Americaphiles

The Story Of My Fucking Life

Fourteen

Posted by ilbebe on December 17, 2008

14. The first time I went to Tijuana, Baja California Norte, Mexico was in January 2002, two months before I forgave Hitler and had a shouting match with my shoe to celebrate my twenty-first birthday. The evening of September 11, 2001, the girl I had a crush on invited me to a barbecue and got fairly drunk. It was not to be too long I found myself sleeping on the floor next to my bed and pissing my pants. If you’ve never had the pleasure of being a twenty-year old boy, the thinking that led us to TJ goes like this: Let’s get really fucking drunk in a foreign country. What’s closest?

The crew assembled for the first trip was myself and four other people, one of whom had been entrusted with a friend’s apartment keys on the assumption that he would get back to the college town we lived in at the time before her, and thus be able to hide the bong in anticipation of her parents giving her a ride back up after the holidays. My hunch proved correct when he lost those keys in Tijuana, and we got so fucked up anyway that he arrived back to Arcata several days after she did. The silver lining in that cloud was that having given away her apartment keys, said friend had to break in through the back window, giving her adeqaute time to hide the bong herself…

But that was Arcata. This is TJ:

There was a bartender named Froy at a place on Ave. Revolucion that made a drink called the Copa de Nada. The Copa de Nada tasted great at first, but the aftertaste sort of made you wish you had a chainsaw for one arm that could be used to cut your head open and make the ringing stop. Suffice to say, all in our party had several. We hopped in a cab and went to Rosarito, a town about fifteen miles south of TJ with better beach access. We ate at Macho Taco, an establishment that had no qualms with us bringing in our own quarts of Tecate. We drank two-for-one margaritas at Senor Frogs until we were all just fucking confused, and the rest of the night held no particular adventure.

The second time I went to TJ, we similarly found ourselves in Rosarito after a few Copa de Nadas. The primary difference between the second experience and the first was that the cab we took back to TJ after hanging out in Rosarito was an old stationwagon with a backwards-facing back seat, an experience augmented by a hole in the floor above the muffler that allowed exhaust to pour into the car at will. Luckily, I had taken a pre-emptive strike against this environment by being shithoused and entering this backwards-facing seat smoking two cigars at once, a move the driver did not question.

This is what led me to suddenly and rather alarming start proclaiming “We need to get the fuck out of here. I need to get out of this cab” while stopped at a traffic light close to the Tijuana dog track. The friends that flanked me on either side in that back seat thought I was responding to the advancing mimes that were plying the stuck-in-traffic crowd, but sadly I just had to puke. Once again, however, fortune was mine, as the hole in the floor allowed at least half of the metric ton of liquor and tacos I unleashed to drain peacefully to the streets of TJ.

Moments later, we were at our destination, and I was somewhat apprehensive about the driver flipping out on me, us. We paid him and the transaction was incident free. We went into Caliente, the dog racing palladium, and my friend Justin won forty dollars. I cleaned the puke off of my pants and ate a fuckload of nachos. I wondered how I would expain all of this during my inevitable run for the school board, but even more so, I wondered how much money those goddamn mimes made every night, and what they spent it on…

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