The problem with immortality is that you can still die, it’s just that when you show up for the big ol’ grand finale without a ticket you lose a little piece of yourself. And when you’ve died as many times as I have.. well let’s just say my memory isn’t in the best of shape. So who am I? Well, let’s not ruin that surprise just yet.
Our story can begin in Tijuana, a lovely little bordello snuggling Lady Liberty’s snatch. Of course technically the story began long before then but that’d be getting ahead of ourselves. Or is it behind? Puritans used to call the city Satan’s Playground, which when you think about it had to be seen as a pretty great sales pitch. A bootlegger’s paradise, Tijuana shone out like a beacon to the world: come one, come all to the City of Sin; and come they did.
It’s been a century since the golden days of prohibition, and yet Tijuana still beckons to the darkest corners of the human heart. But that’s always been my problem really, I’m drawn to sin: a fly to honey and this time around it earned me two bullets to the chest with a dip in the deep Pacific blue.
Death isn’t that bad once you get used to the fall, it’s the coming back that hurts far worse. Even so I’d never drowned before, not once. The irony of drowning is that it’s inherently peaceful. It’s ironic because if you’ve ever watched puppies drown, well it doesn’t look very peaceful.
Alright, alright, so no puppies were harmed in the making of this narration. But speaking from experience, the act of drowning expresses the human condition perfectly. The violence we express as we struggle to breath is that desperation to survive. The pain flooding our nervous system, a klaxon to the wet meat inside our heads as every cell in our body is starved of oxygen. But when you surrender to that moment, when you finally let the water flood your lungs: that torrent of dark cold liquid soaking up inside you, well all that pain goes away in an instant. For a few brief final moments you get a respite, suspended between two worlds with an equal measure of both hind and foresight.
So like I said, our story kicks off in Tijuana, my bloated corpse floating away in the North Pacific Current, or at least that’s how it should have begun. Instead I’m about to find myself waking up inside a washed up cooler on the desert outskirts of the city’s slums.