4 a.m., Tijuana, Mexico.
Just across the border from San Diego.
Outside of a strip club.
Our all-male group lingers in the street. We are waiting for one of our 27 members who (rumor has it) disappeared upstairs with one of the women.
Before leaving San Diego we were warned, many times: “stick together. Sketchy shit happens in Tijuana.”
So we are waiting.
Enjoying some street tacos from a stall.
These are fucking delicious, I slur, well into my fourth or fifth taco. Carne, salsa, cilantro, cebolla, un poco de limon — nada mas. proper tacos.
The Latino guy next to me laughs. He lives in San Diego. Or LA. Or Tijuana. At this point in the night, I couldn’t say. He is looking out for my drunk, wero ass. Mostly.
“Think about this,” he says. “Every city in the world — street dogs. No matter where you go, dogs. Tijuana — no dogs.”
He looks over at me. I look at him, slowly. We explode in laughter.
“Just sayin’,” he says, with a raise of his eyebrows and slight shrug.
I finish my taco.
Eight years later, I’m still thinking about it.