesday evening."
Ah, that's right. Sit down and enjoy the music. Feel the vibes. Fight the urge to leave.
Now. I cannot drink alcohol or soda or eat most foods right now, so I knew there was only one option.
I waved my hand at an obese stripper in the corner, who glided over on high heels and took a seat on my lap.
"Ready for some fun," she said.
I stood up abruptly and she tumbled ot the floor.
I was in no mood for fun.
Juan grabbed me by my shirt and thrust me into my seat.
"Don't make so much noise," he said.
Suddenly, a strange looking old woman approached. She had the eyes of an eagle and the lips of a hippo. She spoke softly. My eyes went wide.
To be continued...
Friday, October 23, 2009
It was terrible, but not as bad as the bouts of sickness I have been feeling for the past several days. I thought it was the flu and would pass rapidly, but apparently it was more.
Laying in the dirty hospital bed for hours led me into some deep introspective reflection which I neither wanted nor needed. I have not eaten for three days, and am reduced to a diet of jello and bread, says the doctor.
Blink, wash this all away. What am I doing here in this clinic, with light flickering on and off. There is some urine-colored medicine being pumped into my body, one drip at a time.
Drip, drip, drip.
How long have I been here. I need to go.
The nurse comes in every few minutes and injects something new into the solution. My left arm feels cold.
Drip, drip, drip
An earwig has fallen off the light and landed on my pants, crawling up toward my face. I can't move to flick it away. Bugs everywhere.
"By the way, no cheese or dairy," says the doctor.
While I am here, Juan's doberman is in a nearby hospital, getting it's ears cut short.
"Are you sure it's typhoid, isn't that rare," I mumble.
"Not really," he said.
Several hours of this shit. The doctor pops in every few minutes. I am feeling light-headed. Trying to avoid passing out.
Drip, drip, drip, drip, drip.
How much longer in this place. The lights are off, and there is no TV or any sign of life. Absolute silence.
Suddenly, music comes over what sound like loudspeakers. Some wierd country long.
"This liiiife. This Loooove."
What the fuck?
Then No Doubt, and finally John Lennon . Am I imagining this?
Let it be. Let it beeeeee.
Darkness.Now, a day later I am drinking bottles of Electrolit Rehydrant and reflecting on everything that has come to pass thus far.
How did I get here?
Thursday, October 22, 2009
So much craziness in Mexico city. There is no way to explain it without over-indulging.
My eyes were burning and my nose was filled with cocaine, but there were plenty of beautiful women to go around.
Sometimes, if you pay close attention, you will understand what is going on, and accept it. I have learned from living in Mexico, that sometimes you have to "go with the flow". We were drinking bottles of Absinthe (with wormwood) and begging to be released. But there was no mercy. There was only this exclusive after-hours club, which cost us 25 pesos. Dirt-cheap in my opinion, but they felt otherwise.
Tuesday, October 20, 2009
3 nights in Mexico City was enough, I think, to get a perspective on what I was missing in Los Angeles.
I think I found my new love. HA! Just another lost soul swimming in this cesspool of alcohol and cigarettes. Maybe.
48 hours now, since I set foot back on dry ground, and I can still smell her perfume on my Calvin Klein pima cotton T-Shirt.
I want to know what love is..... I want you to show me.
Or maybe I dont want to know. Maybe I am not meant to. Either way, its the pedal to the metal now.
What a wierd, cryptic post this is. I just read over it, and it doesnt really make any sense.
Thursday, October 15, 2009
Where are you?
Strange noises from a monestary far away. But maybe not that far. Children running rampant in the street and hundreds of happy drunks singing under the palm trees.
One big leap into the mist.
Mescal drinking in the dark. Note to self: soccer is more important in other countries. Never cry wolf about the game.
Case in point:
Juan was taking a shower Wednesday afternoon, while I was watching the game of Mexico vs. Trinidad y Tobago.
I decided to spice things up. A little practical joke won't hurt, I thought.
I yelled through the house, knowing that Juan would be jealous he missed the shot.
"Who?!" Juan yelled from the shower.
Juan came running ass-naked down the steps, dripping water into the living room, and peered at the TV.
"What goal???" he yelled.
"Oh, um. just a joke."
