Liz Swain 11:30 a.m., March 30
- Community Blog
- Tijuana 2.0
2:35am. Friday. Zona Norte
Oh there’s tequila and vomiting in the streets and yelps under the dark, foreboding Tijuana heaven, spattered angel wings covered with pale blue dirt of heaven – angels in hell we, our wings spread and soiled in the dark. Entering an apartment building shadowy and sinister like you don't know, we travel down feces ranked hallways - the green walls flake like sclerosis. We come into a patio in the middle of the building with an opening to the sky. Then I see ten, maybe eight other Mexicans all milling around the corners with glass pipes and strips of aluminum flick flicking red cherries glow in that misty mad murk. They are all chasing some kind of Dragon. I cut out, stepping to that crank fueled beat.
All the streets of the city slope down between deepening canyons to a rectangular-shaped plaza full of darkness culminating at the base a steel strip - The Millennium Arch slashed across the smog choked night. Walls of street and plaza are perforated by crumbling dwelling cubicles and cafes, some a few feet deep, others extending out of sight in a network of rooms and corridors, hidden by mist and steam - smells of beans, seared meat, mota, and fresh defecation. Catatonic emaciated whores stand gray and withered in the doorless diseased cubicles of Death – beckoning with flashes of silver teeth, glistening stockinged legs, come hither hooks of fingers. Salsa music wails – cops patrol with ominous sneer and a truckload of them rumbles by kicking up dust with the screams of the prey wail in anguish from the back metal camper – drunk loud Americans stumble groped by transsexual deviants of all sorts - Americans need it special.
Pass up a dark block and light a cigarette. Transvestite hooker leaps out of a doorway to the Hotel Leon and quacks in broken English, “Hey, baby - one cigarette for me?” Why not? I stop and I’m pulling out my package - sounds kinda dirty, don’t it? A pelon cholo pops up and asks for one, too. She shoots out, “No, no - just give it to him!” Why not? He’s cute anyway. My defenses on full alert - seemed like a set up for some random thievery on my part. Cholo lights up and mumbles gracias and walks on. I start on my way and the drag clops after me laying a scrawny hand on my arm, “Hey, baby, hey! Wait - you wanna have sex, baby?” She sneers behind silver teeth. “Ew!” I retort and walk on.
My shoes echo down the broken sidewalk - it is late and cool and quiet. I walk briskly in the hopes of dodging the patrols - those thieving bastards. Street light red and I cross anyways and notice a boy on opposite corner. I jaywalk a bit to avoid him. I notice in the half light his face is blotchy and red. What the hell is with his face? Acne?, I thought. Then I noticed the blood splattered on his shoulders and the blood soaked rag in his hand. He steps into the light of the street lamp and his face is all beaten up. He meekly starts talking in pieces, “Mieda (Look.) - the pendejos - I have no money - they took - mieda…” He pulls out a silver chain that once was attached to a wallet. I half turned away. “Ayuda - help…” He pleads, hands up and outward. I start to walk - my face a frozen mask of no compassion. I say dryly, “Bueno suerte.” (Good luck.) I continue to my apartment leaving that Fallen Angel under the cold yellow light of a street lamp.
Lying in my trap and all silent. Sudden burst of rapid pops - like the sound of a string of firecrackers - but then the pingpingping of ricochet bullets careening of the side of my apartment building. Screams - shouts - silence. Black wind howls through dead trees.The screech and wailing of cop cars and para-military trucks pulling up. I get dressed and walk onto the balcony to a post war zone - taxi riddled with bullets issuing black smoke, six bodies slumped on the dirty pavement with a stream of blood flowing to the gutter. No ambulance for these narcos. No firetrucks like in the good ol' USA. Nothing for them. Bodies are holstered up and thrown in the back of a pick up like dirty laundry. Young M-16 welding black uniformed military look on with cold animal hate. I return to my room and fall into a dark sleep...