I lay here unyielding... pressed against the frozen earth. Completely bound and smothered. Entombed under immobilizing blankets of hopelessness. Woven from cactus' quills and sharks teeth and permeated through with mercury.
Two or three or thousands thick. Held fast by the rhetorically stained paper skin of red herrings. Soaked in simple-syrup and rolled into giant spikes. They are baked hard in the raging hearth of deliberately confused opinion.
Driven deeply into the heartland with mallets crafted of shiny lies. They shriek so sweetly. Like Sirens from the Great Barrier. With each crashing blow delivering us all to the utopian stars on the wings of fear.
I scratch away with prayer, like claws, as soft as warm butter. Gasping for even one breath of the sustaining laughter of children. The liquid metal fills my eyes, making mirrors to the past or future. Substituting my tears with slag.
Replacing my, once joyous, soul with the blackest film. Like a skin-covered unsweetened easter bunny. A stagnant and smile-less abyss coated with a layer of chocolate so dark and bitter that it makes blindness seem like the light of creation.
I wonder with what tools must we work the earth... what seeds must we sow? The climate and soil are right for change. Choose carefully the crop for tomorrow.
About three and a half years ago on the twelfth day of july 2006 I said goodbye to my friends, with whom I had been living, in San Clemente, California. It was probably about four o clock p.s.t. And the weather was beautiful as it usually is down here. I walked, somewhat solemnly, out to the street and proceeded to get into my car.
My car... My god you should have seen it. I had a little 1994 Infiniti j30 with somewhere around 100,000 miles on. It was kind of a midnight green color, sort of metallic, and it looked black at night.
It was packed so full of everything I owned that there was, quite literally, no room for anything else. The front passenger side was full all the way up to the window, floor included, and the entire back seat area was packed so full that you would have had to wiggle anything out if you wanted it. The trunk too, of course, was completely stuffed. It was full of chachkis and nick-nacks, guitars, clothes, a keyboard ( musical ), a computer, a samurai sword, a few small items of furniture, all of my important paperwork stuff, and just about anything else you could think of. I actually had to leave behind one small desk lamp because it simply wouldn't fit...
I got in and I hit the road. I decided that, seeing as how it was going to be about a twelve hour drive through the desert, I should stop and get some drinks and munchies for the trip so I pulled into the local Wal-mart on my way out of town. When I went to roll up my window it wouldn't budge.... not a good way to start an odyssey.... This was an omen, it would turn out, of things to come.
My destination was Ciudad Juarez, Chihuahua Mexico. The city with the second highest murder rate in the world. Second only to Caracas Venezuela. It is also, unfortunately, the only place where immigration interviews and proceedings are conducted for Mexican Nationals trying to legally enter the United States.
I had a grand total of $1400 and no idea where I was going to live or work. Neither my family nor myself new anyone that lived there and I was going out two days ahead of my family to secure lodging. My wife and girls were coming up via bus from Tapachula which is in the southern most Mexican State of Chiapas, located on the Yucatan peninsula near the border of Guatemala. It took them eight days on the bus. My route was going to be through the deserts of Arizona and New Mexico to El Paso, Texas, which borders Juarez.
My drive turned out to be mostly pleasant as I chose to drive at night in order to avoid the scorching daytime heat. There was a little bit of a thunderstorm on the way there but even with my window stuck all the way down I didn't really mind because I was on an adventure. One thing I do recall as standing out on my voyage was that there was a rocket launch that took place, which because of the lack of city lights in the desert, was quite extraordinary. Illuminated only by the moon it gave the appearance of a giant rainbow colored backlit pillar that gradually stretched and twisted into kind of a snake trail looking thingy. It was iridescent and semi-translucent. It was beautiful.
Upon my arrival in Mexico I was greeted by, well... Mexico. If you have never been to mexico, which I assume that many of you probably haven't, it is a place full of sights and colors and sounds and smells that frankly we just don't have here in America. Almost all of the buildings in Juarez are constructed from either unreinforced concrete, plastered over red brick, or adobe and many are brightly painted with blue, yellow, red, green, pink, and orange or they are unpainted and crumbling. Most of the buildings are barred and or have jagged chunks of broken glass bottles embedded in top of the concrete walls surrounding them.
Everyone is usually trying to sell you something or get something from you which is understandable if you take into consideration the level of poverty in which the most of the people there exist. There are an amazing variety of things to eat and do and see and the overall atmosphere is in general friendly if not somewhat creepy... but never boring. You could spend a whole week there doing nothing but eating and drinking without ever getting bored.