"You never joke a Mexican about futbol," he said as he walked back upstairs. I never will again.
Tuesday, October 13, 2009
6 hours on a rusty bus watching the rain streak across the dirt-caked windows on the Primera-Plus busline that I was riding. A lot of rain moving fast across the sky and all I can see is the greenery outside and the decaying buildings as I cruise slowly through the cities of San Luis and Aguas Calientes and all the little towns.
Ha! Remind me to eat there on the way back. Keep reading this new Dan Brown novel and forget about the nonsense outside.
I think the great seperater between the first and third world is a heavy-handed regulation of city codes and building maintenance upkeep.
The graffitti problem here is bad, and no one ever really cleans it up. On the way through San Luis I saw faded scrawling on a wall that read "LOVE '86" .
It was wierd and cryptic and old and in english. But what really struck me was the fact that that building had not been repainted since I was 4 years old.
But then again, what is the price of well-maintained buildings? How many of our liberties have we given up in the US for a clean landscape?
It is going to take some getting used to before I can peacefully deal with the fact that perhaps you cannot walk down the street and peddle fruit to passersby.. That I will again have to wash my own windows.. That people will stop being friendly when I enter the local store.
There is a lot to learn living abroad, and even with our new president, the attitude toward Americans has not improved much.
Maybe I can flee to Cuba.
Thursday, October 8, 2009
Ah and here is the catch. It is sweltering hot in this house and the humidity is through the roof, so you want to strip naked and lay on the floor with no covers at all.
This is how Juan does it. I just passed by his room and saw him laying in his drawers on the tile floor of his adjacent room.
No one can escape the bugs in this heat.
Even though it is pouring rain outside.
What a strange climate.
I leave for Zacatecas tomorrow. Apparently I am staying in a youth hostel. Wtf! I have never been to one of these before and have no idea what to expect.
Zacatecas has been in the works for months, and Im not entirely sure what to expect.
I tried to book a bus ride on the ETN bus service, a top grade travel landcruising line with kosher meals, clean bathrooms, and strippers.
Instead, Juan and I stepped into Elecktra and booked me a ride on some shitty two-bit bus line where I, so far, am the only one who booked.
what was that? a shiver of fear. Ha HA! not from me. i will go naked into the night. there is no bus that i will not ride.
Wednesday, October 7, 2009
The mosquitoes have lined up at my door. I am an all-you-can-eat buffet for them. I am trying to wolf down the rest of this extravaganza pizza that I just bought, but the chimi churi hot sauce has been squirted all over my bedspread.
I have to meet up with some girl at the mall tomorrow, but I forgot where she works. This is going to be fun.
All my clothes are at the laundrymat, so I am going to have to borrow Juan's raggedy wifebeater and tight blue shorts to go to the mall. I am going to look wierd This, I know.
Last night we took off to the gym but Juan left the keys in the house and I tried to sneak in through the roof, climbing through the bathroom window. But it was about 15 feet off the ground.
Locksmiths had to break into the house, and it took them nearly 20 minutes. It cost us about 400 pesos :(
Finishing off this limon Ciel and planning for tomorrow.
Friday, October 2, 2009
A cold chill cruises through the room, courtesy of the swamp cooler sitting outside in the hallway. My throat is still burning from the habanero sauce I mixed with the michelada and clamato before pouring a cool thin can of Corona Extra -- the kind they only have in small liquor stores in Mexico.
Everybody loves a drunk.
How many people are sitting alone on this warm Friday evening? How many are out running the streets? What am I doing.
Pop this fucking valium. Drift away to a better place. Find peace on this comfortable wooden desk drawer that I am sitting on because there are no more chairs.
15 minutes pass.
My ass starts to melt over the seat like a molting marshmellow. Extreme comfort. Valium moves through you so smoothly you don't even know its happening. Its like a lot of drugs. Your conciousness alters slowly and without any sharp signs. Its not like you just sit up and your muscles suddenly droop and you fall to the floor in a pile of relaxation.
Cuando uso valium, penetra en tu cuerpo muy lento. Pensando horita. Necesito tener control otra vez. Calma. Calma palma. Relajate. Pensar claro.
Juan esta jugando su juego como un adicto de drogas. Esta loca chica esta ensenadome espanol.
