“Your citizenship?” asks the gruff ICE agent at the huge Juarez/El Paso border crossing.
“U.S.” I say.
“And you sir?” he asks indicating Boner.
“That’s Swahili for the United States,” I add.
“What are you bringing back from Mexico?”
“Only memories, sir.” If he only knew.
“Okay, have a nice day.” Don’t you hate it when people that could care less what kind of day you’re having, say that to you?
“Thanks, you have a good one too.”
It feels good to be going home. I hope Gustavo, God rest his soul, was right about Josefina. I can’t wait to see her. Boner’s huge grin has worn down to a little smirk. I guess it was all of that bloodshed and seeing his friends dead at his feet that toned down that huge grin the Dona put on his face. Chui was his buddy and don’t forget he had an hour session with Brenda back in California. Remember, she couldn’t sit down, walk or talk afterwards. Ah, to be young again.
The drive from El Paso is a couple of hours of nothing. Maybe it’s because we’ve made this trip so many times that it seems more like one mile repeated a hundred times.
Boner perks up and his grin broadens as soon as we turn onto the gravel road that leads to our house. As we coast to a stop behind the house César comes bounding over the bushes charging our car with his head down and horns forward. Just as I brace for the impact he skids to a halt raises his head high and lets out a full volume NEAHHHH. Boner jumps from the still moving car and tackles César and they roll over and over in the dirt screaming, “Neahh, Mimi nina nyumbani, neahh, Mimi nina nyumbani, neahhh ...”
Just as I step from the car our back door swings open wide and Josefina sprints to my welcome arms. You’d think we’d been gone for years to earn this big of a welcome home. It feels good to be holding Josefina and knowing that she’s truly glad to see me.
She drops her arms from around my neck and struggles to pry Boner and César apart. Boner is wrapped around César yelling Mimi nina nyumbani, Mimi nina nyumbani when Josefina reaches into the pile and lovingly tugs on his boner with just enough pull to get his attention. He lets go of César jumps up and hugs Josefina like a bear in heat. César shakes off some dirt and comes up and rubs his back on my thigh in a cat-like gesture. As usual, Boner gets more of everything than me, even welcome-home greetings.
“I can’t tell you how glad I am that you guys are home safe and sound. You’ve been hanging with some pretty bad people and bad shit is happening down in Mexico,” are Josefina’s first words once we’re seated in the kitchen and she’s poured us each a cup of her undrinkable coffee.
When I tell her about Chui and Gustavo she pauses and looks off into space as if she’s searching for these two somewhere in her own private spiritual world. I don’t need to look; I saw them in their pools of blood on the floor of that club in Juarez. Boner sits his coffee mug down and his smirk actually turns downward into a silly little frown as a tear runs down his cheek.
As I raise my cup of Josefina’s coffee I think of Chui and how he would be proud of us for using Josefina’s undrinkable coffee for his final toast. “Here’s to Chui and Gustavo, may they have crossed their last border and finally put down their heavy packs. A nuestros amigos.”
Boner jars us from our sorrow by taking an exceptionally loud gulp of his coffee. We turn to him and his huge grin tells us our moment of mourning is over.
I say, “You were worried? Not nearly as much as we’ve been for the past ...
“I wish I could have called but my position with the Sinaloa Cartel was precarious at best and I was afraid to do anything that might look like I was not just another loyal employee. I knew if I called you you’d come running and screw everything up.”
“What was there for me to screw up?” I ask.
“Go look in our bedroom and see what I brought you back from Mexico.”
I race to our bedroom, see my gift on the bed and tear back into the kitchen. “You got me the Ukrainian 336-24, hand held surface-to-air missile launcher, the missile launcher of my dreams. Oh, Josefina how could ...”
“Yeah, and I got you 24 missiles ― they’re out in the barn. And ... and I made a little over a hundred grand for all of my trouble.” She says proudly.
“How did you ... did you ... I mean ... how ...” I stammer in my excitement.
“It’s a long story. Let’s see if I can shorten it for you now. I’ll give you all of the details later after I’ve heard all about ... what was it ... Humpty Dumpty in Phoenix, XXX rated movies in California and a live sex extravaganza in Tijuana. Oh, I almost forgot ... your meeting with the dragon lady in Juarez. Those stories sound a lot more interesting than mine.”
“Yeah but ... but ...” is all I can say.
“Okay, if you insist. Can I get you anymore coffee or would you rather have a beer?”
I opt for the beer while Boner has his second cup of Josefina’s God-awful coffee.
“Let’s see, Gustavo woke me shortly before dawn with his knife at my throat and whispered for me to get dressed for a long hike and join him in the kitchen. Oh yeah, he also said that he would be in Boner’s room with his knife ready to remove Boner of his boner if I didn’t obey and obey quietly.”
“Holy shit is right.”
“Anyway, we trekked out of here in the dark with those really heavy packs. I didn’t think I could carry mine but Gustavo kept prodding me with his hiking stick and threatening me with his knife.”
“How far did you hike?”
“I don’t know but it seemed like many, many miles. Finally Gustavo called someone on his cell phone and when we got to this country road there was a car waiting for us. I thought he would let me go then but he begged me to help him with his negotiations in Phoenix. I told him I’d do it if he would agree to two things. First, he had to put his knife away and never threaten me again and second, he must let me do all of the negotiating. He closed his knife and never opened it again. As we rode to Phoenix I had him tell me everything he knew about the drug business and the so-called drug war. By the time we got to Emilio Sanchez’s I was a bona fide drug trafficker and clearly in charge.”
“How did César get wrapped up in all of this?”
“He followed us when we left the house and I tried everything I could think of to chase him away. I think he sensed I was in trouble and he wasn’t going to leave my side. Finally, I didn’t want to leave him out there along the road so he hopped in the back seat with me.”
“How in the hell did you get him across the borders?”
“If you think that’s tough, try smuggling a Ukrainian 336-24 missile launcher and 24 missiles sometime.”
We talked and talked. Boner even told her of his many Mimi kujas and Josefina seemed more envious than surprised. She especially liked the story I told about Boner’s night in Hef’s bedroom with all of the Playmates. It seems that Hef offered Boner as some sort of gift to his girls for having to put up with him and his Viagra swollen eighty year-old semi-boner. He just sat in an easy chair he’d drug over to the foot of the bed and watched Boner perform with one babe after another. After about fifteen Playmates Hef crawled into bed next to Boner and Boner thought takatifu shit. But before anything happened Hef was sound asleep. He snored all through the remaining sessions. Crystal, the bitch, stood in the corner of the bedroom with her stopwatch making sure that every girl got twenty minutes and only twenty minutes with Boner. Oh I almost forgot, she put herself first in line and she had Boner all to herself for a full hour before Hef came in to watch.
Josefina skipped her nightly check of Boner’s boner and came directly to bed with me. She was wearing her lavender, see-through, baby-doll pajamas that I like so much.
I looked at the clock; it was 3:34 AM and I was now moaning Mimi kuja, Mimi kuja, Mimi kuja when someone started pounding loudly on our front door.