Saturday, February 9, 2008

And A Happy New Year

i don't believe in prefacing my work. each piece stands or falls on its own. but its been a roller coaster week, much emotional turmoil, culminating in yet another instance of verbal abuse. so, in honor of my birthday, anniversary and a tip of the glass to pandora's box , i present.....

“Un cerveza, por favor.” Just one little beer, how could it hurt, hurt any more than she did already? She rubbed her abdomen, its internal soreness aggravated by its external sunburn.

“One beer, miss, with lime? Corona, Dos Equis or Especiale?”

“Especiale con cal, por favor.” That’s so funny, she thought. La gringa se habla espanol and el mejicano speaks English. Without an accent, too. What a twisted world. She gazed out at the plaza, her eyes protected from the glare by her “Jackie O” style sunglasses.

The midday sun was fierce, white-hot, leaching the bright embroidered dresses, serapes, ponchos and oversized sombreros of their color. The gray adobe landscape misted before her, the individual pieces melted into an uneven dust covered lump. It looked to her like a raisin studded Christmas pudding in a snow of confectioners sugar, the sweet sugar hiding the alcohol soaked evil of the dessert.

A Christmas pudding I’ll never taste again, god willing, stuck here in taco and tequilla land. She lifted the beer, surprised to find it empty.

“Un mas, por favor,” she called to the waiter.

“Yes, miss, and will you be dining with us this afternoon?”

“Si, un taco de aquacate con crema y un carne de puerco con chile verde.”

“Thank you, miss, I’ll bring your beer and your lunch will be ready shortly.”

The plaza entertainers processed through the courtyard, a troupe of eight men and women in fake, polyester Aztec garb, accompanied by three midgets in loincloths and body paint. The midgets did a series of acrobatic tricks on a trampoline, while the troupe performed a desultory sword and sun worship dance. It was a hackneyed show, suitable to the heat and lack of an audience.

She sighed again, removed her sunglasses and rubbed at her eyes with a twisted napkin. The green and purple bruises were stark against her tanned face. No, I won’t have any Christmas pudding this year, will I, she thought to herself, and a happy fucking New Year, too.

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