A few minutes later we were standing on the dusty street where fate first brought Diego and me together.
“You like my tour of Acuña?” he asked.
“It was special,” I said. “Here’s your money. I think I’ll walk back to Del Rio.”
“Oh no, Amigo. This is only twenty dollars. The price is twenty dollars AN HOUR! We been gone more than two hours. You owe me fifty bucks.”
“Dammit, Diego,” I said. “We spent nearly two hours in bars and I bought all the beers. You only showed me a factory fence and a welding shop. And I about got killed at that last place you took me. I know there’s more to see here than that.”
Diego looked pensive for a moment and then he said, “Sí, comprendo. Why you don’t tell me you want to see a strip show? Let’s get some tequila! We go right now!”
“Diego, I’ll give you 25 dollars NOT to go to a strip show right now!” I said, handing him the money.
He took it and said, “Thanks amigo. Yeah, you right. Too early. We go tomorrow night.”
Leaving Diego to look for his next victim, I ducked into Pancho’s Regular Tourist Bar to work out my own case of tenso. An elderly American retiree was telling the bartender he was in Mexico “just killing time waiting to die.”
“If he gets tired of waiting,” I thought, “I’ve got just the man for him.”