I'm drunk, but I still want to see you today...
I gathered my Latin books and drove to Little New Mexico where Pat lived. I rang the bell, but I couldn't tell if it was working. I knocked. Still no answer. Finally, I walked around in the summer sunlight to the back of the house. There I found Pat hosing down his porch.
"Hi! Hi!" Pat said. "Come in, I'm just... getting things clean..."
I sat down at the kitchen table and arranged books and worksheets. Finally, Pat joined me. He was wearing black gym shorts and a black Nike shirt.
"Uggghh," he said. He kept rubbing his face. "Sorry. I'm still drunk."
"Wow. That must have been some quinceanera."
"It was epic!"
Pat staggered to his feet and held to the counters as he got some water. He grabbed the table, stumbled, and caught himself. He very carefully made it back to his chair.
"I get the feeling we're not going to conjugate semi-deponent verbs..."
"No, no! We will, just... wooohhh... Need more water..."
After guzzling some more agua, Pat then told me about his adventure. Angel, the young cholo who had popped Pat in the mouth, had invited him to his cousin's quinceanera. Pat accepted, thrilled to have a new friend. He crossed the park near his house where he'd been assaulted originally and brought a bouquet of daisies to the party. It was only noon but already several of the teenage boys were sloppidades drunk. One of them was sleeping on the couch. The quinceanera girl wore a tangerine-orange dress that weighed twenty-five pounds, and she was crying. The father was also upset. He looked like a Federales police officer, with a big waxen mustache and even bigger gut. Relatives had come all the way from Zapateca, the girls being there to form part of the court of honor. There were damas and chambelanes, and they had to equal fifteen. The problem began when they couldn't revive one of the chambelanes. Or successfully clean the puke off his tortilla face.
"That's when the dad asked me if I would be a part of the court of honor."
"On the chambelanes' side...?"
"What could I say?" Pat rubbed at his face. "So they stripped off the drunk kid's tux with the orange cravat, and gave it to me. Everything fit perfect, except the pants wouldn't close on my womanly hips."
"Did they know... anything about you?"
"No, I guess I'm small enough and young enough looking to pass for a fifteen-year-old boy."
"Yeah, I get that a lot myself..."
"So I joined the photo shoot. It was frickin' hot, and I was just sweating in that suit. The photographer took about a hundred photos of all of us and of the girl. The mom was so happy that she kept pinching my cheek."
"Was this all in Spanish?"
"No, some in English, some in Spanish. I lived in Mexico so I had no problem understanding them. The dad got out some very expensive tequila, the type that looks like water, and he kept toasting me for saving the quincenerea. I had to drink with them, it would have been rude not to. So I got pretty drunk pretty fast. I don't remember everything..." Pat rubbed his face. "Ugghhnn. I think I threw up on someone. And then I was in the bathroom. After that, I started dancing to that mariachi music, and they played the same song over and over!"
"Yeah, what's up with that?"
"Angel was having me dance with this girl who had a cleft lip, she had a scar on her lip there, but she was about the same size as me. I got to know Angel better, too. He's only 18, though he looks to be about 25. He got his GED when he was 16 and since then he's been acting like a gangster in the neighborhood. That's why he hit me in the mouth. But once I dropped him with my judo..."
Pat demonstrated how he grabbed Angel's wrist and then rolled under the big guy and flipped him over like a fat patorquelitonera.
"But now that he lost to such a little guy like me, his parents said it's enough of being a tough guy. They're sending him to Texas to become a plumber. He's already got that plumber's ass!"
"The first step of any successful plumbing career."
"Anyway, after I puked some more and passed out, Angel carried me in his arms across the park and back to my house where he deposited me on the porch. It was still light out, that I remember. Anyway, just before dawn I woke up and I barfed on the porch..."
"Well, sounds like a muchacha caliente puta cuidajorges party..." I opened a Latin book. "So, uh..."
"Oh, it was so great! And..." Pat looked at me. He had tears in his eyes. "They thought I was a boy!"