There are, as there are in all border towns, a lot of hookers, drug dealers, drug traffickers, junkies, corrupt police, thieves, con-men, murderers, and beggars. There are also a lot more genuine, honest, friendly, extremely hard working, kind, and generous people. A land of dichotomy and good food..
Mexico is an extremely religious culture. So much so that it is not uncommon to see, for example, a junkie slam dope and then make the sign of the cross when they pass in front of a church right before he or she steals your wallet at knife point and then later returns to the same church to pray for forgiveness. Neither would it be uncommon to see an eighty year old man or woman try to stop said junkie from robbing you by reminding them that god is watching. It is a strange place and so very different from here that it would take many many pages just to failingly attempt to describe it if you have never been there.
Having only been to this particular city twice before, I decided that it might be in my own best interest to immediately seek safe and secure lodging at the lowest possible price. The place that I decided upon was maybe a mile from the border and less than two blocks from the American Consulate. It was called Hotel Chavel. It was far from what you would expect from an American hotel, but only two blocks from where our business was. I got two rooms for two weeks for four hundred dollars. They were clean, more or less comfortable and close to our ultimate destination, which would turn out to be different than our intended destination, but an equal distance away.
I waited there for two days by myself which I spent getting familiarized with my new home and looking for a job in El Paso. My wife and girls arrived a couple days later and we met at a local dive right across the street from the American Consulate called El Cebollero. At this time I weighed 220 pounds, wasn't drinking, and hadn't had a cigarette for over a year. I felt great with the exception that I was way short on cash.
It was fantastic to see them again after more than a year. There were lots of hugs, smiles, laughter, and tears. It was the best time of my life! We had all missed each other so much that there was a certain incomparable group ecstasy among us.
We waded back to the hotel through the bustling street with all of it's push carts, sidewalk hawkers, and taxis, and got situated. I had rented one room with two beds for the girls and one smaller room for my wife and myself. That first night together we supped on a roasted chicken with salsa, beans, and tortillas. It's funny the things you remember, no? The next few days we all just sort of spent recuperating, eating, sleeping, and enjoying each others company.
One year previous to this we had received a letter from the U.S. State Department saying congratulations that our papers were in the final approval process and that we should all come out to C.D. Juarez to finalize everything. So in June 2005 I flew my wife and daughters up from Tapachula and I flew out from California.
I got a rental car and nice hotel rooms. At the end of three weeks worth of prodding, poking, vaccinating, fingerprinting, and filing about fifty pages worth of paperwork that I had spent the previous year preparing and authenticating we were told thank you very much. We would be contacted by mail with the date for our next round of interviews.
You must understand that, in the letter, they really make it sound as though you are done with the process and your papers are approved. I had been expecting to come back to Cali with my family where we were going to take care of my grandmother and live happily ever after. I had already arranged everything.
I had a house that was already rented. It was being paid for as an alternative to a skilled nursing facility for my grandmother who was at the time ninety two and quite stricken with Alzheimer's disease. I had furnished the house which consisted of four bedrooms, a family room, a living room, a dinning room, and a kitchen. It was all ready to go. So upon finding out that we had been so horribly mislead we didn't have much choice.
I was broke. I had spent many thousands of dollars for that trip and now I was broke. Not only was I broke but now I was going to have to spend the next year taking care of my grandma by myself. You haven't lived till you've had a ninety two year old lady poop all over your feet while your trying to help her into the shower. God bless her angelic heart.
Don't get me wrong I love my grandmother very much but it was just so much work for one man. Actually to be fair I should mention that my mom would come over a few times a week after she got off work so that I could go out at night and deliver pizzas so I could have a little money to send to my wife. But for the most part it was just me. Well actually I was a lot of different people at that time. Sometimes I was her mother, her father, her husband ( grandpa ), her other husband ( she was only married once ), her friend, or occasionally even her grandson.
Anyway... we were stuck. I had to send my wife and girls back down south and I had to fly back to California. There was no way around it.
It took me my first two weeks in Juarez to find a job. We were running out of money real fast, and didn't yet have a place to stay, when I got a job working for Domino's Pizza in El Paso. It payed five dollars an hour plus tips... problem is that nobody, or at least hardly anybody, that I encountered in Texas actually seemed to grasp the concept that tipping the pizza guy was supposed to be standard protocol. I had put out a lot of resumes boldly announcing my considerable talents and experience as a machinist and c.n.c programer but had not yet had a bite.