Smoking now. Reefer. Dope. Crack. Coke. Mescaline. It doesn't matter. I am against drugs. Always have been. Always will be.
Back to basics.
Back to square one. I was never instructed how to write in spanish. A la bestia, a la puta.
Too comfortable in this seat. The world is drifting away slowly. sllllllllllllllllllooooooooooooooooooooowwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwlllllllllllllllllyyyyyyyyyyyyyyy.
Back to the Fifa world cup. Does anyone in this room know what is happening. Does anyone notice I'm drifting off here.
Too involved in the game.
Futbol is an international pasttime, except in the U.S. But I can bend it like Beckham. I can do it with the best of them. A la puta, no te cagaste.
So many screams spilling out of the night sky. This imaginary soccer game. The luke-warm wind of the swamp cooler. It must be running out of water. Eyes drooping.
This seat is so comfortable. the curves of the drawer are melting beneath me. Or am I melting over it.
How long has it been since I took this fukking pill. I should have broke it in half.
Sleepy now. Finally.
They were wearing black and red suits with walkie talkies and utility belts and sunglasses, and they were not smiling.
There I was, wearing a pair of blue shorts with a floral pattern and no shirt and drinking this 80-cent beverage outside an apartment in the projects area of this city and they must have thought I was some kind of raving lunatic.
All the gringos live uptown, they probably thought. What is this weird fuck doing out here? Should we beat him on principle?
So I’m sitting and sipping and thinking and they are walking up to me and the first one asks me how I am doing. I smile a great big one and keep sipping my drink.
He turns to the other man and now they are both staring at me and I am gazing at the girl in the white shorts across the street playing with the hose.
“We need to come in,” the second man says. “There is an inspection due here. Open the door.”
I take another sip of my drink and grab the keys off the floor next to me. There is an ant hole beneath me and giant fucking bugs are crawling around on my legs and I don’t even swat them off. I open the door and they step inside and Juan is inside smoking reefer and he jumps from his seat and spills his Negra Modelo all over the floor. Juan starts cursing in Spanish loudly, and I see the men walking to him as he douses the joint in the spilled alcohol, and I am still here staring at the gal across the street and wondering if she wants to come over and play.
There is an argument in the house and Juan pushes the two men outside before lighting up a cigarette and throwing on his chanklas. His eyes are smiling beneath the fake Prada shades as he steps out into the sun. The girl with the hose is looking at us now.
I smile and wave.
The two men in suits are yelling something at me but I am far away. I am across the street. I am in a hotel several blocks away with this 19-year-old girl and we are trying to figure out how to pass the time.
“Vale verga,” says Juan, snapping me out of my fantasy. I am still not entirely sure what that phrase means. I look around, the two suits are still here, but the girl has gone inside. The hose is still running.
We argue with the men. There is no violation here. We are good, honest citizens. They are not cops. They are inspectors for the city, and they are visiting homes in the projects.
Earlier, two kids had come by, but I was not sure what they were doing.
The dogs are barking on the lawn at the house behind ours, and I am still sipping this delicious, unhealthy drink.
The men are telling Juan they need to check the electrical wirings.
He goes back inside and cracks open another beer, winking at me as he takes a big sip – a slap in the face to the inspectors.
A big fat woman comes over to the house selling bread. She is wearing some kind of mu-mu and pushing a cart.
We all, including the suits, buy some of the sweet bread she is selling.
We are eating and talking and arguing.
Suddenly, several minutes later, I realize the bread was sour. There is a rumbling in my stomach. As with Juan. As with the two men.
They begin asking nicely to use our restroom. There’s no need for an inspection. Just kindly let them use the restroom and they will be on their way. Juan laughs like a cow in the wind.
“Sure,” he says. “Use the restroom, then get the fuck out of here.”
And I am back on the grass, drinking and smiling and playing with the ants.
Wednesday, September 30, 2009
Little kids play in the street here until long after dark. The mosquitoes are constantly on the prowl, and an old man selling bread on the corner continues his fruitless cries of “Pan.” “Paaaaan.”
A car alarm sounds in the darkness, and a dog barks along. Night falls over the city and the smell of thick corn chips drenched in hot sauce rises from the street. The clouds loom teasingly over us as if threatening a rain that will not seem to fall. Outside my window, a chicken is clucking and dogs are lying next to each other to gear up for the cold night.
