They brought the dirty American to see El Patroncito at dusk when he woke. He was a fuckup. They had scraped him up from under a park bench near El Castillo in el Bosque Chapultepec, Mexico City’s Central Park. They had cleaned him, of course. El Patroncito had a sensitive nose. They had cleaned him with his clothes on and thereby cleaned his clothes, at the same time. There was no way to know what sort of illness they would have found under his belt. And fuck him, anyway. He wouldn’t live long. There’s only one reason to wake a dead man from Chapultepec Park: he can do a job no living man can do. And then, rest, rest your earned sleep.
After they cleaned his clothes and soaked his body they strolled him through Calle Gató—that was the code name that El Patroncito gave the street—he said the word was French—to dry out his underwear. But if it didn’t dry out, fuck it. As long as the old man didn’t smell it. They knew he would, so they circled the man who had been living in his own shit and vomit, they circled him around the back side of the square in the darkening buzz of the St Duales Day celebration. The rockets seemed to jolt the shit head like electricity was coursing his balls. They figured at least he’d be awake by the time they reached El Patroncito’s cantina. But the flashes never lit his face.
To steer the unlucky dead man, they took turns kicking him in the ass. Arjete kicked him left and Somnambulo kicked him right. They used the worst English word they knew to drive him on. They called him Bitch. Arjete had learned the word on an extended stay in DF.
Behind the little gymnasium, only three blocks left, the asshole completely froze up like a mule and dropped to his knees. Luckily Arjete was able to wave down a “deputy” in a pickup who offered them a ride. Both of El Patroncito’s men (who wasn’t El Patroncito’s man in San Cristobal?) grabbed the fuckup by the shirt and belt and slid him face down into the truck bed. He stopped short when his head hit the boards, but they reached over the side and made sure he was well up onto the scrap wood before Arjete wound a heavy chain around his waist and joined the others in the cab.
“Is he bleeding?” Somnambulo wondered. “He better not be.”
“I don’t know.”
“Where am I taking you?” the deputy asked.
“To the old man?”
“You’re taking him there?”
“Sure. Why not?” answered Somnambulo.
“Better hope he isn’t lying in my dog’s shit. That’s the truth.”
They laughed. Arjete not as loud as the others.
“He can’t even talk, anyway. This is crazy.”
“If he has dog shit on him, I’ll shoot him.”
“Just say he shit himself again.”
“No, the old man can tell the difference, you know that.”
They laughed until they coughed.
When they got to the cantina, the deputy dropped them at the back door. Somnambulo pulled the chain to get him off the wood pile and it worked well enough to roll him all the way to the tilted tailgate. This was funny, too. The way his arms slapped the hollow metal of the bed like a drum. The slant of the gate dumped him at their feet in the dirt lot.
“Oh!” they laughed again, mocking him.
The brother of that whore Belinda brought out a load of trash as they laughed.
“You bring out that trash, bring in this trash,” said Somnambulo.
“And make sure he doesn’t have any dog shit on him,” added Arjete as he slapped Somnambulo on his broad, muscular back. The brother of the whore waited for the mesh door to clang shut before he made a move. Then he bunched up his long white apron like a dress and kicked the dirty American dead man in his hip with the pointed toe of his boot. The heavy chain slid slowly like a jungle snake out of the bed and onto the dead man’s head.
The deputy called for the chain. “Listen, put that chain back up in the bed, okay?” But the deputy didn’t curse him or his sister.
“Sure, why not?” said the brother of the whore as he coiled the heavy chain and pushed it toward the cab. He gave a wave of all clear to the deputy. “Buenas.”
“Si, buenas, and say hello to your sister for me.”
“Why not?” said the brother as he reached down to drag the American toward the back door of the restaurant.