Like a gaggle of geese we would go out in the morning and walk around together trying to find an apartment but we'd not yet been successful at that either. I was forced to pay for another week at the hotel which left us with only five hundred dollars. We had to find something... fast.
About two days later we saw a little sign that had been nailed to what I remember as being a small maple tree. There was no address and no phone number but the sign itself was only about two blocks from the hotel. I asked my wife, as her spanish is much more natural sounding than mine, if she would please go ask a nearby hamburger vendor if he knew anything about the sign. Yes yes yes, he said, he knew.
The sign had been placed there a while ago by a lady called senora or, more properly, Dona Carolina. She lived right around the corner. What luck right? I asked my wife to go over there and talk to here alone because there is an underlying distrust if not dislike that many native Juarenses have towards gringos. Dona Carolina, it turned out, wasn't there but we got her phone number.
My wife called her back later that night and, upon speaking with her, was informed that the apartment was being occupied by her nephew and his family. They had taken off to Chihuahua City about two months prior and she hadn't heard from them at all. She didn't know what was going on.
I asked my wife to explain to her our situation and tell her that we could afford two hundred dollars U.S. Per month with a two hundred dollar deposit. This may not sound like much but it was all that we had and probably more than she had been getting for the place. She said that she needed to try to get a hold of her nephew to find out what was going on and asked if we could call her back later. It was already getting late so that meant tomorrow.
I was starting to get pretty nervous seeing as how rent would be due again at the hotel in about three days. If we paid it then we wouldn't have enough for an apartment. I hadn't gotten a check yet from my job and when I finally would, 20 hours a week, at five dollars isn't enough when almost half was going to gas. We called Dona Carolina several times a day for three days when she finally broke down and said okay. Hurrah!
We moved that same day into a three bedroom apartment full of other peoples stuff. It took everything that we had financially. The apartment was located in a barrio called Fovissste Chamizal. It was comprised of probably about three hundred or so cube shaped, three story, plastered over brick buildings. Most of which were kind of a mauve or grey color and all had a stripe around the top of the building about two feet down from the top where the plaster was falling off. This damage was due to the plaster getting wet and then freezing at the roof-line in the winter.
This particular housing development was, as it was explained to me, built in the fifties by a government program to provide lodging for teachers and other employees of academia. They had not been well maintained. You've probably never moved into a place that was wholly occupied by someone else's life. It is strange beyond measure to say the least.
Dona Carolina told us that the apartment would be rented furnished. For the first couple of weeks we tried to live around the other family's stuff without disturbing it. That was, of course, before they showed up having no idea that they had been displaced. There was a bit of a hullabaloo but they were really pretty nice all things considered.
They took everything. Even the things that we were told we could keep when we moved in. When they were gone we had one chair, one large mattress, two small mattresses, one small round corner table, and some old cooking utensils. They left the stove but they took the fridge. We had two styrofoam ice-chests that we had been using at the hotel. In my car, which I still had not fully unpacked yet, I had a couple of lamps and a nite stand. We made due.
Right around the same time I received a response from one of the resumes I had passed out and was granted an interview. Things were looking up. All of the money that I had been able to earn so far slinging pizza's had gone almost entirely for food and gas.
My job interview was at a place called El Paso Tool & Die. The owners name was Sal and he was a giant of a man. He must have been at least six foot eight and five hundred pounds if he was he was an inch and an ounce. We talked for a while and he offered me a job starting at ten bucks an hour. Normally I wouldn't have even considered taking such a job for so little but under the circumstances I was thrilled. Although much less than I had made for doing this type of work in the past ten years, at that time, I was very happy to have it.
After a couple of weeks Dona Carolina found us another fridge that we could use and all of the utilities were connected. I took my first paycheck and got us a cheapo dinning set and some dishes, glasses, utensils, etc.. With my second check I bought an inexpensive and poorly made bunk bed for the girls, blankets, a shower head, and gave my wife some money to try and find us a couch. She found this worn out and horrid looking, but clean, monstrosity of a floral print couch and a not so clean arm chair for right around thirty bucks. We arranged some milk crates to get our bed off of the ground and we were rolling.