The only light in the house comes from the laptop computer I am hammering feverishly away at, and maybe that is what is drawing these winged monsters. These modern-day vampires.
The wind has stopped, along with the car alarm and the screams from the street. Silence. Just for a moment. Can it get colder? Will it? Do mosquitoes fly south for the winter?
I am an American werewolf in Mexico, and I have a vicious hankering for some apple soda.
How much longer will I stay here. I originally only planned to be here for two weeks. But why not a little longer? Maybe I can do Europe in the wintertime.
Tuesday, September 29, 2009
Just got back from Mexico City. Amazing, crazy place. Definetly the highlight of my trip so far. I was staying in a 3 bedroom apartment with six other guys watching buckets of rain fall down down down.
My jacket served as my blanket and my Steve Madden shoes were my pillow. Water splashed through cracks in the horizontal sliding sash windows and trickled onto my face in the night. I ate burger king three times.
Went to an excellent restaurant called Fishers where I met another lost american. This girl had been living down here for 3 years teaching at what they call an American school. I didnt bother to ask whether that was a school for americans or just a school that taught english.
I met a beautiful slender girl who looked like a younger version of Rosario Dawson at a bar downtown. She told me that she had just gotten back from living in France. Her eyes were like angry tornadoes and her lips were like ripe watermelons waiting for you to bite into them.
She told me that she liked me. I got up and left.
Maybe I am in love. Maybe.
A strange crackling sound in the distance now. Hundreds of people sleeping on this murky street in Queretaro. I am gearing up for trips to Zacatecas, Guadalajara and Aguas Calientes.
Most of all, I am ready for a trip to the beach. There is not much that can compare to the beaches in Mexico. Especially when you are on the 10th floor of the Las Flores Resort in Mazatlan with a view overlooking the ocean.
Or when you are in a cheap taxi in Culiacan running scared from the many cartels out in the city.
Welcome back, my friend. We are in this together now. No blinking. Focus on whats in front of you.
Friday, September 25, 2009
Juan is still asleep on the couch in the other room, while some kind of twisted talk show is on TV. I am watching the 1977 cartoon "The Hobbit" on my computer and waiting for the battery to run out.
This could be a great adventure. I am bringing just the bare essentials for this trip, which includes an economy size bottle of pepto bismol.
Tired now. waiting for this ride.
Clock is ticking on the wall and the fan spins almost out of control above me.
Time to get ready.
Wednesday, September 23, 2009
Juan is battling ferociously with a hoard of mosquitos that have made their way into his room. Its about 2 a.m. and he has work in the morning, but he cant seem to stop.
He walked into the kitchen dreary-eyed a few hours later.
"What happened?" I asked.
"Fighting with mosquitos," he replied before collapsing into a chair.
There are fukking swarms of the buggers out here. They are gigantic, like the size of peanuts, and they are everywhere. You must sleep fully garbed, with the blanket wrapped tightly around your head and your shirt tucked into your pants. We bought some insect repelling air fresheners today. Who knows if they will work.
Juan was dancing crazily around the room telling the little vultures to get ready.
Wierd. I was watching the movie YES MAN, which takes place in Los Angeles, and as it ended, I had a feeling that I was in LA, for a few moments after I turned the dvd off. I always used to tell my coworkers that the movie was based on my life. But I had no idea what it was about.
Being a Yes man has many different meanings.
tuesday is pizza night. All the pizza places have specials tonight. We went with dominos. booooring. But at least the pizza comes with salsa and hazlenut dressing.
The proof is in the putting.
Monday, September 21, 2009
Will anyone really miss me? Have I made any difference?
I have been a news reporter for 6 years. Rookie time by many standards, but I know what the fuck I am doing. People want to impose certain things on you in the industry, and sometimes you must keep quiet and work for change.
People will tell you amazing things when they believe you are naive. That is when you are poised to strike.
Those who think they know what is going on usually have no idea. Information travels from the ground up, and if you are not on the ground, you will be the last to know.
I have a saucerful of secrets. Is there anybody out there? Just ring the division bell and you will meet the piper at the gates of dawn.
