As a kid, I would visit Mexico at least 3 to 4 times a year, sometimes even more. If we didn’t go to Mexico within the year, we felt incomplete. It was a longing for warmth and we had to get our dose of Mexico.
On one of these many trips, I remember driving from Abasolo to Pénjamo with my cousins. We were in my uncle’s black Jetta, a very popular car in Mexico. The music was bumping, and everyone was singing with the windows down. Everyone was singing but me. I didn’t know the song. Chavo was driving and he began to scan the local radio stations — “pinche estaciones culeras, no mames, no agarra nada,”. I turn to look out my car window, the warm breeze flows through my hair and I smell the sugar cane fields burning.
Something is always burning in Mexico. The smell of smoke and dirt season the air. The auburn hills turn purple as the sun dials down for the day. The green pastures scurry through the valleys, and the moon hangs above as an ornament while the sun curls in for the night. Giovanna and Astrid begin suggesting CDs their dad might have in the glove compartment and what we should do once we arrive at Pénjamo. “Un pomo de Absolut, no?” suggests Giovanna, as she counts the endless kilometers of agave. “Sip, claro y con un jugo de uva” agrees Astrid.
Chavo comes to a halt and turns it up. “Esta es chida.” He winks at me and turns it up more. Everybody’s changing. Chavo attempts to sing but his voice diminishes and stops when he can’t figure out the third word. I laugh at him but then focus on the lyrics to help out. “La conoces, primo?” I raise my bottom lip and turn my head left and right, “nel, primo, quien es?” Chavo looks at me disappointingly. “No que en los united escuchaban las rolas mas chidas? Fijate que aca se escucha otro tipo de musica, es mas, la musica de Europa primero llega aqui y luego les llega a ustedes, en ves, ustedes andan atrazados.” My cousins all laugh at me in unison, I laugh too. Embarrassingly, I ask him who the artist is. “Es Keane, wey. Te los recomiendo.” The exit for Pénjamo approaches. I roll my window up as the cool breeze flies in and the streetlights turn on.
By Derrek G
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