Laundry was accomplished in the broken washing machine that was left in the house after I replaced the belt. Wet clothes were then taken up to the roof and dried, like everyone else's, on one of the numerous clothes lines that were stretched aloft to catch the breeze. It wasn't so bad.
We ate like peasant kings. My wife is a fantastic cook and I'm not such a slouch myself. We had lots of pozole, chilaquiles, chile's rellenos, tamales wrapped in banana leaves, caldo de pollo, this delicious cauliflower fried in meringue, potatoes with chorizo and chili's, and all other manner of delicacies specific to the Yucatan region of Mexico. Pretty much everything was served with home-made refried beans, or frijoles de la olla, fresh tortillas, sauteed and salted jalapeno peppers and not less than three different types of salsa made fresh daily.
My trip was breakfast. The kids really liked pancakes, omelets, french toast, and soft-boiled eggs. I also made sure that they always had fresh fruit , yogurt, and granola. I got off easy. I tried to make lasagna once but the only pan I had was one of those disposable really thin aluminum roasting pans which reacted with the acid from the tomatoes and ate a series of holes in the sides and top and rendered it inedible.
With the exception of the inch long cockroaches it was absolutely wonderful being there together with them. In september of that year was my wife and I's third wedding anniversary and I thought it might be nice to get her something that would be enjoyed by all. Enter the television. It was nothing fancy. In fact it was the cheapest 25" model that they had at Wally-Mart. Besides I was trying to find a way to justify the expenditure of cable internet.
I was now, and had been, working full time and my wife had found a job at the corner of our street putting spices and other condiments into little plastic bags. The pay was only 700 pesos ( about 55-60 dollars ) a week but she got government subsidized health insurance for herself and the kids as part of the deal. For this she worked ten hours a day, five days a week.
I decided to celebrate my anniversary after my wife was asleep by drinking a bottle of sotol and having a cigarette. Sotol, for those of you who are unacquainted with it, is a distilled spirit which is quite indistinguishable from tequila with the exception that it is smoother and made from a different type of succulent. Teresa or Tere for short ( that's my wife's name ) did actually join me for a couple of shots before we went to bed.
She fell asleep fairly quickly but for some reason I was unable to sleep. I got up and went outside with my bottle of sotol and was sitting on the stairs out in front when the neighbor came out. We did not talk at first but he was smoking a cigarette and whether it was because I was tipsy or just stressed out over the lack of response regarding the impending paper work or whatever, I asked him for a smoke. His name was Enrique and he would eventually contribute, in no small way, to my down-fall.
Having that stupid smoke was a big mistake for me. See I started smoking when I was twelve years old and have been struggling with it on and off for my whole life. I have quit a few times before for a couple of years at a pop but then something will happen. Someone will die or some other variety of catastrophic event will occur and I will inevitably start again. I am still smoking now as a result of that one three and a half years ago. I'm trying to quit. I know, how fucking cliché, right?
Teresa hates smoking and can smell it a mile away. In fact a prerequisite to us getting married was that I quit. Well needless to say she smelled it in the morning and went a wee bit ballistic. I told her it was just one, because I had been drinking, and promised no more. I didn't keep that promise. I started having one at work while I was on my break. That lasted for a while. Something about the smell of the oil from work made it harder for her to distinguish I guess.
Juarez earned itself a nickname somewhere along the line. In all honesty I must say that I have never before heard a more appropriate re-naming. It is called the city of death.
I had been in Juarez about a month or two before I looked at a newspaper. On the front page was a full color picture of an American D.E.A. agent who had been tortured to death, had his finger cut off and placed in his mouth, and his badge placed open-face on his forehead before he was carefully wrapped in Saran Wrap and dumped in Parque Chamizal. Parque Chamizal is a large park right across the border from El Paso. The specific location where the body was found was not more than a quarter mile from my apartment.
I didn't look at a newspaper for some time after that simply because I was too busy. After we got our television it was probably two days before I was watching the T.V. News one morning and there was a story explaining how earlier that morning, while pulling out of the parking lot of the municipal police depot, the Juarez police chief of the day's car was abruptly stopped by two sport utility vehicles out of which sprang three or four gunmen, in body armor and ski masks, and sporting fully automatic weapons, who proceeded to pump over five hundred rounds of ammunition into the chief's car. Needless to say both men in the target vehicle were killed.
