Saturday, July 17, 2010

Hello, NOLA!

I'm happy to report that I am safely back in the N'Awl, sitting in my very own home, getting ready to put my head down on my very own pillow. The trip back home was quite uneventful. No really bad experiences with the whole day of transport. Airplane rides were smooth, immigration/customs/security checks all were pretty quick and painless, baggage arrived promptly, and the weather was agreeable.

I did have a freaky serendipitous moment, though. First, a little background. One of my book clubs is reading Tom Robbins's Another Roadside Attraction. I couldn't find a copy in New Orleans before I left (of course, I waited until the very last minute and not a single bookstore I checked -- and I checked 4 bookstores -- had the book in stock), so I went to Guadalajara without it. While in Guadalajara, though, I tried an experiment and ordered a copy via to be delivered to my address in Mexico. I paid a little extra for shipping, and expected to wait a long time for it to arrive; but surprisingly it arrived in 10 days. Not bad. So, I started reading it when I wasn't reading other stuff, but only made a little headway into the book. Packed it in my carry-on bookbag for the flight thinking I might read a bit of in on the flight back home. And this brings us to the serendipitous moment ...

So, on the plane, I cracked the book open to where I had left off -- page 40. (Now the key is to remember that I had just spent 5 weeks in Guadalajara, Mexico, and was finally on my way back home.) And on page 43, I read this (emphasized parts are mine):

A rather anxious football coach flew to Mexico in pursuit of his wife and her famous athlete lover. While the sporting world reeled from the delicious blow of the scandal, the lovers ate mangoes and fondled one another in the streets of Guadalajara; and that is where he, the husband, caught up with them -- in the plaza of the city. Officials had taken his Colt from him at the border, but he had purchased a cleaver from a native butcher and upon spotting the fugitives, sought to put it to grim use.

His wife was so weak from love and diarrhea she could neither fight nor flee. "I'm like a cream puff with the cream squeezed out," she sighed, and slumped on a bench to accept her fate. "I'll take care of you later," said her husband and he made a move for Plucky Purcell. Plucky, too, was experiencing a touch of Montezuma's revenge but he nevertheless gave the greatest broken-field running performance of his career. Now, the coach, though a bit out of shape, was no lead-footed mover himself, yet after sixteen wild minutes through the narrow streets of old Guadalajara he fell to his knees panting frantically and watched Purcell stiff-arm an orange-juice vendor and disappear down an alley.

That midnight, as he nervously checked out of his hotel, Purcell paused to share a short tequila with the desk clerk. He gave the Mexican a true account of the day's adventure. "You are preety lucky, señor," the clerk confided. "Not lucky," said Plucky. "Plucky."
Que coincidencia! I can just imagine this scene, having recently traversed the "narrow streets of old Guadalajara" myself. And I can even empathize with what a touch of Montezuma's revenge can do to a person. But more importantly, what does it mean that I stumble on such a passage in such a book at such a time in such a way? Heh! I thought it was freaky funny and have taken it as a good omen of both the book and of my time in Guadalajara, reading this as I was in the process of, in a manner of speaking, "fleeing" from the city myself. Just a curiousity to share.

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