Ya No Soy Tejano

Quineño felt the weight of his sweat-soaked shirt as he moved from table to table with the heavy bus tub.

The two cowboy gabachos were smoking cigarettes despite the sign posted above their table: No Fumar, with a red X across the cigarette.

Señora Brena already had told them to stop, but they made a great show pretending not to understand her heavily accented English.

Quineño spoke perfect English, having spent most of his life right across the border in Eagle Pass.

He even used to consider himself half Texan, though seeing men like these made him seriously reconsider this.

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Nineteenth Hole

He walked onto the green and pretended to look. I watched him take a ball out of his pocket and drop it. “Here it is!” he cried.

“Two-stroke penalty,” I said. “Lost ball.”

His neck grew red. “But this is my ball right here. Titleist three. ”

“Come on. I saw you drop it.”

“Your word against mine.”

I shook my head. “You’re just a goddamn cheat. It’s pathetic.”

He came apart. Screamed, threw down his clubs, balled his fists, stormed over to the refreshment tent and tore it apart.

“I saw it too,” said my caddy. “But he’s the president.”

 

Krankhaus

Gerd looked up from the rotten mattress, his eyes ratlike and wild. “Well?”

I shook my head. “Not until tomorrow.”

“Goddamnit. I told you we should’ve–”

“Should’ve what? Not smoked everything? As I recall, you were the one with the pipe in your mouth.”

He looked ready to fight, but then the rage drained out him. He slumped against the wall, beaten.

“Jesus, Gerd. You’re not crying, are you? We’ll get more. Just not today.”

“That’s not it,” he sobbed. “I just can’t do this anymore.” He raised his head, eyes shining. “This is not living. This is not life.”

 

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