Credit still goes to John Clark for the editing. Blame for the screw up belongs to my computer. I have no blame at all.
I have done business all along Mexico's northern border and found more good and friendly, easy to get along with people than you would ever expect to come across. Usually people look on the border towns as being places for dangerous sex, sneering merchants who will rip you off in a yanqui second and cheap goods of dubious quality. If that is all you're you are looking for, you'll find it because whatever there is a market for, there is someone to supply the demand, no matter how sleazy.
On the other hand, if you look past the glitter and flash of the quick buck merchants and vendors, you will discover something else that is so much better, down in Old Mexico, sometimes even love, real honest to god true love...
First off, the largely Spanish influence of Mexican culture frowns on open, casual sex. That is so even today but love is looked upon as the balm of the soul. And if a guy and a gal happen to end up in bed together, you'll find love forgives almost anything. Well, so long as you don't get caught in the act or pregnant that is. All of Mexico is a country of extremes and seeming contradictions, even along the Americanized Northern Border. So in retrospect, it was no great surprise that when I found love down there, I found it where I would have least expected it.
There is a road, just south of the US Mexican border that runs between Tijuana and Tecate, two very under appreciated Mexican towns. Because of the great amount of commerce in the area, all sorts of enterprises from machine shops to vineyards and dairy farms abound. That means the paved road between the two towns is as excellent as any in our own country. But there are still those little businesses here and there along the highway, which are typically Mexican in style and operation.
I stopped at one such roadside business on a hot July afternoon. I had been dealing with a machine shop in Tijuana for ten years when all at once they decided to jack the prices up beyond what I called reasonable. I canceled all of my standing orders with them and headed over to Tecate to deal with a more reasonable vendor. The air conditioning had gone out in my car and that hot July sun seemed to suck the moisture out of a person.
I was parched when I saw a little roadside place that I figured was either a cantina or some kind of a convenience store. Either way, the odds were I would be able to find something cold to drink there. The weathered sign on the front of the building was indecipherable. I pulled up and stopped near the entrance and got out and walked toward the darkened interior.
The sign over the front door, as I said, could have advertised just about anything. It was impossible to decipher the thing after years of burning sun on the cheap paint used to letter the old sign originally. But it hung there proclaiming something or other. Probably the owners figured the locals knew what they could buy there and the stuck up gringos wouldn't stop anyway.
The small building was at least a hundred years old, erected in the style of the brick and adobe architecture of the Old Mexico of the eighteen hundreds. The only modern thing about the place were a lone, thin electric wire running from the power pole outside, through the outer wall that ended at a naked electric light bulb suspended from the ceiling. There was also one of those old plug-in sockets screwed into it and an old, almost antique GE refrigerator was plugged in to that.
Five half naked kids ran in and out and around the building, chasing a scrawny pissed off rooster who didn't like the game at all. Then my heart stopped a beat. A young woman sat next to the fridge, fanning herself with an old magazine. Her face and eyes, everything about her was beyond beautiful. Hers was the classic sculpted beauty that hearkened to the Spanish and Arabic mix of Old Spain.
As soon as I stepped inside the darkened interior, she yelled at the bare assed kids. They scampered outside and we were alone. I looked at her, really looked at her, for the second time.
Remember Jane Russell, the not too talented actress who played opposite Audie Murphy in that old movie classic, "The Outlaw?" Remember those not-really-too-big, beautiful tits of hers? How they would have made any normal man's mouth water, just looking at them? Now transport that gorgeous body to the present, add wonderfully brown nipples that pushed against the thin cotton fabric of a much worn peasant blouse and see those glorious breasts unfettered by any bra, probably ever. A skirt, as thin as the material in the blouse, covered her curvaceous but not too wide hips. I could see she probably had nothing on under her skirt worth mentioning.
There was a small window directly behind her that let in the bright sunlight. She slipped off the stool she had been sitting on and stood, facing me, her body silhouetted by the backlight of the window. Her silhouette made it clear there were neither slip nor panties under her skirt.
