Ξ October 3rd, 2010 | → 1 Comments | ∇ A Day at a Time, International Terroirs, Wine News |
So begins part 2 of KP’s tale as recorded by yours truly. The plot truly thickens. For additional detail, please read the intro to part 1. This is a work of fiction.
Episode 3 THE PLEASURES OF MEXICO CITY
My cell phone is ringing. Wouldn’t you know it, ah, the poetic irony, Savanna Samson calls while I’m being entertained with a robust cavity search at the Aeropeurto Internacional de la Ciudad de Mexico. (Damn expired passport.) I knew it was SS: I’d assigned her number to a Barry White ring tone. I didn’t want to answer. I knew what it was about, but just now I needed friends. I pleaded with my captors, Jaime, Roberto, Ignacio, and Jorge, and gave them what I call the ‘Sleepy RP’, melancholic bedroom eyes. “It’s Savanna Samson!” No strangers to pirated XXX tapes and DVDs, my tormentors relented. “Savanna?”, slurps Roberto. He opens a drawer beneath the airport’s surveillance screens. Rifling through VCR tapes, he produces an old effort of hers, ‘The Train to Tijuana’. Tapping the title he asks, “THE Savanna?” I nod, Yes.
A latex-gloved hand shoved my cellphone into my face. Yes, I could answer provided I put her on speaker phone: “Savanna!?” “KP?!” “Hey, sorry about the 2004 Sogno Uno. RP shoulda’ given it a 93.” “He said it was opulent, luscious, and had a great personality.” “Actually, he said it HAD a personality.” “But isn’t that the same thing?” “Savanna, I’m a bit occupied. Why have you called?” “My champagne will be out soon. I need a review…” “Savanna, dear, I haven’t seen RP in years.” “But he called you.” How could she know that? “How could you know that?” Her voice softened, “Your Twitter update, silly. I’ve got my fingers in a lot of social media pies.” Officer Ignacio, and Jorge in plain clothes and Raybans lean in. “Darling, you are your own social media.” “Whatever, KP. Listen, you’re the only one who can get to him for a review.” “But I don’t know where…” “He’s in Jalisco! Don’t you follow his Twitter? Isn’t that why you’re in Mexico?” “Gringo, ask her what she’s wearing.” “Shush, Jorge!.” Jorge raises his fist. “Samantha, I’m hanging with some of your biggest fans. They want to know what you’re wearing.” “Bastards! I need RP!” The phone was ripped from my face. Perhaps I exaggerate: in fact, my I-Phone was smashed underfoot. “She is not so polite as her movies,” says Jaime. But I was angry. I yelled at my captors, “None of you are her type!!” A bad attitude results in more ernest cavity explores, every guidebook should clearly state this truth.
And as I suffered fresh insults I could not help but wonder: What was RP doing in Jalisco? Was he? Is wine made down here? And is Mexican wine any good? Must find out.
Episode 4 WANDERING AT MIDNIGHT
I promised them a box set of Samantha’s work, still they took my money, smashed my cell phone (as stated); but I was released by the aeropuerto policia just after midnight. And they took my notebook, 1600 pages of tasting notes on terrifically obscure French, Spanish and Portuguese wines mostly; and a real estate guide I was writing on promising wine regions emerging in a post-climate change world. No great loss, the guide. I had not gotten much further than a few pages of speculations on Greenland’s prospects. (Note to reader: Make sure there is soil underneath the hectares of ice sheet you buy. Greenlanders are a cheeky bunch.) Needless to say they found and confiscated my sleek Belkin flash memory back-up of the same. I thought I’d hidden it well. Shoulda’ known they’d look… there… first…. Jaime said they were going to use it to start their own wine blog, ‘El Sombra del Abogada de Vino’. Curse this fame, somersaulting so high without a net!
