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.

Tuesday, April 29, 2008


It delights me to no end that I didn’t have to present any papers or documents to anyone today. And it delights me even more that I won’t have to do it tomorrow, either. I have a cell phone upstairs, it has been plugged in for weeks, charging. The signal doesn’t even reach to here. The biggest decision I’ll have to make in the next few days is if I want to go to the United States of America in order to pay for another month’s service on a cell phone I never use anymore.

Of course, if I don’t have the proper documentation, the Government of the United States of America will not let me go anyway, so if I can conveniently forget my papers then the problem will solve itself.

I woke up late this morning, half-past seven, too late to go to Centro. I got up anyway and made coffee, and I thought about Jody and Scott sitting in the Café Francaís, sipping Columbian coffee and poring over the newspapers, maybe wondering where in the hell I am. I wanted to be there. But here was good, too. Here, I finished my coffee and wrote and opened a beer at about half-past ten and wrote some more.

And it worked out exactly how it was supposed to work out.

I soon realized that tomorrow I have to go to Anna’s school, every trimester the parents or guardians are obligated to represent themselves and get the grades. Starting at seven in the morning, this meeting can go on for hours, although my patience will run out long before that and I’ll excuse myself and politely leave. I’ll be the only gringo there anyway. And maybe even the only man.

And no one will ask me to present any identification there to prove who I am.

* * * *

So, the trip I didn’t take today can be taken tomorrow. I won’t see Scott tomorrow but maybe Jody will be there, and we’ll talk about the Red Sox or the Padres. Then, maybe at ten o’clock tomorrow morning we’ll wander over to Calle Sexta and open up the Perico. We’ll drink until Jody wants to head up to Zona Norte, and then I’ll wish him luck. And then I’ll leave there, too.

I’ll wander the streets, maybe I’ll go to the seafood district and get some fresh clams in the shell, maybe a kilo of shrimp. The girls at my favorite place to buy fresh seafood pretend have a thing for me, maybe tomorrow I’ll invite them dancing and drinking, and we’ll laugh and pretend that we have some sort of clandestine date for Friday night. I love the way they smell, the way they look at me and smile and tease me with those bedroom eyes.

It makes me feel so human.

I’ll wander around some more, probably stopping by the Dandy del Sur for one last drink. And I’ll think about how all day people are just being people and sharing space on this planet, and sometimes they enjoy making each other feel good about this place. No one is asking anyone else to prove who they are, and mostly everyone accepts everyone else for whomever they claim to be.

On my way home, still not having to present any documentation to anyone, I’ll think about how in other countries it probably isn’t like this, and then I’ll arrive more than sober and less than drunk and take a little nap.

And I’ll dream about living in a world where no one has to prove anything to anyone except to his or her own self.


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