The bridge into Tijuana passes over a sea of cars before descending into the bustling chaos of a city in a near-celebratory act of self-destruction. In the past several years, Tijuana’s violent narco wars have claimed the lives of three police chiefs and hundreds of civilians, including children. Severed heads have begun turning up around the city like some Aztec-inspired admonition. I walk past a pool of evaporating vomit on the ground and copper-colored blood smears on a graffiti-etched wall.
It’s morning and the sun is already frying the pavement. Crossing the bridge with me are tired-looking Mexican families, sun-burnt German tourists, and a handful of solitary men who I assume are seeking the various forms of vice found far easier and cheaper amid the lawless poverty of Mexico.
I pass through a heavy iron turnstile and emerge into a bustling Tijuana plaza. The place is crowded and abuzz with commerce—taco vendors cook up an assortment of meats and cramped storefronts offer cheap souvenirs. Within seconds a taxi pulls to the curb.
“Adelitas?” the driver calls out through the open window, referring to one of the larger Tijuana brothels.
“No, gracias,” I reply.
“Cheecago Club?” he counters, naming another.
I keep moving. After a few blocks a small guy with a mustache confronts me. I notice that he has a fully formed hand sticking out of his shoulder where his right arm should be.
“Marijuana?” he asks in a high, raspy voice.
I shake my head. He falls in step alongside me. I can’t tell if he’s twelve or fifty.
“You want girl? Very young, has a tight pussy. Hundred dollars.”
“What you need, amigo? I get you anything you want.”
“I’m just here to see a doctor,” I say, and turn back toward the plaza, scanning the horizon for what the receptionist at the William Hitt Center described as a tall building with a red medical sign. On this morning I belong to another sect of frequent visitors—those in search of a miracle. This setting seems an unlikely place to find one, but they say the polluted waters of the River Ganges can heal as well. …
The Cisco Kid
Aug 2, 01:05 PMPurchase or Subscribe to Slake: Los Angeles
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