David in Mexico

When I was nineteen years old, I was an Army private stationed in Darmstadt, Germany. Desert Storm had us all on lockdown, and with Christmas coming up, my boss at the time, Chaplain Mike Suttle, strategized a back-door way to get some of of us lower-enlisted soldiers off-post without having to take official leave. He personally sanctioned a week-long “retreat” to Rome, justified to the higher-ups by him leading a daily prayer session. None of us gave a shit about the praying, we just wanted to get our stir-crazy asses somewhere else. Italy sounded cool. With a thumb’s up from…

Getting Home Again

She sits maybe thirty feet away from where I’m trying my damnedest to stay awake. Blue and lime streaks in her dark brown hair. Black velvet wedges, a wrist tattoo. Her spine leans into the book in her lap. If she’s on my flight she still has more than three hours to wait. Long enough to kill the rest of that book. Long enough for a lot of things. My 3am wakeup taxes my ability to reason. I’ve already started and stopped a half dozen things, too tired to see them through. I’m also caught in some kind of clumsy…

The Classic Modern

I like VWs. Old ones. Mostly transporter vans from the 1960s and 70s and Vanagons from the 80s. But really, I’m not too picky. Except when it comes to the modern day bug, or that hideous Euro van. Neither compares to the iconic past designs. For the past few years I’ve often heard of Volkswagen’s plans to unveil a modern version of the original transport van, but I’m pretty sure it’s all hype. If VW actually comes through with it, my prediction is it’ll suck. They’ll round the boxy edges, fancy up the grill, make too many components automatic and put…

Turista

It’s common for visitors to Mexico to get sick from any number of things: bad water, contaminated food, high altitude, or whatever. In fact, it’s so common that the condition is simply known as turista, which, duh, translates to tourist. I must have dodged a few bullets during my first week here because last night I ate at a stand I’d previously patronized. Dude who runs it is super nice and even slows down his Spanish for me to make sure I get all the selling points about what’s cooking that night. His cart is set in this fantastic little…