Boner and I are released early the following morning. The guy in charge says there will be no charges against us and we can pick up our car at the impound yard for $225. I am about to complain but Boner interrupts me before I can speak, “Kubisha mbali bullshit.”
I ask about Chui. “We’ll prosecute that beaner bastard to the full extent of Arizona’s new laws once we figure them all out,” says the deputy at the desk. “In the meantime he can cool his heels with all of those other beaners we’ve rounded up.”
There doesn’t seem much we can do for Chui. I’ll have to think about it. Anyway, it’s off to find Emilio Sanchez at El Cerdo Rosado ― isn’t that Spanish for the pink pig. That seems like an unusual name for the business enterprise or the establishment owned or frequented by a major drug …
“Ni nini tunaweza kufanya?” Boner interrupts my pondering.
“We only have one clue as to the possible whereabouts of Josefina and I now wish we would have discussed this further with Chui. I’m confused as to whether we are seeking a significant member of the drug cartel that was attempting to import the merchandise, and therefore Chui’s employer, or the cartel that allegedly …"
Boner interrupts again, “Ni nini tunaweza kufanya?”
When Boner interrupts me for the second time in the short period of time since obtaining our freedom, I try to explain simple conversational manners to him.
“Kata ya shit, hebu kupata Josefina.”
“Okay, I agree. Let’s get a phone book and look up every Emilio Sanchez, El Cerdo Rosado and pink pig establishment in town.”
The Phoenix telephone directory listed 126 Emilio Sanchez homes, one El Cerdo Rosado enterprise and zero pink pig joints. “This is going to be easy. Let’s start with this El Cerdo Rosado business concern, whatever it is.”
The El Cerdo Rosado turns out to be a small bar on what used to be the main pick-up street for Phoenix’s once numerous prostitutes. They’ve cleaned it up since my college days. I don’t see any hookers, only this dive. Maybe its one notch above a dive, okay I’m too generous, it’s a dive and a Mexican dive at that, just our kind of place. We belly up to the bar ― well I belly up and Boner gets as close as his boner will allow him to get, and I order two Dos Equis beers. “Hii ni haki yetu mahali kinda,” Boner says.
I agree with Boner and look around at the other four customers. They are all Mexican-Americans alright but they don’t look like what you’d expect the patrons of a seedy bar to look like at eleven o’clock in the morning. The three guys are clean shaven and well groomed, and in what are probably their Sunday-best clothes, and the one woman is tall and gangly but well dressed. I’m impressed.
“Excuse me bartender, we’re looking for someone and were told we might find him here or that you might know where we might find him. His name is Emilio Sanchez and he’s more than likely a real mover-and-shaker, or as you say, un ciudadano rico.
“Señor, we have many customers and many are named Emilio. I seldom ever hear or learn their apellidos, or as you say, last names. Let’s ask these regulars if they know your Emilio Sanchez.”
“¿Señores, haga cualquiera de ustedes sabe que un hombre llamó a Emilio Sánchez?”
The regulars all go through the motions of thinking for a moment, then shake their heads “no” in unison as if they are all reading from the same script.
I resign myself that our first stop on this adventure is a bust, or is this the third stop? One might consider our first stop to be the ill fated convenience store; the second would then be the county jail tent and this …
“Ni nini tunaweza kufanya?” interrupts Boner.
“What we’re going to do is enjoy our beer and the company of these interesting people while we strategize our next move, which I suppose will be to work down the list of 126 Emilio Sanchezes. Then again we might …”
The tall woman at the bar ambles over to our stools. “Hi guys, you look like out-of-towners. What brings you to our fair city and this particular imbibing establishment? May I join you?”
Is she a she? I’m beginning to doubt it now that I see her/him in better light. She’s definitely a “he” or maybe was once a “he”. I have absolutely nothing against these confused people but I don’t know how to act around them. Society has taught us how we should deal, for the most part, with the opposite and the same sex but not a clue as what we do with this third sex. I suppose I should treat her/him as a woman. She/he has gone to great efforts to look like a woman and we should respect that. She/he may even have gone to a surgeon. In that case I’m clueless as how to treat her/him/it. Would it would be a better pronoun than her or him?
“Guys, I’m Juanita,” she says. “What’s your name, big boy ― and you there ― is that a gun in your pocket or are you glad to see me?” she/he asks in her/his accented version of Mae West.
“Nini fuck ni wewe?” Boner asks.
“Hi Juanita,” I say, “I’m Bob and this here is Boner. We are both glad to meet you. Boner doesn’t speak English or Spanish. He seems to speak some African language that Josefina ― she’s my lady ― and I have assumed to be Swahili.
“Glad to meet ya, Bob, but I’m thrilled to meet someone with what looks like a huge boner and named Boner to boot. What could be better? Boner, what do you say we mosey over to that booth over there in the corner and I help you out with your big problem?”
“Takatifu fuck,” is Boner’s response.
I better intervene on Boner’s behalf. He’s never had to deal with someone like this before and I’m not sure he can handle it. On the other hand, who am I to judge? Maybe Boner would enjoy having his “big problem” dealt with by this he/she or it person. I’ve heard that they are especially skilled at …
“That’s two dollars for the drink for the lady,” the bartender interrupts my thinking.
I take a better look at the male patrons and it finally dawns on me, we’re in a gay bar, a Mexican gay bar and I’ve brought Boner in here. Oh shit, I can handle it ― but can they handle Boner?
Juanita puts her/his arm around me, bends down and whispers in my ear, “I think I know that guy you’re looking for. He comes in here a couple of times a week to get his knob polished. Come by tonight at nine o’clock and he’ll probably be here.”
“Thanks Juanita, I owe you one.”
She/he cuts me off to grab Boner and drag him to the dance floor. Some Mexican ballad is playing on the jukebox while Juanita does her best to grind her/his body against Boner’s boner. Boner seems to like this; his smile is a bit broader than normal. I’m wondering if I should do something when this guy taps Juanita on the shoulder and cuts in. Soon another guy cuts in on that guy. It seems that everyone wants to dance with Boner.
Juanita just stands at the edge of the dance floor glaring at Boner’s dance partners. When the second guy starts dry humping Boner’s boner she/he has had enough. She/he storms out onto the dance floor, grabs the guy by the shoulder, turns him around and belts him a good one right in the chops. He goes down just as the first guy comes rushing at her/him. More punches are thrown before the third guy enters the melee. I don’t know whose side he’s on or who’s who for that matter. Juanita may dress like a woman but she/he fights like a man, and a tough one at that. I grab Boner and we crawl under a table as beer bottles sail over us. I see a break in the action long enough for us to crawl across the barroom floor on our hands and knees and bust through the door, jump to our feet, and race to our car.