In Mexico

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I have signed Flashito up to fight tomorrow in the finals. It’s him versus El Machismo. I am not worried; I know I have trained and starved him enough. It will all be up to him tomorrow; his will to live will ultimately decide the match; it’ll be to the death, you see. Those Spanish cocks have a vicious temper.

A lot of money will be riding on him, including my run-down apartment and two-seater car. That’s all I have, besides the suitcase of rum lined with Hawaiian shirts in the trunk of the car I found on the doorstep of the jungle. Natives had picked the car to pieces when I found it. I put in a seat of my own in, no doors; this is paradise, no need for the inconvenience.

My roommate is a phantom, only visible to me or any white man, when he is in the realm of the sober. For many days I do not see him, until he shows up half-naked with a sack filled with money and empty bottles. I do not ask where he gets it, same as he doesn’t ask why my room always crows in the early hours of the day. This unspoken bond makes us partners, I guess, on a no-name basis, just simple grunts and gestures, if necessary.

If someone asked me how I ended up in this bizarre world, I couldn’t give a straight answer, too many side stories, too many federal agents. But if you ask me, this is where I belong, death closing in on me at every turn. I’ll wrestle the winged beast if I have to. He won’t take me, not when I’m having this much fun.

I am walking down the street, past the market place when I go down an alley leading in the direction of the Bacardi plant. Walking by, I come across a peculiar fellow in a trench coat, I cannot see his face too well, mostly because the sun is going down and he has on a low brimmed hat. He proceeds to open up both sides of the heavy coat, I am familiar with the spontaneous drug dealer; I know the art. I eventually decide not to go for any of the hallucinogens, big day tomorrow after all. I grab some “straight out of the dissolution filter” Bacardi in a Thermos and go on my way. Soon I find a small burger stand by the water as the sun has made it past the horizon. I take my first sip of a promising night and almost immediately, my insides scream. Pure fire. That does not stop me; I am a seasoned vet and won’t let my purchase make a fool of me. I order a burger in preparation. I take five more immediate swigs of the half empty Thermos. Sheer pain.
I slowly open my eyes, I reach for the sunglasses in my inside pocket of my coat; but I am not wearing my coat, let alone a shirt, or pants. I get to my knees; I kneel on shattered glass. I do not panic, I have been in more serious situations, you cannot let the alcohol win. A revolver is in my right hand, cocked and ready to be shot. I get to my feet, no signs of any human being or a trace of where my clothes could possibly be. I turn my attention back towards the perfect killing machine in my right hand. I suppose death battled me again last night, and barely I won.





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