I quickly realized that this was the norm in Juarez rather than the exception. I don't think as much as two days ever went by without there being some gnarly and hard to believe story on the front page. Here are a few more examples. "Caldo de Cabezas", ( pot full of heads ) there was one of those galvanized steel, round wash basins found full of decapitated heads. Commandos stormed a drug rehabilitation center and executed nineteen. Commandos stormed the city jail and executed the head jailer and three other guards etc. etc. etc.
Ya see it's like this, there are two different drug cartels ( The Juarez Cartel and The Sinaloa Cartel ) who are involved in a turf war over what they call "The Plaza". "The Plaza" refers to a border crossing where most of the cargo comes into the U.S. From that part of Mexico. They take it very seriously.
If you take into account that most of the police are on some level or another on the payroll of the cartels, as are quite a few border guards, and that almost everyone in Juarez is in some way, either employed by or related to someone who is employed, in some way, by the cartels it becomes a little easier to understand. Add a few billion dollars to the equation and you wind up with the following solution.
If you play ball but you don't play by the rules you die. If they want you to play ball but you refuse you die. If you really screw up then you and any children you might have and your wife and probably some of your friends and extended family get tortured to death and your bodies get dumped in a public place with a banner sized ad warning everyone else to be very fucking careful. Understand? Violence is proportionally as big a part of life in Juarez as poverty is. Did I mention that the inside of my apartment was gaily painted with yellow walls encircled by a fancy orange border?
After we had been living in "The City of Death" for about one year we got the bad news. My wife's papers, and therefore subsequently my daughters papers as well, had been denied... As a result of new immigration statutes, because she admitted to the fact that she had been in the U.S. For a little more than one year without proper documentation after 1997, she would henceforth be banned from legally re-entering the United States for ten years. TEN YEARS...
I was generously given one month to file an appeal. Of course there was no information included on how to properly file an appeal and it would certainly require a lawyer. I had a couple hundred bucks left over from buying all the school stuff for the girls but nowhere near enough for a lawyer.
When you first go to file your immigration papers they tell you to please fill out such and such forms and mail them to said address with a money order to cover the fees. They wholly fail to mention that you will almost certainly need a lawyer or that they will systematically milk you of everything you have before they finally tell you to go piss up a rope. I apologize sincerely for using such offensive expletives but there are times when nothing else really quite satisfies.
The first thing I did when I got the news was go out to my car and proceed directly to the intersection of Ave. Lincoln and Calle Hermanos Escobar. This is the first major intersection you hit on your way into the city if you come across the free bridge. You can get anything you would want there as far as vice goes.
This is where I first encountered El Mojo, which means the wet. They called him that because he was always drunk and would occasionally pass out in the street and piss on himself. I whistled loudly and motioned for him to come over to my car.
He was probably in his late forties with wavy graying shoulder length hair and a fu manchu style mustache with about a four day shadow on the rest of his face. As I recall he was wearing some pretty thrashed old jeans with a tattered Hawaiian print shirt and a baseball cap.
He came over and said in almost decipherable english; hey my friend whuz goin own. I said would you please get me a box of marlboro lights? I gave him five bucks and told him to keep the change ( about two bucks ). He said here jew go man. Jew liken da ladies? I said no thank you. O da, coca jew a liken da coca. Once again I said no thanks. To which he responded by throwing a small rectangular folded paper bindle into my car and saying dis a gift de El Mojo, jew liken it me always here, me take care a jew.
I said, in spanish, alright then thank you very much I'll keep my eye out for you. He started cracking up, I guess because I spoke spanish, and said once again that if I needed anything, girls, cocaine, heroin, pot, etc. etc. just look him up. I said all right then, I'll see you around. When I said I'll see you later I didn't think I really meant it.
From there I proceeded to the S-Mart which is a large, modern, very Americanish supermarket chain to get a bottle of sotol. They had a special going at the time where if you bought a quart you got an additional pint for free. I got my bottle and went home. It was saturday so I had the day off and Teresa had taken the girls out shopping for some clothes. She didn't know about the letter yet and I didn't know how to tell her.
Fear, or more specifically xenophobia, is a real bitch isn't it. Like the Pied Piper of Hamelin it leads the easily fooled and the naïve to the worst imaginable destinations. Suicide, homicide, genocide, dogmatic racist neo-McCarthyistic paranoid hyperbole, and yet it is so hard for the overwhelming percentage of people to resist. It's almost like a drug to a lot of people. The net product of this frustrating ruse for me suddenly manifested itself as a bad case of trichotillomania ( a compulsion to pull out one's own hair ) and an overwhelming desire to get completely screwed-up drunk. Lucky for me I was already bald.
