Friday, September 14, 2007


I did not see the truck that hit me as I tried to go around traffic. The Mexican/USA border is notorious for tragic jams.
—You are at fault. Said the cop.
—That’s not the way I see things. I told pig.
—I saw how it happened. He refuted.
I decided to deal with the truck owner first. His fender had a minor scratch; my driver side turn signal was sent flying through traffic. We were both standing next to his truck.
—Do you want to press charges? Asked the cop.
The truck driver looked at me.
—I apologized, I didn’t see you coming. I said
—You should pay more attention next time.
—You are right.
—No, I don’t want to press charges. He told the policeman.
—Okay you can go.
The old man got in his vehicle and started the engine.
—Have a nice day, and once again, I am sorry. I said.
He didn’t say anything and drove away.
—Okay, now we can all go on with our day. Said the cop’s partner. He was the good pig.
—Absolutely not. Said the bad pig.
—Come on man, let’s get out here.
—No, I am going to give him an infraction.
The good pig looked nervous.
—What’s your name? I asked the stubborn pig.
—Why do you want to know my name?
—Because I want to know who I am dealing with.
—Who do you work for?
—I sell organic products… what’s your name? I insisted since he did not have his name attached to his uniform.
By this time the good pig was nowhere in sight.
—You can go.
—What’s your name?
—Torres. He said as he took a deep breath.
I walked away towards my beat up car, got in and started the engine.
—Have good day son. Said the pig.
I wanted to give him my best smile possible, but I just couldn’t do it. I tried to stretched my lips and show my teeth, but my facial features were frozen. I drove away with my unwanted stony face and got inline.

Thursday, September 13, 2007


I drove through an improvised Tijuana police checkpoint without incident, I was not pulled over, spoken to, or waved at, the pigs just looked at me stupid — faced. When I had driven about 5 kilometers, I saw flashing red lights behind me. Someone had decided to pull me over in the comfort of secrecy. I knew something was not right. I began to pull over, and the side of the road was full of debris, rocks, and garbage. It felt like I was stopping on a fracture shoulder. I just sat there, trying not to look at my rearview mirrors that reflected the pork’s high beams. But when the pig got off from his police truck I followed his movements with my door mirrors. I didn’t like the way he was holding his holstered gun. He walked slowly in a hesitant phase towards my driver side window. He looked at me, and I looked at him. I knew he was a pig in disguise, because he had fish eyes.
—How are you doing this morning? He asked the question with the demeanor of a sardine.
—I am doing fine and you?
He didn’t answer, but I liked the fact that he didn’t flash my eyes with his flashlight like most swine do when they stop motorists in the dark.
—You’re not doing fine? I asked.
—Let me see the registration of the vehicle.
I reached over the glove compartment, opened the plastic door and put my right hand inside, my fingers caressed some old memories, objects of remembrance, pictures of a better time, tokens of peace and love letters, fractured poems, and the memories than overtook me as I looked for a California piece or paper that was not there. Memories than played in the eye of my heart better than a Martin Scorsese film: I could see myself shooting at the crow with an AK—47, we didn’t have shotguns, so it seemed like the only sensible thing to do, I fired short bursts or rapid fire at it, I liked the way the bird would maneuver amongst the Russian made rounds. It finally dived down over the ridge, I never saw it again.
I looked at the Mexican cop.
—Is okay, you can go. He said with shaky voice.
—You don’t want the registration?
—Just go.
Buenas noches. I said to him, even although it was in the early morning, it seemed like late at night to me. I drove away into the coming daylight.

