Why I Travel – Or how I almost became a Mexican DJ Part 4

Image from TruckChamp.com

Now I begin the final 2 chapters of this story that shaped my life into what it has become. This is also Free Write Friday and the theme is Your One Amazing Summer.

Since this is part 4 of a continuing story about “my one amazing summer” I want to enter it for #FWF consideration; however, I do not intend to follow the rules so perhaps they will let me audit this week’s assignment.

Here are links to the first 3 parts

Part 1 – Part 2 Part 3

I travel because trips make memories and unlike cars or furniture memories last forever

My father said this to me sometime before we ever took this famed first trip together. To this day I believe it and live by it. I have nothing of great substance as far as possessions go, but my memories are woven into the fabric of my existence.


I could still hear the sounds of the Scaramouche thumping behind us as I let my hands wander across her young body. From a first kiss to a series of other discoveries in a matter of minutes I was so wrought with disbelief that I continued to try my luck like a fool that hits a small jackpot on his first coin in a slot machine.

I am certain I looked like some emaciated ghost groping the tan body of this girl in some state of necromancy along the haunted walls of the plaza. For my purposes I would not have cared if the whole church choir was singing behind me I was taking what I could in the time that I had.

I assumed I would never see her again as I kissed her softly before she stepped into the cab. As the cab pulled away she yelled from the open back window, “Hotel Cozumeleño Room 457… after breakfast”

I am not sure if I slept that night and I am certain I did not care. On my walk home to our dive hotel I think I can honestly say my feet never touched the ground but I did feel a little sticky in my nether reaches. I wanted to run into the sea or tell someone. Who could I tell?

The next morning my father and the donde boys were going to rent a jeep and do the other side of the island. This was a part of the trip I very much wanted to experience; however, as that did not include a stopover at Hotel Cozumeleño it was not going to happen. My dad had already heard of my ballsy cut-in on the dance floor and he knew I trudged in well after midnight so I do not think he was surprised when I told him I would prefer to stay around town and do some “sightseeing.”

I grabbed the first cab I could find and jetted over to the very nice Cozumeleño. It was posh white like a scene from Miami Vice and I strolled in and made my way to room 457.

She answered the door in an all-white and flowing short sleeping gown. I had never seen anything more beautiful. In the daylight her eyes sparkled while the wind blew the sheer curtains ever so slightly and in that scene she looked very much like William Petersen’s wife from the Michael Mann film Manhunter.

It took less than a hello to be fully engaged with her and it was less than a pubescent spike before her father began to jingle the door handle. I jumped up quickly from a compromising position and  sped into the bathroom. I remember being jarred from the moment by the double vanity, cool white tile, and enormous shower. Here all along I kind of believed Mexico was a shit hole and suddenly I was in the nicest bathroom of my life and partially nude.

I dressed and turned on the sink as if I was washing my hands to give my flag a chance to lower from half-mast. My lovely friend and her dad were chatting outside and she explained that I just popped over as we had met at the disco and that weirdly we knew mutual people.

As I went outside and met the father I remember thinking to myself, even then, and in the middle of an awkward situation, how much I would not like being this girl’s father. He was balding with glasses, thick and hairy tan legs, short socks, and deck shoes. He had a New York Times under his arm and a bit of a creepy Magnum PI moustache. He explained that he did not get to see his daughter much since the divorce and so he took her down here for 2 weeks. He asked where I was from and very quickly dismissed me to sit on the deck with his paper.

Of course I was hormonal and rendered completely stupid and suggested we get out of there and spend the day in town.


On the other side of the island my father and the donde boys were tearing across the jungle in a rented jeep. As was case back in the day the 4 wheel drive components had been harvested from the Jeep for God knows what reason and the tires were as bald as my lady’s father. In essence, this vehicle originally built to breeze about the jungle floor was in its current iteration quickly becoming a liability.

