Tuesday, January 03, 2006

Marooned in Mexico's Endless Christmas

Our host, Carlos, doesn't drink all year until the special allowance granted him from the day of the Virgen de Guadalupe to the Dia de Los Reyes (Dec. 12 - 1/6). It is every Mexican's right, he explains, even if committed to sobriety the rest of the year, to be able to get drunk during this special time--a time also when nothing gets done, you rarely see police, and people park anywhere because no one issues tickets. At least the primitive garbage trucks still run, though they have no schedule--one is only alerted by a clanging gong in the street, when everyone rushes out with their plastic bags and hoists them up to the truck, where the workers take the time to open every bag for potential profit while the crowd waits and the buses back up.

Now as to our current situation: Resisting violence towards our dog's kidnapper during this period is difficult and leaves me exhausted. With my surgical knowledge I imagine all sorts of procedures in the still of night to perform upon my enemy, one of which would insure no further progenty from this line of idiot Indian vipers. And having surgical supplies with me, I could tape him down and do a neat job, stitch up his custom bag, and afterwards everyone could call him "No Juevos Benjamin."

I haven't broken the fingers of his younger brother either, who is basically innocent and controlled by his mad mother, Maria, who holds our possessions for a ransom we can't pay, which possessions include, besides deaf Kathleen's hearing ear dog, Kenyon, also manuscripts of mine I failed to scan to hard drive and cannot replace along with near 200 original songs.

Now my lawyers, supposedly connected, one being the son of a supreme court justice and the other the brother of the mayor, promised us our stuff back long before Christmas. I kept warning them it couldn't go beyond Christmas as nothing would get done. They reassured me everything would be over soon. Now, after New Year's, I try to contact the one lawyer and he's out of town until January 15. His partner, the mayor's brother, was supposed to be in town; his secretary tried to contact him yesterday and got no answer; today I called her and she said, "I'm so sorry, Dr. Chaffin, he's in Spain now."

"And so it goes." --Billy Pilgrim If only the Tramfalmadorians or whatever they're called would imprison me in their interplanetary zoo I might have a purpose in life.

So how do Kathleen and I deal with boredom? How do we extend our sanity in a world worse than Kafka's, when sometimes I wonder how to shave my chitin and trim my antennae when I gaze in the mirror in the morning?

First we take many psychiatric medications, thankfully cheaper and over-the-counter here, for our mood disorders. These are fortified with the blessing of the grape and that great friend of mankind, television, though Kathleen reads more. I can't concentrate enough to read. Writing is really easier. But my Eliot project is stalled because I feel such an emptiness--not a depression--just a wasteland of futility inside my chest--although the new coughing from succumbing to a few cigarettes lately does help the vacuum somewhat. Yes, fourth months off cigarettes, have a fight with my love, and end up smoking one on New Year's. Bizarro World. How come Jerry Seinfeld, Superman fan supreme, never mentions Bizarro world enough?

In the mornings I clutch Kathleen like a life raft (now that she allows me to touch her again), and I don't want to let go. Eventually I must, if only temporarily, because one of us has to pee, though I'd prefer to continue holding her and wear Depends. Once separated in the morning, with the delicacy of emotional separating Siamese twins, I do perk up a little and venture out. We have lunch, read the paper, and run into other crazy gringos who tell us to call them--as today, when I asked Kathleen if she had so-and-so's number who said "Call me!" Kathleen nodded.

Afterwards, checking out strange books from the library, one on man-eating tigers to help me sublimate my murderous anger, Kathleen asked me: "Do you think changing a verb tense constitutes a lie?" I thought and replied: "Yes, as in 'I was a junkie' vs. 'I am a junkie.'" Kathleen smiled and said, "I had her number. But she's crazy!" Enough said. I think the company of the crazy preferable to the company of my own mind at present and was only mildly disappointed by Kathleen's elegant deception.

One new plot I have is to buy a ladder and pay a Mexican to start painting our enemy's house during the day, dismiss him at twilight, then sneak over, pull the ladder behind, and take what's mine. Not that I'm in any hurry; I just have a court date in a week in CA re: child support and a disability exam in February to insure my pension continues (from the evil monolithic Iowa-based scheister company, Principal Life). Not to mention I miss my kids, my grandson, my sibs, friends, and trees over twenty feet tall known to actually exist back in CA, along with the ocean, my spiritual mother. Here the lakes are so polluted there are no fish.

What else to report? For New Year's Kathleen and I lay in our separate beds alternately weeping over our recent fight, previously acknowledged, though she being a private person and I a public blabbermouth I am loathe to describe it here beyond my previously posted public repentance. But I am thinking of changing my gravestone from "It's all good" to "It's all my fault." Please send in your vote.

I think this blog is nearing 30 posts, btw, so it's probably too long for any to catch up with unless they find it a verbal alternative to a reality show. Did I mention Kathleen and I discovered the first reality show we liked? It's called "Trading Spouses" and you can find it on FOX.

If I stop writing now, what shall I do? I could check our mail and weigh how many new psychiatric journals have accumulated, or even hope for something personal like a note from Ed McMahon about the Publisher's Clearing House, maybe even a personal note from Ken Mehlman or Howard Dean, but I try not to get my hopes to high. In fact, what is hope? There's a good question for my next post. Must one have experienced a reason to hope within the last two years to be able to conceptualize hope? For now abideth faith, hope, and love, yet I hear Job's wife saying, "Curse God and die!"-- but that's where I draw the line. I will not give into bitterness until I am able to commit suicide without it-- that's my rock-bottom faith. Meanwhile Kathleen has (I hope) temporarily quit wearing the Celtic cross my sister gifted her because "I don't feel like a Christian."

And here I thought faith had little to do with feeling. Yet even a leprous monkey with no hands or feet deserves a banana from God every five years.

For those only browsing, unable to endure my sustained sarcastic fringehead wisdom, my previous "New Year's Sayings" post I thought halfway amusing, as in: "Michael Jackson was innocent, he was only trying to expand the concept of the petting zoo."

Love to all, and to all Kafka Kafka Monkey Monkey Blah Blah Blah-- this has been our mantra for over a year now. Not "Busy, busy, busy," but "stuck, stuck, stuck."

And please promote my blog with all your friends; I feel too hopeless to do so except to that rare inner circle who tolerates me.

Your ever faithful raving literary doctor,

C. E. Chaffin


  1. Paolo H.4:39 PM PST

    In this post, Chaffin has finally hit his stride and embarked on the great American novel. If he keeps this up I'm going to become addicted to his writing.

  2. Dear Paolo,

    Thanks for reading. This started out as therapy, I actually have a lot of published work online under "C. E. Chaffin" should you wish to peruse my more 'literary' work. Google for five figures or so. I would call this more a therapeutic confession than a novel, but thanks so much for the compliment. Every little encouragement helps us get through this Kafkaesque nightmare in MX.




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