I went home and proceeded to drink and smoke as though It were an olympic event and I was training for the gold. I drank the small bottle of sotol first and worked my way about half way through the big bottle before I remembered the little white bindle that El Mojo had thrown into my car.
Now it wasn't like this was my first time around the block or anything. I have tried just about everything at least once before and danced with more than a few lovely ladies for a little while longer than was probably healthy. But I hadn't done anything for quite some time. Ah sweet precious rationalization...
While I wasn't 100% sure what was contained within the dubious little envelope. I was nevertheless absolutely positive that whatever it was was at least as bad news as the other dire dispensation that I had received earlier from The Department of State. Even so I was irresistibly drawn to it by a force so powerful that it might as well have contained a black hole.
I went to my car and retrieved the devil's gift from the floor of the passenger side where it had been lying in wait for me ever so patiently. I carefully unfolded the tiny package until it revealed itself to contain about a half a teaspoon of a fine white powder. With some degree of caution I slightly moistened the tip of the pinky finger on my right hand with my tongue and dipped it carefully into the small pile of crystalline material. I tasted it. It was cocaine...
I flashed back instantly to high school and to the two years in my early twenties that I had spent in long term residential drug rehabilitation in Phoenix House as a direct result of my pathetic weakness for this particular substance. The stuff is evil... and this was exceptionally pure evil.
Obviously there was only one responsible course of action for me to pursue. So I whipped out my wallet, fished out a bill, rolled it up into a small tube, inserted one end of the tube into my nose and stuck the other end into the vortex of my inescapable quantum singularity and inhaled deeply... I will regret the moment that I crossed that particular event horizon fore the wrest of my daze.
Quite quickly my heart rate accelerated, my face became numb from my eyebrows to my chin, to the back of my head, and all the way down my throat. The bitter drip... the horror... the horror... I threw away the empty paper, put the bill back in my wallet and went back upstairs chewing non-existent food with my half empty bottle of tincture of despair clinched tightly in my hand. I sat on the couch, turned on the TV, and started to cry myself a river. What a fool I was...
Whether it was because I was too busy crying or just too high, I didn't hear Teresa coming up the stairs with the kids. They all just kind of stood there staring at me for a minute before Tere sent the kids to their room. She compassionately inquired "what's wrong my love"? I wiped the tears from my eyes, shook my head, sighed deeply, and handed her the letter. Of course she couldn't read it so I tried to explain, as gently as I could, that, barring a miracle, we were screwed at least as far as immigration was concerned. I don't think that she immediately grasped the magnitude of the situation because all she said in response was you've been drinking and smoking.
She made a grimacing face and waved her hand in front of her nose in a gesture of disgust. She then proceeded to call out the girls and told them to get ready for dinner. I went into our bedroom to sulk... About ten or fifteen minutes had passed when my youngest daughter Lily came in and said daddy there's someone at the door for you. I said okay. I got up and went to the door.
Now the way these apartments were laid out there were three flights of stairs and then there was an apartment on the right hand side. On the left hand side there was a barred steel door separating the last flight of stairs which lead up to the roof and our apartment which was protected by yet another barred door. On the other side of the first door was a young man of about twenty or so. I had never seen him before.
I opened our door and stepped forward to the outer door and said what's up. What can I do for you? He said give me all of your money and the keys to your car... I sort of laughed and said what? He repeated himself verbatim. I realized that he was serious and the smile which had previously hung on my face, like some kind of cheap painting, quickly disappeared.
I looked him in the eye for a second and responded coldly by saying no. he said give me your fucking money and your car keys right now or I will kill you. I have a gun and I will shoot you... He really couldn't have picked a worse time to try and rob me. I mean seriously... I once again looked him square in the eye and said quite cooly, go ahead then, shoot me, and when your done go and fuck your mother.
I think I must have struck a chord because, with surprising speed, he jabbed his fist through the bars and hit me dead on the nose. It caught me somewhat by surprise so I stared at him for a second and then I held up my index finger and said hang on just a second. I turned around and walked to my room and grabbed my samurai sword but when I returned he was gone.
I don't think I was really going to use it but then again you never know. There was essentially no harm done so I walked back to my room, put my sword away, and instructed Teresa and the girls to be sure and keep both doors locked at all times from now on. I swore at that moment that I would never touch any drug ever again.