Saturday, June 2, 2012

'The Elvis of Mexico'

just got back from LA

was over there for a wedding

the grand dad was a Mexican guy
at the wedding he showed me a black and white picture of himself walking down the isle
the picture was in a frame on a table with other pictures of relatives getting married
outdoors, in a field -- surrounded by majestic mountains under blue sky with a few white puff clouds
"The Elvis of Mexico" he said and laughed

and he did look like a Mexican Elvis in the picture --
like the whole world was an oyster in his bright, determined eyes --
as he strode down the isle, clasping bride's hand
what would the future hold -- the sky isn't necessarily the limit -- the possibilities are endless -- endless possibilities

what that picture must have stirred inside him
well into his seventies now

no longer trim and fit-as-a-fiddle, bursting with powerful energies of youth

a friend and i flew into Long Beach the day before
he was there at the airport, waiting for us

we drove in his giant Cadillac (automatic everything) into Orange

the window was down in the back -- i was breathing in the Pacific air and catching up online (iphone) -- so i didn't hear all they were talking about in the front seats -- caught bits -- he'd gotten in a lot of travel -- worked as a merchant sea man -- which ties to the military (not the Navy though)
he'd been around
(later i found out that he began his oceanic adventures with them when he was just 15 -- and went strong with them till 26 -- and on-and-off after that.. so.. saw a lllllot of places [has been to every country in the world except 3 [which are land-locked])

we pulled into a driveway, which had a big boat parked out front -- and a black horse in the side yard
rock garden.. sculptures of frogs..
inside, super high ceilings -- in parts felt like you were in a teepee

'this house has an American theme, my house has a nautical theme'
this wasn't his house; it belonged to his ex and her husband

many guns hung on the wall
and Indian (Native American) things: knives, tomahawks, musical instruments, feathers
next to the bigscreen TV stood a large, realistic sculpture of an Indian (Sitting Bull? Crazy Horse?)
beside to the lazy-boy reclining chair: a lamp, made with a long musket

the grand ma was in the kitchen, cooked us up a pasta dinner
we ate and ate

conversation led to motorcycles, he told us he used to ride a lot and why he had to give them up:

behind the wheel of a massive truck (image came to mind of an 18-wheeler -- driving it in the Cali night -- on the job, leaving the pier/docks -- young guy, making a buck, supporting his family)
the steering shaft broke, the truck was heading right for a cliff
it went over, into the water
the impact of hitting the water shot him from seat to smashing head on ceiling
he was knocked unconscious
the driver's side window was open
as the truck sunk under water
he must have floated out the window

came-to at the water's surface
saw the dock -- about twenty feet away
started swimming -- pain surged (neck was broken in three places)
switched to a doggie paddle

eventually latched onto a log (like a bumper log: bumps boats) to rest
a big boat came chugging by -- he called but they didn't hear
the wake sent the log bobbing up and down -- plunging him in and out of water

set to paddling again..

made it finally to the dock
a tough struggle, pulling him self up onto the planks
rose to feet
took a step -- kaboom! back down, passed out from pain

came to
ball socket in knee was dislodged: no walking
lunge to an army crawl
up slow incline
night now

see something.. coming towards..
something.. substantial, weighty
closer.. closer..
an unusually big one -- like the size of some sort of.. beast 'a mutant'
it stares -- beady eyes -- a menacing glare
he ripped a plank up from the dock
swings it -- swoosh!
the rat chomps the stick -- bursts it into splinters

he fumbles around -- finds a 2x4
another swing -- all his might -- smacks the rat hard in the face -- sends it spinning into the water
it starts paddling away, then swivels its head, a fierce glare mingled with a mischievous grin -
as if to say 'i'm gonna rally my buddies and we're coming after you' and it paddles off to dark waters

he crawled on, passing out at times
hears a vehicle, buzzing towards -- must be the guy on night watch
pulls himself up to his feet, uses 2x4 as a cane
golf cart buzzes into view
the night guard has one look at him -- covered in seaweed, blood streamed down face --
screams, jumps out of the cart -- the cart keeps rolling -- hits him -- knocks him down
passes out
regains consciousness -- yells at the guy

makes it to the hospital
extensive surgery -- surgeons flown in from Kansas
3 pins in neck

he also told us about a time he was buzzing around in a VW bug -- he and his buddy had just met some cute girls and they were all happy cruising to go meet up with them

a truck (coming in opposite direction) tried to pass a bigger truck
leaving his friend at the wheel with two options: a head-on or go over the edge of a cliff
the bug rolled and rolled
he crawled out out of the vehicle, crawled up the cliff, to where his friend laid

his friends bought him a leather jacket which said '9 Lives' across the back

another story was set in a pool hall
(he's an ace at billiards)

some dudes pressured him and two friends into a tournament -- 'i didn't want to play'

they insisted, they played, he.. won lots of cash from them

in the parking lot they grabbed them, 'they outnumbered us' and knocked his teeth out
'they made the mistake of having the name of their town on the back of their truck'
he rounded up some friends and they went to the town and hopped the bars til they found them
they beat the guys up bad and the one who knockt his teeth out he thwackt in the face with a pool cue knocking his teeth out 'like he did to me'

he put his hand in his mouth and removed the the whole line of his front teeth and showed me --
looks like a retainer, with a row of teeth attached to it

he got hooked on smoking rock when he was in his forties
at a party he looked over and there were nude girls diving and swimming around in a pool
he opened the screen door and they urged him to get high with them
for many years he traveled the world and got high and had various girlfriends
he also made millions of dollars dealing with Cali real estate

in his early sixties he quit drugs
cold turkey
'it was like you stick a fork in a turkey, i'm done'

- - - - - - - -

fiction by Ad Ty
visit my website and buy a novel

No comments: