Tuesday, May 24, 2011

“Mango Deck” by Matthew Dexter

The old waiter arrived from Veracruz yesterday, yet already found the southernmost tip of Baja California an orgy in the sand, though normally this wouldn’t faze him, but the level of degradation of women and children was more than he had anticipated. Sure he expected fleshy coeds bearing pierced nipples, but changing bathing suits with frat boys in shallow waves was too much. The waiter was Catholic, but no prude. Taking it too far, he can’t help but watch as the parties expose their naked flesh while open-throating Dos Equis and offering lap dances to old vaqueros. You can see the erections rising exponentially with the warm water being sprayed on the women. The most nimble coeds get down on their palms and walk the backwards wheelbarrow into saggy crotches, grinding against the abdomens of tourists and local degenerates.

“Somos Mexicanos cabrón,” the horny man on stage tells his amigo, “how lucky are we?”

The waiter watches, polishes the cracked face of his Mexican skull watch--a gift from his son; at first the father would not wear the reloj because he was ashamed of the child’s involvement with the Los Zetas drug cartel. The boy rose through the ranks quickly as capos were systematically assassinated by Mexican military following orders from President Felipe Calderón. That’s when the son started sending lavish presents, stacks of money and the old man began to pray to the patron “generous bandit” narco-saint Jesús Malverde, hoping the “angel of the poor” could protect his boy.

“Do you want to show us the twins?” the MC says. “Who wants to see the twins?”

The waiter donated everything to some of his favorite churches, took a pilgrimage to Malverde's shrine, walking along the railroad in Culiacán, praying to Santa Muerte roadside altars in Sinaloa, lighting religious candles in front of skeletal figures. All in all, the old man kept nothing but the final diamond cranium timepiece, leaving the hopeful father to work at the café until he opened the bamboo door of his two-room palapa hut one morning to find a dusty Louis Vuitton suitcase containing his son’s decapitated head.

“Viva México!” says the man on the microphone.

Naked gringos are spinning in circles with their noses attached to a totem poll embedded in the sand at water’s edge. A dozen times they spin, drink a shot of tequila and pound two Tecates before running back up the beach toward the Mango Deck.

Bikini-clad tourists serpentine then collapse. They rise and fall, rise and fall. Is this all we are, the waiter wonders, waves of the moon and winks of the stars, nothing more than tits and ass and alcohol and illicit drugs?

“Can we have one of those buckets of beers--Dos Equis and Sol together?” a college boy asks.

“Two of ‘em,” his lady friend says.

“Sí, amigos,” the old man says.

The waiter trudges across the sand up the wooden steps of the Deck where he places his order. The grains in his sweaty socks were once rocks, millions of years ago they were part of an ethereal mountain; well before the Americans consumed sixty percent of the world’s illicit drugs and dozens of thousands of young Mexicans were murdered. The waiter watches the diamond skulls glow in the sun as he carries the buckets. Chopped and melted ice falls on his worn-out Nikes.

“Wow man,” the punk at his other table says as the waiter loads the buckets into their stands and cracks opens a couple Dos Equis with the rusty bottle opener attached to his apron, “where’d ya get that watch?”

The old waiter’s English is not great, but he understands, receives complements on the watch every day. He lights a smoke for the girl and watches a young woman flash her boobs. Another girl exposes her vagina, but the MC tries to block the view.

“Hey, hey,” he says, “This is a family affair.”

The old waiter can see the lips and obstinate little hairs surfacing on the mons pubis. The woman must maintain her landing strip every morning like a delicate flower. The lips are pink, not purpled, and don’t hang out like his wife’s.

“My son gave it to me,” the man says.

The tourists raise their brows and nod their heads in approval. Few notice the crack in the corner of the boy’s skull where the old man slammed it against a stone after shedding tears. The man keeps a strand of hair in his wallet, buried the head in the backyard behind the house: a small four-by-four space where the rooster shits and dogs piss; more excrement graveyard than lawn.

“Muy bueno amigo,” the punk says with the accent only drunks and morons try to use in foreign countries.

“Si amigo,” the waiter says.

The waiter watches as the naked coed dances beneath a manmade waterfall. The MC is holding the strap of her bikini bottom, struggling like a man walking a wild Rottweiler to raise it above her landing strip. Whether in a dormitory or desert, it must grow.

“Come on Minnesota, show it.”

A wave crashes and water rises to the tables, sweeps away a few plastic chairs and a beach umbrella. The old waiter can only watch the younger servers chase inanimate objects as paper napkins cartwheel across the sand into the sea. The waiter watches the red XX on the green sunshade as it’s sucked into the labyrinthine vortex that took his son.

“Viva México!” says the MC.

For some reason the waiter removes his shoes, but he does not stop there. He takes off his socks and sits in the sand and then begins to disrobe until he sits in his underpants. There’s a hole in the front, his tables watch as the pendulum shakes. The young men retrieve the seats; plant the umbrella back into the wet sand. The napkins are sucked beneath the currents to dissolve or sink into the corral for schools of small tropical fish to ingest.

“Bikini contest begins in five minutes,” the MC says.

Only the waiter’s tables can see him, lodged between their plastic orgies. An old woman with decrepit lungs looks on in horror, cracks something in her esophagus as she takes another drag of her Marlboro as an inquisitive pelican lands on the man’s head and all snort and cackle as the waiter’s testes are set free to descend themselves into the shaded golden sand.

“Que onda compa?” says Big Johnson; the three hundred pound sombrero-totting tequila man with the shoulder holster full of shot glasses.

Whistle between his lips, Big Johnson draws his water pistol and begins shooting Don Julio at the waiter’s face. The old waiter spreads his lips and chases the tequila with his tongue. It drips down his cheeks, burns his eyes, spectators stand, forming an atavistic semicircle. The shot girl approaches and the waiter takes two vials of colorful liquor from the test-tube rack hanging from her neck, swallows one and snorts the other up his left nostril. He grabs four Jell-O shots from the other girl and fills his cheeks with them. As tradition has it the girls blow their whistles and mash his face against their breasts.

“Yeah man,” says the punk.

The waiter takes two Dos Equis from the bucket and pounds them. He rises with the help of some half-naked natives in this strange new paradise. More shots, more breasts, purple and pink nipples this time, and he bites them. Close enough to count ectopic sebaceous glands on glossy edge of oral mucosa, Montgomery's tubercles around their areolas, when things take a turn for the worst.

They chase him into the waves and watch as the waiter’s wrinkled ass fades into the current. His watch is all they can see as it bounces sunbeams against their intoxicated faces and the pelican chases the man farther away from shore.

1 comment:

  1. I really like the opening. You grabbed my attention and kept my interest. Good imagery.. makes me feel dirty just reading it haha.