Its all a game, they say. But what will they do when they find out that not everyone is playing .
No one really wants change. Think through the eyes of the majority and you will get what you have always gotten. When you can comfortably walk through the slums or move seamlessly among royalty, when you have more connection with your surroundings than anyone else -- then you will have an idea of what you should be doing.
Play the game, but make your own rules. Then they can't tell you what to do. But you had better be sure before you play your hand.
What does hef say..... You do not come over at 12 o'clock to talk.
Sunday, September 20, 2009
About to watch Los Vigilantes ..... The Watchmen.
A facinating movie that I saw one lonely day in Milpitas. When a movie actually makes you think, you need to grab it by the balls and watch it. I think.
Musica Nortena still bumping outside my door. K-Paz now. Juan has female company coming over and she is supposedly bringing a friend for me to play with. Not like this. Not in this hectic state. My head is spinning and my lips are dryer than sandpaper.
Have to get back to work writing.
Will try to get some kind of work at the local paper tomorrow.
One valium, quickly down the tube. It feels so sweet going down, but even sweeter when it hits. Like a dropp of blood from a sugar cube.....
Ha HA! I love inside jokes.
But the joke was on me yesterday as I ran half-naked through a party of elderly people and began drinking their beer in the street. They never expected that to happen on the quiet saturday night.
Flea market today, bought a bunch of shit, including some cheap ass shoes to kick up shit in, since I was stomping around everywhere in my $90 Steve Maddens.
Dont be a cheap bastard..... Ride the wave.
Listening to banda now, dehydrated and exhausted. My eyes look like those of a withering coke fiend, and I cant seem to moisturize them.
Just watched crank 2 and it was the shit, even the second time around. Outside my window, children are playing and singing and jumping rope while an old man watches with a beer in his hand and a porno mag in the other.
Too much to take in this state. They are screaming now, some kind of primitive battle cry. I cant make it out. Am I imagining all this.
There are mosquitos everywhere, and not enough DEET in this country to repel them.
Turn fan turn. Swat away these fiends.
Friday, September 18, 2009
We took a taxi into the gold-lined streets in the late afternoon. The small cobblestone roads were flooded with people everywhere, singing and waving flags. The party will last all night into the morning. Run, run away from these pills.
Wait. Go back. Back to the taxi. Start the story out right.
Right. Drinking starts early. I am trying to avoid it here. I am still sober. Still hanging on to a thread of sanity. Unbeknownst to my friends, I have 5 mg of valium, 2.5mg of klonopin, and half a xanax bar in my pocket. I cannot take this kind of temptation. Stop it. Lets arrive already.
Beautiful streets. This is what I always picture when I think of Mexico. Even though I have been here a million times, this image will be imprinted as a signature of the country. What a great time.
But now to the task at hand. I should not be drinking. I am losing my grip on this situation. Too much crap in my system. I can't speak Spanish with any coherency at this point. Eyes are warped from substance abuse.
More drinking, dancing, laughing. More nonsense. Fire in the streets now. People moving feverishly to the beat. The burnt-out faces of Americans who have given up on their country and fled to this small oasis to retire.
At a shop now, looking for a trinket. A headband. Something. I need to celebrate the right way. Who is this on the street? Can I get some more. Another video now. I have the "drug eyes". What time is it? 3? 4 a.m.? Are we still here. Two sedatives left to take and a stomach full of venom. This is not a place for anti-anxiety pills. Throw them out. Put away that plate of powder. Let me breathe!
One more video to load now. Do I have time? It has been two (2) days since this madness happened and I have finally let go of it. This post took too long. Streets of gold, Jimmy. Wish that Paul/Emmanuel/Raheed/Oz/Juan/Marco were here to share it with me. You guys would have loved this.
One more to go and we're done. Thanks to Heed for the Chale Tamale. It always goes over well. 15-second video clipse. Eclipse.
Wednesday, September 16, 2009
"Man, I feel like a woman"
I have never hated that song as much as I do right now. My head is spinning and there is a red tint to the room for some reason. We arrived back at the house just few hours ago. I put my head on the pillow and hoped for the best. Now I am up again. Eyes are drooping.
A new song on the loudspeaker outside.
"Everybody Dance now."
