Old man draped in filthy rags blinks in the unrelenting Mexican sun. His face creased with the color of a brown paper bag sporting dingy yellow cowboy hat. He watches out of tired rheumy eyes three white Ford trucks - Tijuana paddy wagons - hurtling down a broad street kicking up dust. The dust stings his eyes yet he stands immobile. Several police cling to the sides as it races by - dark eyes filled with fear hatred faces covered in black masks - one stares at the old man back, fingering his shiny black AK-47. The old man stands glaring in apathy...seconds later and blocks away are gunfire and rumbling explosion. Five more trucks careen past followed by monstrous paramilitary vehicles - street teeming with pedestrians casually go about their affairs. I stand in the coolness of an awning sucking on a cigarette backdrop of dusty greenery of park Tiente Guerrero - three squad cars roar by - sirens squealing scaring the mother clutching baby in breast five kids race behind crossing the street of kamakazi taxis and rickety buses belching black smoke. Several shifty and dubious characters turn and hide their faces from the barreling convoy. The police always travel by car in threes, now - ever since the local cartel executed 46 of them the week prior. Their faces cold and featureless masks of fear and suspicion... I remember two nights ago in my room and hearing the ratatat of machine gun fire in the distance - last night the symphony repeated itself down on the corner. Seven bodies lay akimbo in the darkened lamppost splashed streets blood oozing onto black concrete and vecinos didn't care. Thirty minutes later fat cop chews cigar stump surveying the scene... In the rural hills of Independencia where you can score for meth, H, coke, crack - anything your junky heart desires - fires run rampant in the shanty adobes across from the school were the five year old boy timidly scuttles home clutching his textbook past roving gangs of cholos faces vicious in hate prowl brandishing pistols to deter the inquiring placas... Yet, down on Revo - the arrogant tourist still lurks, still drinks, still dances, still buys that one-tequila, two-tequila, three-tequila...floor! t-shirt that they must have for the folks back home unaware of the slaughter occurring a few blocks from their reverie. This is Tijuana - my Tijuana - a place that I call home...

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Comments

David Dodd June 12, 2009 @ 12:29 p.m.

Scratch the timing of the offer - something came up today, but the offer stands for another time.

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shizzyfinn June 11, 2009 @ 11:07 p.m.

Damn, this is cool. Flows like a bad dream, and really captures the seamy, dangerous underbelly of a tough Tijuana. Not sure if the violence is fiction or non. And I don't know if the general air of lawlessness is exaggerated (some say TJ is fine, some say TJ is deadly). But this writing certainly transports the reader to a dark and sinister place.

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David Dodd June 11, 2009 @ 11:23 p.m.

It's not exactly like this. I don't want to take anything away from the author, but I've lived here for seventeen years. I read it, enjoyed it, understood it, but it doesn't reflect daily life in Tijuana.

The imagery is wonderful. If you took a few months in the worst parts of here, encapsulated it, magnified it, then perhaps. But it is exaggerated. With respects to the writer, who I enjoy, it is simply a question of defining the fine line between lawlessness and freedom. That same line often defines the difference between fact and fiction.

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David Dodd June 12, 2009 @ 12:34 a.m.

And a note to the author: Presuming the U.S. border nazis allow me to pass without a passport to cash a couple of checks, I'll be at either the Nuevo Perico or the Dandy del Sur tomorrow afternoon, earlier at the former and later at the later. I'll buy you a beer and we can compare notes. Your imagery is very good, but sensationalizing Tijuana is probably better left to fiction...

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SDaniels June 12, 2009 @ 3:42 p.m.

I disagree, folks. The point is, there is no one 'real' TJ, just as there is no one archetypal image of anything--right, our Plato-loving refried?

The myth of the city is endlessly exploitable, and should be presented from a kaleidoscope of perspectives. Creative license is fine, but I don't think we are exactly getting the point. Note that we are reading Tijuana life here filtered through an individual consciousness, someone who feels he does not exactly belong, even as he has chosen to make this city his home. I enjoy the postmod stream of consciousness style, and like desolationangel's noir-filled imagery. I also love the "subcultural" vibe, as well as the nighttime queering of our bordertown. Write on, brotha!

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realtijuana_blogspot Nov. 5, 2009 @ 11:40 p.m.

"the unrelenting Mexican sun"

Were it not for a mere few meters, this might have been the unrelenting San Diego sun. But luck is on the story-teller's side. He makes no choice. And soon you will not hear his voice. His job is to shed light and not to master.

With apologies to Robert Hunter.

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CuddleFish Nov. 6, 2009 @ 12:07 a.m.

Stunning work.

Authentic and unique voice.

Mastery of detail.

Atmospherics are nailed.

This is pitch-perfect writing.

Love it, love it, love it, love it.

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