Paving the road to nowhere, one word at a time.

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Location: Tijuana, Baja California, Mexico

American born, living in Mexico since 1992.

Sunday, January 30, 2005


Elizabeth is home here and resting comfortably in bed, and her boyfriend has just left so that means that her father can now come over and see her. Elizabeth is twenty-two years old. Elizabeth's father has no interest in seeing her boyfriend, so he opted to wait until now to see his daughter. Welcome to a Mexican family.

My suspicions were correct, she lost an ovary to what I believe to be advanced Polycystic Ovary Syndrome. The doctor only told Rocio that it was probably caused by hormones. Elizabeth has been having problems since her teens, missing months at a time of menstruation, and she didn't wish to deal with it. My advice, however silly this sounds coming from a man who never visits a doctor unless a limb somehow becomes detached, is that any young lady having any irregularities relating to her reproductive system - however seemingly minor or insignificant - should get to a doctor and have it checked out.

With only one tube left to drop eggs from, the best odds of Elizabeth ever conceiving are, at the most, 50/50. For those who play the combined points, that would be an over/under of one-half.

In my odds-book, one-half is the exact definition of maybe.

I have nothing more to say about that.

* * * *

"Nothing fixes a thing so intensely in the memory as the wish to forget it."

- Michel Eyquem de Montaigne

* * * *

I was just sitting here and remembering over a week ago, a week ago Friday. I dreamed about an ex-lover from well over a decade past, it was an intimate and sensual scene that went bad in the end, like when some dragster's parachute fails to deploy and the hot rod goes airborne, breaking up into flaming chunks of twisted disaster. Carnage littered the drag strip of my subconscious at two o'clock in the morning one week ago Saturday. I woke up in that familiar cold sweat, startled and shaken, and I sucked down the last of the can of Tecate I had left opened at midnight, it was just enough to put out the flames of the spilled rocket fuel that was burning away like memories sometimes do.

Burning, like memories sometimes do.

I slept horribly after that and finally rose and dressed and headed out at six that morning to get a newspaper and a cup of good coffee. I came back to room number three at the Hotel Colonial and quickly finished both, and I showered and shaved and cleaned my room. At seven in the morning I had no idea what to do with myself.

I walked out onto Calle Sexta, most of Centro was still asleep. Scattered along the broken sidewalks, storekeepers swept last night into the street, it made me want a broom to clean up the mess that my mind was in from the night before. I crossed Revolucion without even having to worry about crossing against the light, there were no cars. I walked toward Calle Madera, there are two bars down there that are open all day and all night. At seven-thirty in the morning, I could book bets as to how many drunks were sound asleep at the bars and tables, I could safely set the over/under at six.

One week ago Saturday, there were exactly six drunks sleeping in the Dandy del Sur. And maybe fifty other people, mostly porteros and bailarinas from the strip joints, getting their groove back after a long night of working their gimmicks. I found the one unoccupied stool at the bar and ordered a beer and a whiskey.

Breakfast of Champions.

Ten o'clock in the morning is when the other bars open in Tijuana, the less crowded ones where not one single drunk will likely be asleep yet. I bid my time until then, or until I could go out and get a Racing Form and do something else to forget about other things for a while. I broke even that day, the late pick-three and a trifecta bailed me out in the last race at Santa Anita. I celebrated with some more late breakfast, then with some crappy Chinese food that I took back to the Hotel Colonial, and I slept fearlessly.

I went home, back to here, the very next day.

* * * *

Even now, as I enjoy a last tequila here in Infonavit Latinos, I know that no amount of booze will enable me to know what the over/under is on how many more times that I am going to dream that same train wreck, waking up drenched and frightened and wondering why.

But the tequila will still always taste like so much good medicine, blissfully burning ever so slightly as it goes down my throat.

Burning, like memories sometimes do.


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