They Missed a Good Chance...

Prompt: If someone had wanted me dead, he missed a good chance when…

Fireworks were crackling all around. They weren’t the American kind that reverberate for miles around. No these, were the cheap sparklers and bottle rockets that make just enough noise and put of just enough light to make them interesting. No frills here, but it’s a almost a 3rd world country.

People have forgotten about the border towns. The war on terror has tightened the lock on our borders. ”Border Gaurds” from Mississippi who can’t tell a Mexican from an Iraqi are left to make split judgements and err on the side of “caution” more often than not. This makes us feel safe, but it’s left tens of thousands of impoverished souls lingering in these border towns. Tonight, you wouldn’t know it by the celebration that’s going on in the park.

I had forgotten where I was… Until just a minute ago. One too many Dos Equis and a wrong turn on the way back across the bridge have landed me in wrong neighborhood. Half a block down the wrong street, and it all comes rushing back to you as you think you’ve been sobered up.

On a porch with an old, a weak light illuminates an elder man rocking quickly, his gaze fixed squarely on me. A cat on the opposite side of the road caught my attention as it darted behind a car. Ahead of me, there’s a group of young men huddle around the corner. Until just a minute ago, they were busy talking to themselves. Then one of them spotted me. Now they’re quiet, intently watching my every move.

I don’t want to seem to cautious, but “I’m in a foreign country…” pops into my mind. None of these guys fit the thug appearance I would see in America. I wouldn’t even notice them just a half mile across the river, but “I’m in a foreign country…”

“I’m in a foreign country. I’m in a foreign country!” My thoughts keep coming back to that. The vulnerability is overwhelming. The Dos Equis and adrenaline are sending my brain into overdrive; the sweet alcohol and lime is clouding my thoughts. Now I can’t even remember which way I turned to get on this street. A drunk white guy in a bad neighborhood in Mexico at 1 A.M. If somebody wanted me dead, I could disappear right now and no one would be the wiser until tomorrow…