I began writing this at around quarter to eleven at night, CST, to report I had a long ass day today. This isn’t family friendly.
It began with my mother begging me that I go buy cigarettes for my grandfather, I normally try to make it as hard as possible for him to attain cigarettes, but this time I genuenly had no opposition. My grandfather is probably going to stay in Spain the remainder of his life and he hates European cigarettes. My normal reaction is “cry me a river” but he’s rarely gotten a chance to buy sweet, chemical induced, third world tobacco he so desperately loves. So I went and bought forty boxes of tobacco; the limit for travelers.
I’m still in Mexico, but my mother, my aunt, and my sisters are all long gone, in a jumbo jet probably leaving the North American continent as I type. She left shortly after I returned from the store with all the tobacco, a brief goodbye later I was left alone; unbound. Inside an empty house that felt almost harrowing. But I didn’t have much time left to be honest, I had to jump into my car and go to Desierto de los Leones to meet some friends for a hike. The hike wasn’t a hike, and they’re really acquaintances; not friends.
Desierto de los Los Leones is a national park, and it’s pretty cool, That’s why I accepted their drunken invitation a few days prior. In the group there was a med student, a law student, a literature student, and three mass communication students. We spent most of the time messing about in the former convent; we shouted in the catacombs, scared eachother in the alleyways, and we also got to see first hand the set of a film and the crew in full on medieval clothing having their lunch break.
Among themselves; they’re really close friends, and it was noticeable, I wasn’t excluded or anything but they had their own stories coming up, two of them were dating, and it just felt like a collection of people making a mess in a park. No one came asking that we settle down because it was tuesday; the fucking park rangers were asleep or asking if we had pot, it was kind of ludicrous in that sense.
But the park closes at 5PM and it was beginning to rain, so the med student suggested we left. Since I was already on the highway, and I felt entitled due to picking my grandfather a ridiculous amount of smokes, I decided to head to their house outside Mexico City. Where I am right now.
I remembered that in the neighborhood there’s a girl I knew, I barely knew her but I had her phone number, and to me that was more than enough, I gave her a call and surely, he was available to “hang out or whatever” She was still at her summer job; she’s an English teacher, and I actually headed to the fucking school, and helped her finish some errands.
I knew she was fresh off a relationship (single) and she started telling me about her 7th grade boyfriend; a guy in Metepec, from the time before she lived in Arizona (I’m learning alongside you). The guy got news that she was single and he decided to ask, nicely, if she would have sex with him. She found his attitude a little bit childish but hell, she wanted a rebound so she agreed, or so she told me in the car ride.
“He started asking me if we should become partners again, but I had to explain to him that I don’t care about sex, and that I live in the United States; far from here” she complained. Mercifully the ride to my family’s house was short. But she insisted on continuing the conversation as I prepared ourselves a couple of Carajillos; a drink made out of vanilla liquor and cold coffee.
“I mean, I said yes because he asked nicely at the beginning, but what kind of bullshit is this?” she said scoffing the man. Apparently this guy cared a lot about it because they made a pact in middle school about losing their virginity with eachother, I said that I found it hard to believe that the guy celebrated the seven year long abstinence pact. She quickly retorted (as the conversation with the man was a few days old) “He said that he declined having sex three times!”
In a sense I wanted to call bullshit on that because, you know, it seemed all very far fetched. To me the guy was either obsessed with her or extremely horny; either way he was coming out as a total creep. But I decided instead to go another way. I said “So, if I asked nicely, you’d have sex with me?” in a defying tone. She smirked and nodded.
Thusly, without even finishing our drinks, we were in the car again, going to a store to buy condoms. I realized in that moment that I had become the thirsty guy, not her ex, and that she really didn’t care about him; which made me wonder why she humored the conversation for so long.
I wonder when it is that we loose our sense of wonder. If this guy is being sincere what I was about to do with his ex girlfriend would’ve been amazing for him, but to me it feels almost lacking. Just as fooling around a tired national park felt pointless to me, or being against my grandfather smoking.
We arrived back at my house at around 8:00pm; and despite all of her warnings of her “preparation and knowledge”, the whole act felt boring, I think she was bored too; as if this whole ordeal wasn’t meant to happen. After a small amount of time she said that they were expecting her home, and as we got dressed I said the same thing; despite no one really expecting me home, but instead flying over Pennsylvania probably.
I took her back home, and in a sense she wanted to convince me she had fun; maybe she did. But I wouldn’t be told the truth, I think. Once we arrived at her driveway I asked if she ever wants to do it again, and she didn’t answer. “have a safe drive home!” she said, shortly before entering her house; I didn’t even get out of my car.
I then did the drive of shame, and it was late, around 9:20PM, but a few minutes after leaving she called me: she had forgotten her jacket. Which meant I had to go home, get her jacket, and drive back to her.
When I arrived she left me waiting outside for almost ten minutes even after I called her to confirm I had her jacket. I called her again and she shouted “THE KITTEN DIED!” which felt kind of weird. She emerged from her house a few seconds later and apologized for making me wait.
I then returned to my grandparent’s home, which was empty, alike my home. But rain had gotten pretty bad and it was pretty late; I almost wanted to stay, but also leave because there was no food here. I began looking for food all over the place, I found some lasagna pasta sheets but those were no good because there was no dressing for it to go with. So I stood by the kitchen overseeing absolutely nothing. So I took a small coffee cup, filled it a quarter of the way with tap water to use it as ash tray, and lit up a cigarette. I’m not a smoker at all, but I felt like it was something I just had to do as I thought about the situation.
I was kind of stressed out because I had given my grandfather a means to his deadly addiction, I fooled around a national park with acquaintances, and then I tried to find some sort of consolation in meaningless sex. The entire day felt odd, almost unnecessarily filled with hope and disappointment, and a lot of driving. I must’ve listened to two or three Alt-J albums in the span of the day.
So at 10:20, and after unsuccessfully trying to find a way to cook lasagna pasta sheets, I decided to hop on the highway to a McDonalds. I got there barely before they closed and I ordered a hamburger that made the interior of my car stink. I’m sitting on the dinner table with the trash from the burger to my right, writing this on a laptop that stands on a surface that has seen so many people’s hands touch it and use it as a means to discuss, draw, eat, or simply talk: Family friends, and family itself.
A light engraving from last year’s new year’s eve party can be felt upon touching the wood surface, and it harkens back to better times; before my grandmother had dementia, before my grandfather settled for Spain and addiction to smoking and alcohol. Yet very much like what I did today; analyzing this table and what it has seen is pointless because it’s in the past and I can’t go back.
I hope he enjoys his cigarettes.