Tuesday, September 11, 2007


Bob was a regular customer, a middle age guy obsessed with paranormal phenomena; I liked talking to him when he would come to the store to do his shopping. Bob claimed he worked for some VIP’s as a remote viewer. At that time I was working the Jew store, cleaning shelves and rearranging the product.
—Hello, how are you today? Asked Bob.
—I am doing fine thank you, and you?
—Good, thank you.
—You should go by the marina; there are some old WWII hangars that are being used for aviation experiments done by the government.
—Is that all the way down on J Street?
—Where all the sailboats are?
—Correct, across the street form the yachts.
—What’s going on there?
—There’s a nest of osprey, on a pole by the entrance, right by where it says restricted area and no trespassing. You should see the small osprey on the nest. They are getting bigger and stronger; they should be able to fly soon.
—What you said your name is?
—Bob. What’s yours?
—No, Juan. … J—u—a—n.
—Okay, very good Juan, make sure to stop by, if you see a brown RV, that’s me. Give me a shout and we can talk about remote viewing while we watch them osprey.
—Yeah, will do.
—Okay, goodbye and take care.
I noticed that as I was talking to Bob, there was a familiar face at the end of the isle. It was an attractive middle age woman who participated at a writer’s conference in Sonora Mexico. She was pretty, but she seemed kind of crazy amongst all those writers, not crazy in a good way, but in the way of mental illness. Maybe it didn’t help that to see her underage son playing at being a poet and drinking as if there was no tomorrow. That day, at the California Marketplace, she seemed healthier, calmer and at peace. For a moment a thought she was also into mysterious work, kind of like Bob, her presence was more than a coincidence, something definitely suspicious. She glanced at me quickly as she was holding an organic product in her hands, and then she trained he eyes back on the product. Perhaps the good weather gave her back her health. Mexico is hotter than Chula Vista.

Monday, September 10, 2007


The most memorable event in elementary school happened when a kid with the surname of Macedo and I, began to play with 22’s as if they were firecrackers. Since the cartridges didn’t have any flints to light up, we decided the best way to make them go “bang” was to place them on the floor and drop heavy rocks on them. It seemed like fun, just like fireworks at Christmas and New Years, even though there was a slight notion of danger in the air, an element that made it all the better. My experience with Dracula had to me to some extent, numbed to dangerous activities. It starts to grow in you after awhile, you begin to like such things, and when there’s nothing of the like going on, there’s a repulsive sense of boredom. Everything was going according to plan, we had a group of spectators around us, and we had the power to ignite many childlike smiles in our perimeter. But all of the sudden, my classmate Felipe, had a confused looked in his face, he was touching his left temple with the palm of his hand; he lifted his hand from his head and I could see a tiny streak of blood, he was grazed by the bullet. His soccer game has been interrupted. Since I had detonated all my 22’s, and Macedo was the one who threw the rock that fired the bullet, he was the one who got in trouble; he got expelled form school. His father, an MD, came to school and picked him up. I never saw Macedo again; he probably ended up in private school. This was the first time I realized that doctors, those who heal people, also kept guns and ammo and their houses.
Middle school was also unforgettable, since we lived by the beach and the school I attended was also close to the water, it was more appealing to go and play at the ruins that the storm left when the sea swallowed the first two streets next to the waterfront, than to go to class. There was one hotel that kept its ground and was not destroyed. It just tilted into the sand at a 45 degree angle. We would miss classes and go to our tilt hotel to smoke cigarettes, drink booze, and tell tall tales. It was around this time that I commenced to write my first poems. Poetry that I would write for the pretty girls in my classroom and that later on I would arrange music to it using my father’s guitar. The song went something like this:

Todo ha sido diferente
Todo ha sido malamente
Nunca vino nuestro tiempo
Nunca pude quererte
Cuando tú te asomabas
Por tu linda ventana
Cuando nos amamos
En la playa
Nunca pude quererte

My father did not have much patience to teach me to play, he tried once or twice, and then perhaps, he gave up. So I would grab his Japanese classical guitar, and basically, teach my self to play. The same way I taught myself to shoot his guns at stray dogs, when he was not around; I think he always thought his guns were secure in his hiding place.