"My God. You're beautiful." I exclaimed as the sheer, raw sexual beauty of her jolted me hard.
She smiled at the obvious honesty of my spontaneous exclamation. "Thank you, sir," she answered, holding her almost lisping ess sound the slightly extra beat in the way many of the western border people do. "How may I help you?"
I thought to myself, Oh Jesus, lady, how indeed? Then I groped for an socially acceptable answer. "Just a Tecate," I answered, thinking of the punch line to the old joke. You know, "Just gimme a piece of beer."
Her hips swayed in a seductive way as she walked with a natural feline grace seen so seldom seen these days. Today's girls and young women are taught at an early age to pout and posture and flop their asses around in clumsy looking poses. Those poses are supposed to denote something or other, but look stupid to me. I had the urge to run up behind her, raise her skirts and run my tongue all over her beautiful body. That woman could have made Richard Simmons get off. (Well, maybe.)
I restrained myself and walked over to the bar and sat down on one of the stools. She smiled as she brought me my beer, I finally got my mind out of her crotch and looked her over again. I studied her features. Her skin had the healthy, pink olive glow you find when European, Spanish/Arab and a bit of Indian are mixed together in all the proper proportions. Her green cat-eyes had hypnotically glow that drew me into them. It was hard to breath as I looked at her in the semi darkness of the room. I had a hard on.
"Would you like anything else, sir?" she asked me. Oh what a clever lead in line I could have used to answer her question.
There was just one problem, she meant nothing sexual, when she asked me that question. I looked into her sweet, lightly freckled face and smiled and said, "Chicharons, por favor." I reached for the roll of bills in my pocket and impulsively added, "Tamarindo por los ninos" I don't know why I ordered soft drinks for the kids, but it just seemed the right thing to do.
"Ah. You espeak a Spanish." she smiled at my attempt to use the border Spanish gringos had better learn to do business properly in that area. It's a matter of manners, more than anything else. But too many years of arrogant, rich Americans ordering them around had given many Mexicans an "attitude" when doing business with us.
"Only a little," I replied in spanish, "I am afraid my ability to speak your beautiful Spanish tongue is very limited." I always try to add in a little compliment here and there when I'm with Mexicans; it is their way. It is appreciated and costs nothing but a little thoughtfulness.
"Oh, in that case we shall speak Engleesh. I am trying to speak a better Engleesh than I now do. She leaned forward and smiled to herself as I glanced down at her scoop necked semi open blouse top. These young women were born flirting. They didn't mean anything about it, usually; it was just their custom. You know, show a hint of titty, and show some leg and stop right there. What's funny is you'll find so many of the sluts in their culture will dress in modest clothing, as if trying to hide their sins. It's all very weird, to our way of thinking.
It is also why so many Americans seldom if ever make out with the nicer Mexican women. That little flirtatious show of leg or boob that is the mainstay of the American girl, advertising her possible availability is meant as harmless flirtation by the Mexican maid. I look on it as a message telling me, 'See what you're not getting.' Believe me, if a Mexican woman wants to do you, you will damn well know it and fast.
"Just another beer in a moment, please," I answered her in English.
"You are very beautiful," I said again.
Her face darkened and she started to back away from me. In her eyes, right then I had become just another horny old gringo who thought his money made him desirable and witty and charming and eligible for a fast piece of tail in the afternoon, as he passed on through and down the highway.
"Forgive me, Miss, I do not mean to get too personal or to insult you. I am not suggesting anything wrong or improper. It is just that you are so very good looking. Your skin is wonderful and your freckles are charming. Your light brown hair hangs past your shoulders in a way an artist could only hope to paint. And let me tell you," I gestured at the model in the beer poster on one wall, "You would look so much better in that picture than the model does." What I told her was true. The model in the beer ad on the calendar was just too skinny and the string bikini she had on didn't do anything to enhance her scrawny (to me) body.
.... There is more of this story ...