I feel too sick to explain what happened last night, the day of Fiestas Patrias. It was an experience I will not soon forget. But right now I am so hungry I could eat a bed of rotting snails without using condiments.
Monday, September 14, 2009
Rain sloshing over the streets as I stand at the edge of the big puddle. Several people in yellow parkas are watching me, waiting to see if I make it.
I have to cross this gigantic stream of water running down the street to get back to Juan's house. Several cars have stopped here and people are waiting for the rain to let up, because it is too deep to cross. Do it now. Take the plunge.
I leap, and for a second, I think I'm going to clear it. But no.
Half a second later I am drenched in water from head to toe. I can hear laughter. It is not a mean laugh. I am not the first person who has fallen in the puddle today. But it is still pretty strange. I start to get up, when a hand reaches out to help me.
Her eyes were beautiful, green and deep. I could barely make them out through the rain, which left strands of wet brown hair strewn about her face.
We stand in the rain and talk for about 20 minutes until the rain finally lets up and then we go our separate ways.
Too many beautiful women in this city.
Sunday, September 13, 2009
I toured much of Queretaro during the daylight and what an amazing city.
We are smack dab in the middle of Fiestas Patrias and there are parades going at all hours of the night. Even as the rain pours into the street, people are marching with drenched banners and flags, celebrating like champions.
We leave for San Miguel de Allende on Tuesday for the biggest festival in Mexico. I am more anxious than excited for this trip. But my nerves are calm now, partially because I have recovered from the shock earlier in the day.
I was heading into the tiny bathroom to shower when I heard a voice from outside. Juan was yelling something to me.
"Hay unico problema," he said.
I stepped under the running faucet just in time to hear him tell me that there was no hot water. But it was too late. I was already lathered up with dial soap and had to stand there and rinse off under the icy water.
I should have ran naked out into the rain and took my chances there.
People I have never seen walk the streets in a daze, but far more clear-headed than I am.
Am I really here? Are the answers waiting out there for me somewhere?
Cut the line now. Separate it into into a thinner, more manageable size. Quickly up the nose. Zippp. Then the other. It burns for a second, as your sinuses try to figure out what foreign substance has invaded their space.
The opposite of that. A fantastic urge to do something arises. Nothing in particular..... but something, somewhere needs to be done. If only we could figure out what, there would be a clear light at the end of this tunnel.
And that is the inevitable problem for abusers of cocaine and freebase. Plenty of energy, but no place to focus it. Just a draining burnout at the end of the trip, and the numbing erosion of the soul. There is not much good that has ever come from drug abuse, excluding those famous writers and artists that scribbled their hearts away and died young in a pile of their own vomit and sorrow.
Sept. 13 2009. Tupac died today, 13 years ago.
I can hear birds chirping crazily in the distance, and my head is still swimming from the night before. A dog is barking somewhere... It's all fuzzy. I have a head full of sedatives and beer. Got to get a grip and get out of bed. It's 11:30 a.m., but to me it's 9:30. Too early to be getting out of bed.
Am I really here? Did I actually quit my job and fly out here on a whim. No drug is that powerful. Keep it together.
Dozens of beautiful women in the club last night. Something about this city, the girls walk up and introduce themselves to you. They are gorgeous.
I was sipping on my 3rd Dos Equis of the evening, watching the band play, when a foxy vixen with her hair propped up in an 80's headband greeted me.
"Do you have a girlfriend?" she asked me in Spanish.
"Are you married?"
Then she grabs me by the collar and makes out with me before walking away. We didnt speak again the rest of the night.
The male-female dynamic is much more in balance here than it is in the U.S., at least when it comes to dating. How am I ever going to go back?
My clothes were still stained from the tears of desire, spilt the night before.
Is this a new beginning, or am I so trapped in the past that I can not unravel the cloud of chaos swirling around in my head?
1 minute past the immigration checkpoint and my friend Juan arrives in a shiny red truck. I am standing in the rain with my 90 liter backpack and a laptop. He is one of the few people in the world that I honestly trust.
I step in the truck and we drive through miles of roadway, passing cities and wasteland, until we arrive at his apartment tucked in some tiny corner off the main drag in the city of Santiago de Queretaro.