So, it’s after midnight, I am wandering in Mexico City without a peso to my name. I am somewhere but nowhere, and nowhere is everywhere. Yet every nowhere must be a somewhere, n’est pas? como no? So I must be somewhere, but where? Sigh… nowhere is everywhere, hey, any traveller will tell you. It is a real place. And I know my odds of finding a way out of this huge ciudad. Slim. But I must resist this existential house of mirrors, my penniless pity party. Gird my loins, what’s left of them. Then and there I resolve to find a map. Must find the road to Jalisco. Still, tears flow from my eyes and smear the street lights. RP! I’m no hero…. Need a drink. Would take my confusion out of focus. Then food. Then rest.
Under orange, tarry skies, lorries bearing down at every turn, thugs a-lurking, an occasional burst of gunfire, I walk down lonely alleys; are there any others? Aimlessly turning another corner around which I can hear Mariachi music, I encounter a 6′6″ transvestite in the near dark standing in my way. But s/he does not menace. S/he opens her arms to me. Her back-lit blond wig, scooted a bit too far back on her head, shines like a beacon in this sea of black hair. From within a bath of incandescent street light she seems to recognize me as a friend. Small miracles often happen in weak light. They do. They do. No words need be spoken. S/he takes me by the hand into the taqueria. I eat. I clap to the Mariachi band. And s/he pours. Tequila flows. Stupid me, muttering sweet Parkerisms about her/his eyes and flesh, ’solid ruby/garnet, apricots, deep leather, solid, round minerals, solid this and that’; it’s all I can give my savior in exchange! Yet s/he gives me the key to s/her apartamento above the restaurant. Says to me the only word s/he’ll speak tonight, “Vamos”.
As my brain enjoys a dizzy swim, I lay down alone on slick, ochre sheets, oiled by the bodies of so many s/hombres. Before passing out I watch a small spider that had spun a web between two burning Mother Mary votives carry away a heavy fly.
Episode 5 A NEW LEASE ON LIFE
July 4th on a crowded bus. I struggle to consciousness with the help of the penetrating aromas of cloves, rotten plums, tar, chicken shit, and human sweat. Yet there is also something else: camphor. My body aches. What was in that tequila? I don’t remember getting onto the bus. I don’t know where I’m going. In a painful delirium I turn to the cinder block of a woman in a floral huipil tent sitting next to me, “Are you my mommy?” She stares back, her moon of a face rising out of a field of poppies, so to speak. “Como?” Mommy? Where the hell did that come from? Last time I saw my mother she was in the later stages of Alzheimers, all liquored up, and shouting obscenities at the Good Humor Man. “Lo siento, Senora Luna.” “Como?” Get a hold of youself, KP! I let a few moments pass. Focus. The initials ‘RP’ roll up in the Magic Eight Ball of my mind. Yes. I remember. I try to sit up. Pain screams through me, down my back. I manage, “A donde vas?” This time she does not look at me, but flatly says, “Tequila”. “No, gracias.” Won’t be drinking anymore Blanco anytime soon. “No! Nosotros vamos a Tequila, la ciudad”. She points to her ticket, then pulls out mine which is stuffed in my shirt pocket. “Tequila! Tequila!” What? Tequila is also the name of a city? “Flaco”, she mutters.
The bus pulls into a dusty gas station. A 1000 people must have gotten off, all headed for the bathroom, the creosote bushes, or the Siete/Once across the street. Very hot, this place. A merciless sun, as is often said. Standing in line for the toilet, I touch my painful side. There is a damp presence, a lump on my lower back. Soon it is my turn for release down the foetid porcelain hole. After undoing my pants, camphor overwhelms even the stench of the cuarto de baño. To my surprise I find a money belt crammed with pesos strapped around my waist. And a folded note. But, there’s more (or less). The belt holds in place a poultice covering the right small of my back. I move to a sheet of stainless steel doubling as a mirror. I peel the poultice away. A neat sutured incision. Seems I’ve lost a kidney, so the note reads in just enough English to understand. Yet I have been paid. Odd mix of honor and cruelty in this sun-blasted country!
Nothing is to be done. Back on the bus. To Tequila… Jalisco…. RP! I am coming!