The boys lacking sunscreen and sense while easily exceeding the load bearing capacity of this ancient vehicle continued to push the envelope of reason and eventually along one gorgeous strand of beach, stuck the Jeep in the deep sand.

Spinning and spinning there seemed little hope they would free the old beater from the quickly shifting sand. Several locals came over shaking their heads and offering hand gesture solutions to no avail. After another sun-burnt half hour passed, a trio of construction workers with an old 60s model Ford flatbed stopped to help.

My dad said as soon as they hooked the rope to the front of the jeep he knew it would be bad. The truck could not get directly in front of the Jeep as it would have itself been buried in the loose sand. Instead the Ford took a 30 degree angle from the front of the jeep in order to remain on the road. The rope was over 25 feet in length according to DRH and when the truck began to go it did not account for any slack and when the rope became taut the front of the Jeep lurched at the 30 degree angle nearly ripping the front and rear bumpers off of the Jeep and the Ford respectively while at the same time not freeing the Jeep from the sand.

Of course much shouting and commotion ensued followed by a series of “eez OK…eez OKs” At this time most of the beers were consumed and only a cooler full of slushy water remained in the Jeep.

As fate would have it a man looking very much like a cross between Panama Jack and Juan Valdez casually arrived on the scene. He was dressed in all white including an embroidered white shirt and crocheted buttons. He spoke no English but it was clear from the reactions of the crew in the Ford that this man was of higher stature.

At first he looked around the Jeep on all sides in what appeared to be sizing up the situation and perhaps the players in this futile game. He was wearing perfectly pressed white trousers and leather sandals. He never said his name and as he opened the cooler to the surprise of my father and the donde boys, he looked inside raised his head with a smile and said, “Agua.”

Immediately the Ford crew began to laugh loudly saying “si…si…agua…agua”

The impeccably dressed man instructed 2 of the Ford guys to join him as they lifted the cooler and began to pour water into the trenches of sand. As the newly appointed leader of the band bent over to make the first pour of water his shirt lifted just above the back of his trousers where his shiny 45 caliber pistol revealed itself casually stashed in his waistband.

My father said he and the donde boys made eye contact with one another but did not dare make a peep or indicate they had seen the weapon. At this point in time El Jeffe got behind the wheel of the Jeep and as the Ford boys pushed, the Jeep was almost instantly out of the ruts and back on the road.

There was a subdued celebration with many requisite gracias thrown about by all parties. While tempted to shout a triumphant donde or two the donde boys yielded to the elephant in the pants, offered their remaining pesos in gratitude, and humbly waved goodbye as the Ford and the man in white drove away.

My Dad when he recounted that story to me said that only Federales and criminals carried guns in Mexico and in either case he felt lucky to have made it out of the sand that day….to be continued


  1. says

    The quote at the top is perfect. Honestly, some of my fondest memories are of the vacations my father, step-mother, and I went on as a young girl. I was fortunate enough to visit many places before the dreaded flying-phobia rendered me forever rooted to land. Those memories I'll keep with me long after I say goodbye to my parents.

    I was utterly engaged by the scene in which you detail the happenings between you and the girl and her Magnum P.I. father. Oh, and lovely job depicting your, um . . . flag, was it?

    Happy Weekend, Michael.

    P.S. Oh, and take a look at the later comments Karista left on my most recent post. She knows how to make stars like us sparkle. LOL.

    • says

      OK, I am going to check out the comments. I hate flying a ton! I have dreams and anxiety about it always.However, drugs and sheer drive to see and experience are what keep me in the air. I am sure you have gone to great lengths to manage this and I am sorry absolutely so sorry you experience this kind of fear. I have recently been researching and studying reasons why I hate it and I have found that the more I force logic down my throat the easier it gets. I think at the end of the day you may have to enlist the help of a strong tranquilizer so that you get to see St Peter's and the Pieta. For a Christian I have had no greater spiritual experiences than in the Cathedrals of Italy. I assume my fear is a roadblock to my happiness and some challenge I am forced to face. I have other nasty fears (needles) that prevent me from making wise decisions which is not fun either. Ahhhhh….yes indeed life can be so challenging at times and at the same time there is such an enormous reward and sense of relief when I muster the strength to engage the fear and do what I want or need to do. I am no soldier and nothing makes me feel more puny than a blood draw. I know what it feels like to be locked up with fear and I do not wish that on anyone. Have a great weekend Cara and I will be thinking about all your wonderful comment

