Thursday, August 10, 2006

Last Call

Let this be the drink of the damned! Pédro says, grabs the last tequila bottle from behind the counter, dumps its guts into an oversized shot glass. Swallows hard. Passing out eight seconds later, his left cheek hits the table. Probably chipping a tooth. Definitely bloodying a lip. A tough drink this bandito brew.

I, of course, have long since resigned from these vomit-enducing, soul-depriving beverages. Bad for the liver, costly on the pocket book. But, alas, no Man is a Perfect Beast. Flawed, I do give in to these indiscretions every now and then.

“Your friend,” queries the barwoman, “he’ll sleep here tonight, no?” “Sure,” comes my reply. “This bar is like a second home.”

I pat Pédro good night, pay for his drinking, then stagger to the room we've rented down the street. We all could use a good night’s sleep.

Too early, the cursed sun is blinding. I have a quick breakfast (runny eggs and weak coffee). Then I check on Pédro. Snoring loudly, he’s still hunched over the table. But as a seasoned journeyman, I know: Let a drunken traveler sleep it off, lest he become a burden on the voyage.

I’ll give him ’til noon.

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