Sunday, September 09, 2007


—Do you have any weapons of mass destructions? Asked the United States Customs agent.
—Where are they?
—Is my pen. The pen was pinned to my blue shirt.
—Your pen is a secret weapon?
—Because it can write names in secret.
—You can go trough. He said as he scratched his nose with his index finger making an obvious reference to the number 1 symbol.
It was something like that, but I think we need to rewind some years back to my second God encounter. I was about 8 years old and this time God came to me in a form of a Mexican bus. It ran over me, it didn’t hurt, but there was sensation of heat on my right leg. It didn’t burn, but it was hot. Perhaps it was the soft tissue being grind between the rear tires and the thin black pavement. My mother once told me that while reading the bible God told her that, the text were God kills Pharaoh’s son, was meant for her. Somehow she saw my father as an evil Pharaoh and that placed me, their firstborn, in a precarious position, so my dad had to change his ways to avert disaster. My father did not change anything. And the angel of God —his death angel— came in a form of a rundown city bus (pero me peló la verga) he didn’t take me out, but it did let me immobilized in a pool of blood. As far as I know I won because I was alive. That was my first stint with that motherfucker, the angel of death, or “la huesuda” like we call it in Mexico. The bus driver, Dracula was his nickname, tried to get away, but the mob got a hold of him. I have never liked vampires ever since. The God of the gentiles is more kind, so I prayed to Him during my 3 month hospitalization. He sent me beautiful nurses that would watch over me and inject pain killers into my IV, then they would sit next to my bed and read books, they wore their white sexy hats and their top shirt buttons were undone, so I could see the profile of their breasts resting on the inside of their unbuttoned uniforms; those were the 70’s. I think this has influenced my desire for my next wife to be either a nurse or a doctor.


As the children played
In the swimming pool
The blue water
Became a memory machine

I saw myself
In that prosperous nation
Once again
With Caucasian girls
In hot tubs and
And Jacuzzis

I don’t know how
I managed to be
In the middle of
Such opulence
Perhaps it happened
By chance

It feels like it was
So long ago
But it isn’t really
It might have
Been yesterday

From that place
I could see the
WWII bunkers
Where we used to play
When we were young

Right below those
Hamburger like structures
A border patrol jeep
Leaves at high speed
On the dirt road

A cloud of dust
Elevates around
His vehicle


—Why do I have a defect on my teeth? I asked the pretty dentist as she examined my tooth cavities.
—I would be glad to talk about it over a cup of espresso. She said.
I looked for a wedding band on her fingers, I could find none, but I was wearing mine. This was yet another example of many happenings in which good looking women showed an unusual interest in someone with a dogface like mine. I didn’t have any explanation for this phenomenon, this was a strange good luck rash that I could not understand; it was something like a fantasy in B movies. But when there were no women I would see gun carrying guys —young and old— some where obviously nervous and other acted like obnoxious Dirty Harry’s. It was a great pastime of mine to detect their guns in their ankles holsters, shoulder holsters, small of their backs, or near their balls. I could tell who the pros where, I didn’t see many of those. I would always have my 45 on my right side. This is how my story begins, with episodes to good to be true, surreal clips that would adhere to my circumstances like windshield tow—away stickers. No, that’s not true, that’s not how it starts —now that I remember — it is something like this: everything began with a religious experience, not inside a church or a temple, but in the comfort of my bed, the bed of a 6 year old Mexican boy. I was talking to God face to face; Jesus seemed cooler than the bible stories at Sunday school. I liked the fact that God sported a beard, wore sandals and knew how to use a hammer. He did not look like a faggot. We walked on the most beautiful fields, it was the prettiest country I have ever seen —perhaps the kingdom of God has no match— I didn’t feel uncomfortable holding His hand as we walked. After all, this would give me bragging rights. Jesus Christ placed me under a tree and told me to wait for Him there. All of the sudden there were many persons around. It seemed to me that we were all left there to wait for Christ. I tried to run to see if I could see him over the hillside, it was in vain. He was gone. This has been my biggest bittersweet dream. This is how this story begins.