  2. says

    I "liked" your post without reading yet; happy that I have something intriguing to read this evening with a glass of wine while my family is out of town!

  3. says

    I travel because trips make memories and unlike cars or furniture memories last forever..

    THAT is one of the most wise statements I have ever read. I totally agree and have said many times that if I were to ever hit the lotto, I would travel…just travel.

    LOVE this story and you cannot be "disqualified". =) My FWF are meant to inspire…and I want to read whatever it inspires in you!

    Thank you for sharing this. A great addition to my collection!!!

    P.s…May I share this quote on Facebook and Twitter (with credit to you of course)?

    • says

      You are such a great supporter and you may of course use the quote from DRH (David Ray Housewright) I hope you get a chance to check out the other parts of the story as they really explain so much of the happenings in Part 4. Are you nervous about your book release? I dont even know you and I am :-)
      I am going to try and crank out part 5 and very likely 6 on Monday…I promise the ending is worth the wait :-)

  4. says

    This I absolutely loved. Not just your bony self with the sweet young thing but more of the donde boys to boot. Can't wait for more but I suppose I will have to. Well done Miguel grande!

  5. Christi B says

    I can almost see DRH's face and the Donde Boys when they seen that 45 The Man in White had. lol
    oh how I love this story. 😀
    I wish you had books lined up for me to read. Your writings keep me blissfully entertained. 😀

  6. says

    OK. I'm hooked. You tell stories in such a lovely PRECISE manner—painting vivid, full-color pictures without wasting words. And cute as well? The double-dose of minister parentage must have granted you extra time in the both the talent and looks line.

    • says

      I like to think that might be true :-) and I honestly almost blushed…please don't trick me and bury me in the red clay. I think we are going to be excellent blog friends. I love to be inspired and your post from today was right up my alley; and talk about PRECISE? "There were no flaws, no holes in her execution" Truer words my friend…

      • says

        So, I, um, sort of nominated you for this award thing. I'm new to all this and if I'm taking advantage of our new found friendship, just say the word. I'd link to it… but that just seems self serving. You'll have to go my home page to read my gushing about you. Thanks for the compliments. 😀

  7. says

    You developed your character really well. I could actually sense his awkwardness. the transition to your dad's story was done as smoothly as I have ever seen it done anywhere. I did not realize you had switched direction and I was looking for a hitch. One never came.This is really very good writing, Michael. You only get better. When are you going to publish something?

    • says

      Your encouragement is enormous. The first book will be much more about photos and some writing. I am still torn between Bristol stories and the history of my family as I know them or Italy life being the subject of the first book. It will happen and I know when the time speaks to me the decision will be clear.
      You are such a wonderful friend for these kinds of comments and they keep me plugging each day. Much love to you George!

  8. says

    This is such a relatable story. We all can identify with that awkward teenage stage of discovery with the opposite sex. And "El Jeffe got behind the wheel" that line alone… pure greatness! Can't wait for part 5.

  9. says

    I'm very much enjoying the story, Michael, and your writing. I'm so glad, too, to have finally made my way over here. What I enjoy about your prose is how wonderfully vivid it is, and also, in this case, the genuineness (yours) that comes through, as a result.

  10. says

    Absolutely fabulous story and writing. And I also, with your permission, would like to use your Dad's quote on Twitter and Facebook; his quote makes my heart sing. I would rather travel, and spend money on travel than on material things. It was my Dad too who taught me the love of travel.


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