Guerras Americanas

Salvador sits and watches Guerro fill two empty plastic milk jugs with diesel at Pemex. The clear plastic bulges out as the yellow fluid fills. They sit saturated with sun, sweeting, watching traffic speed by on the four lanes of Boulevard Zaragoza. Across the road rumbles a spinning cauldron that is mixing cement, attached to a generator. Three men wearing long sleeve shirts splattered with cement shovel it into a large square floor blocked out by two by fours, while two other men slide large metal squeegees to even out the cement. One of the men shoveling cement looks at Salvador and Guerro and shouts from across the road.

Hurry up princess, he shouts, the generator is almost out of juice.

On the way guey, Guerro shouts.

So who would win Goku or Superman? Salvador asks.

Guey Goku, Guerro answers, he can become a giant monkey and smash Superman.

Superman, Salvador says, already beat up a giant monkey before.

They take the jugs and it burns their hands. Salvador and Guerro dart through the speeding traffic, trying not to lose their burning grip on the ballooned milk jugs of diesel. They get to the rusty orange generator, twist open the black cap of the tank and pour carefully the diesel. As they pour, a large lavender color Ford truck drives up. It’s subwoofer speakers thump out a Los Tigres del norte song, which gets louder when Don Filo jumps out. He is a short skinny man that wears a large white cowboy hat, a large gold chain with a large sailor cross, leopard print silk shirt, tight black denim jeans, and orange alligator boots.

How are you boys doing? Don Filo asks.

Good sir, Salvador says.

Yes sir, good, Guerro says.

Don Filo pats both boys on the shoulder and walks toward the other working men. They see the pearl handle of his gold plated pistol, tucked into his black denim jeans. The five men working stop and pay attention to Don Filo as he speaks to them.

I heard he cut off Nino dos kilo’s head off, Salvador says.

He’s too high to get his hands dirty, Guerro says.

Don Filo mimics grabbing hair and then thrust his hips. The men laugh loudly wiping sweat as they do so. Salvador and Guerro walk over to the group of men that have now gathered semi-circle in front of Don Filo.

All that to say, Don Filo says, give a guerra Americana cocaine and she’ll do it all. You boys look thirsty. In fact all you men look thirsty.

We’re fine Don Filo, the man who shouted at the boys early says.

No it’s hot and you guys been working all day in this God awful sun.

Don Filo takes out a roll of hundred dollar bills and starts to hand each of them a hundred dollar bill. He puts it back into his pocket. He gives a smirk to Salvador and Guerro and puts his arm around both of them. They can smell the mix of his Old Spice and tequila. Salvador sees a bit of cocaine up his nostril.

When I was young like these ones, Don Filo says, I did the same job. Go get this, go get that. I still kind of do now, but you know, on a different scale.

Don Filo looks down at Salvador and Guerro. They see the blank stare of his brown eyes surrounded by large dark circles. They see a bit of grey on his eyebrow as well.

You just have to be willing to push yourself to do what you have to do, Don Filo says.

Both boys shake their heads quietly. They can feel the sweat fall down their brows.

Okay guys, Don Filo says, I got things and women to do.

The men giggle as Don Filo walks away. The men get back to work as Salvador and Guerro just look at Don Filo hops into his truck and drives away. They feel the hundred dollar bill balloon and burn in their pocket. Guerro chuckles to himself before he says to Salvador, guerras Americanas, and they both chuckle over the giggling of the generator.

About Jose Fonseca

Jose Francisco Fonseca is a Iraq war veteran who lives in the US/Mexican border, where he works on motors and reads.

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