Veracruz Again Again

28 Aug

We sat on chaise lounges with five-cent Coronitas on the black, volcanic beach and read about the local chicken man getting picked off by a Russian-made pistol fired straight into his temple in the early Mexican morning outside Boca del Rio. I had a towel wrapped around my head to shield the brain from the torrid sun.
“You look like Lawrence of Arabia,” Wolfgang said.
“Seven Pillars of Wisdom indeed.”
“What?”
“Nothing. It’s the book he wrote.”
“The book who wrote?”
“T.E. Lawrence.”
“Who?”
“Lawrence of Arabia.”
“I’m talking about the movie,” Wolfgang said.
“I know.”
“What in hell does that have to do with a book?”
“Nothing. Let’s get another drink.”
The barkeep was a pretty, brown Mexican woman with no front teeth. Wolfgang would have to look away whenever she smiled at us young Gringos. She reminded me of Felice Bauer, Kafka’s first love, whose teeth were arranged so hideously, they gave him chronic nightmares and bloodcurling visions.
“It’s like the goddamn Wild West,” Wolfgang said later, referring to the chicken man. “And stay away from the green bug cabs.”
“Wanna go to El Tajin later?”
“What’s that?”
“The pyramid.”
“They have pyramids here?”
“Yea. They’re different. They’re Aztec.”
“I don’t know.”
“They have temples and altars, too.”
“Do you think they sacrificed people on them?” Wolfgang said.
“Sure.”
“All right, let’s go.”
At Zempoala he had his breakdown feeling stifled by the army of soldiers with machine guns guarding the site. I had to hold him by the shoulders and we took a green bug cab back to the hotel. Halfway there it started pouring heavy rain and I thought the wall of water was going to crack the windshield. I had to hold him to keep from shaking the whole way over. The cab driver kept looking back at us in the rearview. We were just another pair of warped Gringos blowing into town to spend money, only we didn’t have any. We lived on two dollars a day and the room was being paid by Wolfgang’s various Johns. We came back to the States shortly after his breakdown and he stayed in Philadelphia at an aunt’s house while I took the train out of 30th Street Station down to Washington. I never saw him after that summer. He bounced from Tempe to Billings to Los Angeles and somewhere in Tinseltown he disappeared. I never went back to Mexico.

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4 Responses to “Veracruz Again Again”

  1. slyboots2 28/08/2007 at 2:28 PM #

    I love the Veracruz series. Love, love, love. Warm fuzzy, anaerobic love.

  2. Lx 28/08/2007 at 6:16 PM #

    sly, thanks, i do too.
    actually, in “the book” i’m going to consolidate all three parts into one, and expand that a little more too. for some odd reason, although i’ve only been to mexico once, i am drawn to the Veracruz province.

  3. Nature Nut /JJ Loch 29/08/2007 at 8:12 PM #

    I loved reading this post!!!

    Pleased to *meet* you. :D

    JJ

  4. Lx 30/08/2007 at 11:50 AM #

    Thank you

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