It was a wierd, but short time, and there was not much else to say about it. When I return I will investigate this phenomenon further.
But now down to business, right?
MEXICO, the true land of the free.
There are no words to properly explain the scenery as the tiny, 35-person express jet I arrived in decended into Queretaro.
Thick, ominous clouds, still red from the setting sun, hung less than 50 feet from the ground, drenching the streets with rain. It was not a place for the claustrophobic. From a bird's eye view, the state looked sparsely populated, with plains of farmland separating small settlements. Clusters of homes were spaced apart by miles of empty land, and small freeways seemed to be the only things connecting these hubs. It was unlike any city I had seen before.
Thick bolts of lightning struck the tarmac around us as we rolled to a stop.
A middle-aged white woman in the seat next to me was rambling on about how she had lived there for six years.
"Ex-pats have no fear," she said. "We will live wherever the money is. I am constantly on the defense, and my children are followed and harassed mercilessly because they look different."
Finally, another local could take no more of her nonsense talk and doused her with a cup of coffee, sending her screaming into the lavatory.
"That woman is crazy," he said. "She lives in the center of town and sells trinkets and drugs to all the children. The village is helping to raise her kids because she has long been out of her mind."
I knew immediately that he was telling the truth.
We sat in the small jet for nearly an hour, waiting for the rain to let up since we were several hundred feet from the small airport. Another old gringo was demanding umbrellas and that our luggage be shuttled into the station. I wanted to barrel out of the plane, grab my bags and get out already.
When we finally did get out, my umbrella went belly-up and I still got soaked.
Thursday, September 10, 2009
There are things that push people past the limit and it's only a matter of time before pressure busts a pipe. It's simple physics.
Is it better to be stuck on a proverbial treadmill, running on a high setting until you collapse, or should you jump off and hope for the best.
Shit, maybe both.
It doesn't much matter at this point, because I can almost taste the pina coladas and beautiful women waiting for me on the beaches of Mazatlan, where I will spill liquor on my body and dance till I am numb.
But right now I'm just hot and tired. Packing is never fun and most people would rather get stoned and watch porn. Maybe thats what I should be doing instead.
You never can tell.
Monday, September 7, 2009
There is nothing quite like a good drinking binge to put things in perspective.
Can't do much else right now buy lay back and write.
Every time I shut my eyes, my mind fades back to just a week ago, when I stood baking under a scorching sun at some bizarre recreation area in Lake View Terrace. Just me, about two dozen journalists and hundreds of sweaty firefighters napping in the shade. Yes, I was there.
It was the "staging area" for the big firefight, and it looked like some watered-down version of a Saigon Army camp.
Helicopters circled wildly over us as the Press tried desperately to get some kind of legitimate update on the Station Fire, which was tearing through Los Angeles at a very fast rate. No one could give an accurate estimate on the damage, but officials were saying anywhere from 43 to 100 homes were gutted from the flames, and people were rioting in the streets.
As firefighters returned from the battle, it was easy to pick out those who had been fighting for days from those who had just arrived on scene.
The ones that had been in it for the long haul were usually soaked in ash, their faces cracked and dry from the heat and their eyes were bloodshot from smoke exposure.
Unlike war, nobody wins in a firefight. No matter what the outcome, the damage is already done. And you can bet that the fire will return.
This is what a captain from one of the local stations told me as I trudged through the campground looking for interviews. His face was caked in grease and his sunglasses were warped from the heat, but he was smiling and puffing on a smokeless cigarette.
"Whats it been like out here?" I asked.
His face turned sour.
"What do you think, I've been sitting in a small tent with other men and we all stink from sweating in the field all day."
"Don't they let you shower," I asked.
Suddenly he was all smiles again.
"Shower?" he asked. "You want to see how we shower?"
He grabbed a hose from the side of the engine and blasted me into the ground, laughing like a lunatic.
It was terrible.
But better than the firefight itself. I had been there too. Standing on La Canada Boulevard with an orange juice in my hand, watching people breathe in the falling ash as they stared at the flames ravishing the brush just steps from their homes.
We were all exhausted on those days, and it didnt help that legions of helicopters were spinning just overhead, spilling drops of chemical flame-retardant on us as they past. That was a hot day. And I am tired of writing for now.