Am I Still Living?

Waking up in Mexico is one of the delights of my life.  At least I think I’m alive.  I think I’m waking up.  These are wonders trapped inside of a melancholy tune as if women are luring me from a distance.

My house sits on the outskirts of town and I am part of a large mural painting that lies undulating on the side of a hill.  People look up at me without knowing me and silently ask “Who lives in that house?”  No one answers and they can’t hear the tune playing in my mind and soon it will be as if they never pondered the unknown.

My veranda runs beneath seven large arches that belong in the time of the Moors and Alhambra.  Sometimes I walk around naked on my veranda and I can feel my skin turning black.  When it is cold I rely upon the moon to warm things up.   When you are naked in the moonlight you are at ease with the impossibilities of existence. Even my dogs look more relaxed when I am naked.  A lack of clothing must send some kind of ancient signal.  I’m guessing the dogs think we are about to begin a hunt.  They are waiting for me to light a torch.  We will be scaring beasts off the edge of the cliff and down to our tribe.  The most fun is when we hurl the torches over the side and they float down in a stream of cinders and crash upon the rocks and bodies below.

I take my morning coffee mixed with tequila and lime.  I always rim the cup with sugar, not salt, since this is not a coffee margarita.  When I take my first sip I always go “Mmmmm….”  I don’t know why I make that sound.  I think it has something to do with an advertisement imprinted upon my tongue, but one of my hipster friends tells me there is a sexual connotation to the string of m’s.  Well, certainly, I can recall using that sound when having physical contact with a person I never really knew.  Yes, it’s coming back to me.

Lately I have been thinking about Tommy, my friend who died of cancer.  He was trying to get back to town for the Super Bowl on his big screen TV, but he never made it.  The madness in his liver was trying to get out of his ears and mouth.  So at an elote stand, he asked the driver to find a place where he could rest.  The driver decided upon his sister who lived a few kilometers off the Dolores Hidalgo highway.  Her village was noted for its fighting cocks and pulque.

Tommy believed in chem trails that were created by a U.S. military base in Alaska.  Chem trails are clouds filled with microscopic metal bugs that drop down to the ground and infect humans.  It is a form of mind control by the U.S. government.   The metal bugs contain molecular computer chips that receive and broadcast messages.

When Tommy got inside the house, the driver helped him onto a cot in a back storeroom.  The house was made of mud bricks and was very small and the sister and her family sold candy and gum from a stand near a bus stop on the highway.

Tommy died after a few hours, there on the cot, in the back of the little house.  The driver and his sister were in the front yard watching the kids and chickens run around and when they tried to wake Tommy for dinner, he didn’t answer.

It was about 8:00 p.m. on a Saturday night.

The driver, whose name was Juan, and his sister waited for five days before they contacted me.  At my gate, they stuffed a letter into my hands.

“Hey amigo, if you are reading this than I’m dead.  I didn’t have the courage to tell you I had cancer.  I was too embarrassed, didn’t want to cause a scene. The doctor told me there was nothing to be done, so I went on a hell-raising trip to the border and then landed in San Luis Potosi at a far out cancer clinic.  The best thing about it was the nurses.  They were good looking and the drugs weren’t too shabby either.  I told Juan to go ahead and contact the doctor and cremate my body.  I am leaving the truck and bass boat to him.  You get nothing.  Ha.  Okay, thanks for letting me read your book.  You are a hell of a writer and I used to think I had a wild life.  No more after reading your shit.  One last thing, can you call this number for me and tell my financial advisor what happened.  He is in Chicago at this number **********.   His name is Ralph and he can be a real bastard, but he’s efficient as hell.  Adios, Tommy.”

In a manila envelope there was a medical file and photos of Tommy’s stomach.  Everything on his insides was black.  The sister pulled out a box.  It contained Tommy’s ashes.  It wasn’t a very big box and I opened it and looked at Tommy.

When I got his financial advisor on the phone I explained what had happened.  He didn’t know Tommy was in Mexico.  He thought he was in the southern part of America, maybe Alabama or Georgia.  Then he said he would need to call Tommy’s brothers since the parents were no longer living.  “Please give me an hour and I’ll call back,” Ralph said.

Obviously the brothers would come down and settle his affairs, but when Ralph called, he said the family would not visit Mexico.  “But how about the ashes” I asked.   Silence and then I said, “I’m shocked.”  In a moderately rambling voice, Ralph said none of this was my affair, even though I was presenting myself as his friend.  After a few more words and several long pauses, Ralph hung up the phone.

Apparently the click of the phone was the final blessing Tommy was ever going to get from the other side of the border.

Tell the story… if truth be told…whatever came before…I really don’t know…I have no answer…none at all…except my dreams of this life…but am I still living?

There was no answer and just outside he could hear the children playing and the clucking of the chickens as they ran.

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2 thoughts on “Am I Still Living?

  1. What a sad tale. To be a friend to those with absent or no family is to be a true friend even if and especially if they are tin hatters. Another unforgettable piece of writing.

    Liked by 1 person

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