I envision an unruptured aneurysm waiting to happen. Cranial hemorrhage and severe contusions over the entire body. Need to pay attention, keep me eyes on the road. Jogging in Mexico is a contact sport. After midnight you might encounter a body lying on the side of the road. Traffic laws are seldom obeyed. Neither are marriage vows.
I jog past my wife every Tuesday and Thursday afternoon. Three thirty sharp. I’ve been doing so for three years now. She married a doctor, an oral surgeon, and they live in Cabo San Lucas during the winter. She lets me see the kids, but not since the restraining order–so I have to jog fast and across the street in case she catches me between passing cars through the tint of her Dior glasses, as she eats arrachera tacos at the taquería with her husband while the kids are playing at the beach.
I rented one of the apartments downtown. I live in the same building as my wife’s maid, up the street from that over-priced nightclub Cabo Wabo Cantina. There are always beer bottles on my street and vomit in the mornings, ancient aromas alongside the plastic empty cups and the debaucheries of predawn charades. The maid tells me, “Ellos están locos,” and I smile and hold the gate to our fence open as she motions for me to eat, and I dig my hand into her plastic container full of toasty tortas, tacos, tamales, and for once I feel closer to my wife than I have in years.
The doctor drinks a Pacifico. Sometimes I catch him squeezing the lime into the bottle. I smile when he drops the fluorescent fruit into the liquid. He splashes himself in the eyes sometimes. This makes me laugh. Loving the madness of the taquería, I keep one eye on the table, the other on the dusty side of the road where I jog. I’ve lost twenty pounds, started sleeping with a sombrero on my head, dreaming of clouds in my bed that takes up half the space in my one room apartment.
They live in a big, beautiful house on the side of a mountain overlooking the Pacific Ocean; my wife wearing a bikini with her feet on the rail of the patio, her shadow blocking out the clouds, her breasts merge with the waves. The doctor lies in the infinity pool all day on an inflatable raft dreaming about the future. I sit in the shadows of blood-red bougainvillea and think about the past, listening to the waves crash against the shoreline and the rocks.
Everything is going fine until I run into a car on Valentine’s Day. Damn doctor ran across the street and recognized my face through the blood-covered teeth. My mouth took the brunt of the impact as the red ATV sped down the road in a cloud of dust. The wind was knocked out of me as the tropical breeze blew dirt into my contacts.
“Tom,” my ex-wife says, “what the hell are you doing here?”
My first thought it to make sure I’m at least 200 yards from the children; they are nowhere to be found. The doctor asks for more napkins. I’m missing a couple teeth. They decide to carry me across the street to sit down at their plastic table at the taquería. The doctor orders more napkins and two Pacificos. My ex-wife asks for a margarita. Three more tacos–one for me. I smile. Wait till they’re both in the bathroom washing their hands–talking about me–before I grab the fattest habenero on the table and break it in half with my broken teeth. One piece for the doctor, one for the wifey. That’s when the aneurysm happens.