Tuesday, December 12, 2006

Just call me Ron Mexico*

Owing to an unusual turn of events, I found myself in Mexico City from Thursday until Sunday. Somewhat surreally (and uncharacteristically, I hasten to add), I experienced the megalopolis through the sensory filters employed by the top 0.001% of the Mexican economic elite. Cheerfully superhuman concierges. Absurdly good food. Pouilly-Fuissé and top-shelf tequila. Black SUVs with tinted windows; chauffeurs who were former matadors & who regaled us with tales of broken spines and altitude-handicapped bulls (bulls in Mexico City are smaller than bulls at lower altitudes, due to pulmonary necessity). Gated communities with private equestrian centers; ostentatiously tasteful cedar libraries with books on 16th century legal theory, and with a creepily clichéd first edition of Mein Kampf in Spanish. Blowhards and quietly brilliant rich men. Trophy wives with nonstandard facial geometry.

Luckily, we were able to get away for a while. The zocalo at night was hallucinatory: giant colored LED displays of holiday cheer loomed over the periphery, while groups of young people performed aggressive Indian dances in unison. It smelled like roast corn and propane. The mountain town of Tepoztlán is what I imagine Taos to be like: gorgeous and haunting if you can ignore the fucktard New Agers. A "doctor" with a stethoscope around her neck (in a touchingly simple bid for credibility) and her mascara-heavy tranny sidekick read my aura, for the hell of it. There was a problem when their Windows 95 operating system had trouble running the crude program designed to randomly spit out horoscopic gibberish... but I was assured that my aura was so crushingly powerful that the computer couldn't handle it. It was ok. Outside, a mariachi band played with flair and bogglingly tight coordination. A wedding party was breaking up. Cloudlike white flowers spilled out of the ancient church.

*My professor in an infectious disease class once referred to the Michael Vick herpes case as an illustrative example of asymptomatic shedding.