MEXICO CITY-LATE JANUARY2006.
We were sitting in the kitchen which was mostly devoid of food or decoration due to misguided monetary priorities. My dinner of dry toast and the remnants of a tub of yogurt had been unsatisfactory. Craving distraction, I eyed the walmart bag where a weed plant, harvested two weeks ago from the roof, was wrapped and waiting; I fetched it and started rolling joints. I lit the first and took a respectable drag.
then I started bitching about that week's cold weather and how sick I was of the apartment.
My roommate informed me he was getting tired of hearing it, but I smiled at him through the haze, passed it on the lefthand side, and soon he was sympathetic. Magically, after the second joint was burnt to a roach, a plan formed.)
Let's go south.
Ibrahim Ferrer was playing at his full tragic volume, booming through the narrow apartment, and we rushed around, gathering supplies. Ten minutes later I was packed (forgetting my camera and swimsuit) and sitting on the stoop, stoned, staring out at the street scene, smelling the empanadas and watching the humans pass by. Ibrahim's voice swelled and spilled out the door.
Colin, it's going to be dark soon. He was frantically re-ordering the contents of the truck in such a way as to accommodate us and two of his friends.
Don't worry Natalie, they live five minutes away, I know exactly how to get there. His eyes were completely bloodshot.
After an hour of orbiting the same labyrinthine streets of our neighborhood again and again, we managed to find them, and after two more hours of battling snarled traffic on Insurgentes, we broke free and started to fly. We wove recklessly past all manner of vehicles and soon the lights of the city stretched and spread as far as I could see behind us as we rose up the mountain pass. The music was blisteringly loud
A Dios le pido...
A Dios le pido...
A Dios le pido...
Un segundo más de vida yoooooooooooooooooo a Dios le pido
and when I started getting restless, crammed in the jumpseat behind the bench, Brooke handed back beers. Four later and I was calm again. We stopped, we started, we smoked reds and I rebuffed the friendly overtures of a blurry succession of gas station men. Hours later, in the middle of the night, someone nudged me awake and I saw the lights of Acapulco sloping down to the sea. We drove past it.
Colin swung a left. Ok guys, I know it's around here somewhere. We were suddenly on a dirt road and the smell of trees and flowers filled the car. We sped around for a while and then abruptly came upon a truck full of military police. They stopped us. More came out of the darkness.
-Where are you going at this hour? How many in the car?
We were just—
Beer cans rolled under my feet. We reluctantly disembarked and watched them throw open the back of the truck and begin a pillage of our belongings. Colin talked a mile a minute, trying to establish a repertoire, but they weren't feeling charitable. Their machine guns glinted in the moonlight.
Colin whispered to me in English: aren't you glad I convinced you not to bring the weed?
Once they'd gone through everything satisfactorily, we were allowed to continue. I watched them fade in the rearview mirror to tiny cartoons in green helmets, and then I passed out again. (later we found out that there had been a turf war that night very near us; drug lords killing each other for the valuable access to Acopulco's rich tourists.)
The next day, Scott snapped the perps standing in front of the truck, looking typical:
That night, after two rounds of long neck coronas on the beach watching the sun set, we decided to go out-- which consisted of dusting the sand off our butts, putting on shoes and speeding thru the countryside to an actual hotel a few miles up while blasting obscene mexican rap music.
The place was beautiful, with a large circular pool and tables set around it and down on the beach. There were white canvas canopies and lit candles and well-dressed older couples talking quietly. Despite our own motley attire, we were seated. We immediately ordered them to bring us an outlandishly large fish, whole and blackened. And cocktails. At this point Colin noted the pool's swim up bar, which was not presently in use.
We have to do it. You don't get a swim up bar every day.
Colin everyone else is wearing dinner jackets.
Who fucking cares?
With that brilliant argument, I was convinced. Having no swimsuit on under my clothes, like the others did, I stripped to my underwear and climbed the deck. we jumped in and evenly coated each and every proximal dinner jacket with tiny droplets of poolwater; disapproving murmmurs became audible.
We then proceeded to have a few swim-up drinks each. My racy garments, now wet, were verging on scandalous, and furthermore, our volume was increasing by the minute. Eyes turned towards us more and more frequently. The gracious waiters finally coaxed us out of the water with promises that our fish was almost done.
I attempted to dry off with the leg of my jeans but the gin and tonics had complicated matters; this is when the indelicacies began in earnest. Scotty observed and said loudly:
Hey Natalie! Nice crack!
Mouths fell agape.
I responded with the(at the time) clever: ... chinga chinga CHINGA tu PUTA MADRE! The waiter overheard and gasped. A hush fell. Grandmothers blushed.
Fortunately, at this moment, the glorious meal arrived and was laid out before us: the fish was so very fresh, nearly as large as a skateboard deck, and delectable to the last morsel. Some untold time later, we received a check for 1100 pesos, thanks mostly to the cocktails. Scott, upon seeing this tab, found it prudent to shout, though I was 2 feet away from him, something along the lines of: HEY YOUNG BUCK, you got this, right, OR SHOULD WE (volume increases further) TRADE YOU TO THE WAITERS FOR THE NIGHT? OH WAIT THATD ONLY PAY FOR LIKE HALF! he laughed raucously at this phenomenal joke.
I topped my previous retort with the even wittier and considerably louder CALLATE,YOU MOTHERFUCKER. The waiter evidently understood English too because he looked flabbergasted. Attempting to smooth things over, I grinned at him, but in retrospect this could have sent the wrong message, judging by his reaction.
Meanwhile, we emptied our pockets and left what we could, but it was nonetheless necessary to make a timely exit. We stumbled out in quick succession, turned that ass-shaking rap del DF up even louder, and swerved back to home base, where we undertook the formidable task of consuming all remaining alcoholic provisions obtained from town earlier that day.
More beers and a bottle of rum later, the time of liberation was upon us. I emancipated myself from my clothes, climbed some kind of chain link fence, and was soon sprinting down the abandoned beach under a huge moon. The rest of them had no hope keeping up with me! ....unfortunately, I was quickly carried away by my own momentum, stopped paying attention, and soon found myself nearing the edge of a crowded wedding party. Wearing tan lines.
I bowed and backed up. The sound of my companions laughing uproariously behind me reverberated across the sand.