A year ago, on the last night of the dazzling fifth season of the American Idol tour, Matt drank an uncertain number of cocktails, hopped off the bus in his socks, and took a leak in a hotel fountain. When he lost his balance and stepped directly into a pool of his own urine, I worriedly scanned the door for hotel personnel but Jimmy wasted no time in laughing and pointing at him.
Two weeks ago, season six culminated with a group of us riding in the bus's front lounge to the airport hotel. Two of them happened to be Matt and Jimmy. Another was a chaperone whom I adore. She is kind and lovely and just thinking about her now makes me want to go have tea with her and rest my head on her shoulder. She's a grandma and she's religious and thoughtful and sweet.
She hung with us up front for a good while until she suddenly decided to go to the back lounge. I think it might have been not too long after someone started randomly shouting out both motherfucker and cunt and similar words at the top of his lungs. Mind you, he wasn't yelling them at her and or anyone in particular but it didn't matter. It made her uncomfortable.
Later she returned to the front to use the toilet. When she exited the bathroom she was delicately dabbing her feet with paper towels and murmuring about how she think she stepped in urine on the floor. I groaned because I always ride the boy bus and am familiar with the consequences of a lurching, braking bus + boys standing up to pee. It gets messy. Rule number one is to always wear shoes to the bathroom. The chaperone, however, was used to the girl bus where there are flowers and candles and everyone sits.
One week ago, I was at a birthday party for San Pancho, Sayulita's neighboring town in Mexico. The local towns all throw birthday parties for themselves and I had the good fortune to attend the last night of a TEN DAY PARTY. Oh yes, ten days. It gave me ideas if I ever have another birthday party. My party won't last ten days but someone should definitely be winging rocks at empty beer bottles when I turn 33. So simple and fun (and sharp and loud)!
You got three tries to smash a bottle and win a can of beer. It was like an elementary school carnival except that you get to drink and don't have to carry around a goldfish in a plastic bag that's going to die a week after you get it home.
Earlier Leila's friend Donny and I had been watching drummers until suddenly he pulled me away, "We have to get out of here, the tower of fireworks is gonna go off." He said that in the past he'd seen people with clothes singed, smoke rising from their shoulders from the fireworks but I figured he was just being expressive.
Then, from a distance, I heard the tower explode and turned to see light raining down, sure enough, on people. I watched as two firework-laced images of a giant cross and a giant margarita lit up and began swirling madly. My mouth dropped open. It was fantastic, a big boozy Mexican Exorcist. The girls around me began screaming.
"It's the toro!" Leila said.
Oh yeah, she'd mentioned the toro and I hadn't taken that seriously, either. I just didn't believe that a guy would make himself into a "bull" by strapping fireworks on his head and back and then run through the crowd, shooting them at people. That, however, is exactly what happens. I screamed and darted over to a tree where I grabbed the trunk and crouched.
A bit later, after more excitement and more beer, Leila and I needed to empty our bladders. We found the official ladies bathroom which boasted not only the requisite line but also a face-curdling stench of rotten urine and hepatitis B. Oh, hell no. We headed to the street.
On a dark corner, amidst bushes and palms and fronds, I crouched at the edge of someone's yard. As extra measure, Donny played sentinel and planted himself on the sidewalk, ready to redirect passersby. Things were going fine, too; I had the angle and the splay just right. There was just so much beer up there and it was taking forever. Mid-stream, I glanced to the right and saw two figures approaching Donny. I whipped my head back and pushed with my pelvis. I HAVE TO GET THIS OVER WITH. And sprayed all over my feet.