Instead of a blank slate, my mind, upon arriving in Guadalajara, was a fresh, virgin maxi pad unsullied by the city’s “fragrant” Spanish.
Not I, nor my maxi mind, had flown to Guadalajara in four years.
The last time we came, we spent New Year’s Eve with my grandmother, grandfather, aunt, uncle, beautiful cousins, cousins’ boyfriends, one a single-toothed policeman, and the policeman’s father, an ice-cream suit wearing weirdo from Michoacán who insisted, with the tooth he shared with his son, that we call him…
We sat around the living that is one with the dining room, some of our pompis resting on the piano bench, some of our pompis tucking under the kitchen table, some of our pompis numbing and dying and flying to heaven on the dark wood furniture blossoming flowers and angelic wings carved onto backsides.
As a family, we lurched towards midnight by playing two truths and a lie. My grandfather and El Vaquero hijacked the game and steered it towards a political discussion of how to improve Mexico. They ended it by squeezing all of the women out of their conversation and forming a pact wherein they would repeat their conversation, record it, and, for the good of the Republic, mail a tape of their moans/dialogue to the President.
My grandfather beat us all at two truths and a lie, but, since dying, this talent left with him.
He abandoned, here aboveground, an abundance of truth about how he lived.
I heard these truths spoken in so much Spanish. Every time a Hispanic mouth opened, language, or truth, leaked down my ear canal, spicy discharge dribbling onto my pad.
Over the course of two weeks, and one death, Spanish soaked me thick, heavy, and red.
Flecks of berry marmalade smeared my American cotton. Agua de jamaica spilled on it.
The linguistic mind, however, soars despite wetness. It’s a super maxi with wings, a Mothra of a feminine hygiene product, and boarding the plane to return home, I had plenty of absorbency left.
The only thing in Mexico you can’t put a virgin on and sell is tampons.
Those are for whores, and, thus, there is one box for sale in all of Mexico.
I sniffed it out, fought some other whore for it, and bled to the cashier. She looked me up and down and said, “Gol!”
The day before coming back to the United States repeated two truths and lie.
In the morning, we drove to Tlaquepaque, a touristsy arts enclave where people buy things to decorate cocaine palaces with.
While trying not to draw attention to myself in Tlaquepaque’s plazita,
I noticed a working bird, a pajarito de la suerte.
A pajarito de la suerte is a psychic creature. It gives ESPeranza as you pay its master, he releases it from its cage,
the bird hops to a series of fortunes, which take the forms of tightly wrapped slips of paper that the bird tugs with his beak
and delivers to its owner. The owner is supposed to read you your fortune, but since this psychic’s master was either lazy, illiterate, mute, or some combination of the three, he handed me mine. I read it to my father.
HOROSCOPO DE FORTUNA
EL ORACULO TE DICE: Que pronto tu suerte cambiará, lo que piensas te saldrá muy bien. En amores obtendrás el cariño de la persona que amas, mas ten cuidado que hay álguien que trata de engañarte, para darte disgustos y burlar tus triunfos: Si quieres saber quien es has otra pregunta (jajajajajajajajajaja!), pues el sabio pajarito le dirá muchas mas cosas que te interesas. Juega la lotería, pues te vas a sacar un premio.
Now, in Engrish…
THE ORACLE TELLS YOU: Apologies for being so crudely written. Very soon your luck will change. You will not have to attend any more funerals this summer. When you arrive home, to the United States, no more strangers will successfully slip you lengua through corn tortillas, although how many exotic body parts, stray dogs, or armadillos you’ve eaten to date, not even I, the wise, wise bird, can be sure. Beware, somebody is trying to deceive you, her name is TJ, and she will try to hide the remote. Check between the sofa cushions or in the crisper. Don’t be afraid to take vengeance by putting the batteries in the freezer.
Having had the curtain to my future raised, we left Tlaquepaque and returned to my grandparents’ house, which, I suppose, is now my aunts’ and uncles’ inheritance.
Sitting at the dining room table, drinking wine from a box, was a numerologist buddy of my tío Miguel Hidalgo.
The numerologist told Mom and Dad that they’re a good match, the coffee to each other’s milk. He told my godmother that she has an inexhaustible spirit, which made her inexhaustibly puff her chest. He told my Dad’s cousins that they’re witches, the ball-busting kind.
Then he got to me.
After he Baby Janed me, I mutely showed him what I thought of his psychic powers.
The bird got a tip.
I shat a psychic terd and left it, steaming, on the table.