Tag Archives: Mexico

Loba

30 Sep

Loba

My four year old grandson, Yalith, waved his hand at me and said in Spanish, “Andale.” He began running up the steep dirt road outside our house in Mexico. I hesitated a moment then followed him, puffing and panting under the sun. Our dog Kuma followed by my side, and our cat Brandy hustled to keep up. I’m not proud of much, but I’m proud I have a cat that likes to go on walks with me.

At the top of the hill, Yalith pointed west at the Pacific Ocean, about two miles away. Instead, I looked east, at a parcel of land we owned, where a week before I’d buried Loba, one of our dogs, a Belgian shepherd.

My wife Sophy woke up one morning and looked out the window. She saw Loba lying in the dirt, a bit of pink tongue showing. After calling out “Loba… Loba” she turned to me and said, “I think Loba’s dead.”

I looked out the window and yelled out Loba’s name. She didn’t move. Sophy and I both went out and it was as bad as we thought. The night before, around midnight, I’d walked out to say goodnight to the animals. Loba had been fine. This morning, I knelt by her side and saw there wasn’t a mark on her.

“I think she was poisoned,” said Sophy.

“Poor Loba. She was always eating all kinds of crap.”

When Loba was a puppy, before we bought her for five bucks, she never had enough food. It gave her a sick appetite. She’d attack her bowl like a buzz bomb. She was always slinking into the yard, dragging in bones from dead animals. It was gruesome, especially the day I found her gnawing on an animal’s white jawbone lined with teeth.

I got some duct tape and heavy duty garbage bags and trussed her up. Sophy and I loaded Loba’s body into the trunk of our car and drove up the hill to our spare lot. I dug a grave until I hit solid rock, then slit open the bag and poured five pounds of lime over Loba’s body. I covered her with dirt and piled rocks on the grave.

Today – at the top of the hill – as Yalith ran around overflowing with an excess of joy, I looked over at Loba’s grave. In the back of my mind I was intent on honoring Loba’s memory, telling her I was sorry she was dead.

Instead, I saw the rocks were scattered and white lime marked the ground. I took a few steps and saw black plastic shining in the sun. A few steps more and I saw what remained of Loba. Two thirds of her body had been eaten, but her jawbone remained, with strips of flesh like melted caramel. I looked away, not wanting to see anymore.

I realized Yalith had followed me, so I put an arm around his shoulder and led him away, so he wouldn’t see what I had just seen.

That night, I woke up in the dark and didn’t sleep again for hours. I wasn’t sure what to do with what remained of Loba’s body. Different scenarios played out in my mind until I decided I would get some gasoline and set Loba’s remains on fire. I’d burn it until there was nothing left to be eaten; then I’d bury the ashes.

The morning after discovering Loba’s disturbed grave, I learned that a neighbor’s dog had died a few days ago, from what they were calling a virus. The neighbor’s dog was a small and scruffy mutt who was always hungry. Neglected. Most times when I’d walk by the lot where Loba was buried, I’d see the little guy. I couldn’t help but wonder if the mutt had taken more than a few bites out of Loba and had succumbed to whatever poison had killed her. It made me even more certain that burning Loba’s body was the thing to do.

It was two days before I went back, carrying a shovel and a can of gasoline. My mind kept flashing images of Loba’s skull. I’d imagine scooping up her remains with the shovel and seeing maggots or staring down at an unseeing eye socket.

Two German shepherd mongrels were in our lot, growling at me as I walked toward the grave. Something snapped in me and I picked up a rock and yelled, “It’s my lot, motherfuckers!” They ran off as thrown rocks bounced around them in the dirt.

I got to Loba’s grave and there was nothing there. I looked closer and saw a tuft of black hair tangled in the grass. I searched the brush around the grave but the body was gone.

All I found was Loba’s skull on the ground, picked clean, as though it had been lying in the desert sun for years.

It made me think of the Wall of Voodoo song, with the line, “Just like the spokes of a wheel… you’ll turn ‘round with the rest.”

Rosarito, Mexico Sept. 2015

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Sucker Punch

1 Mar

Sucker Punch 2

From 2013 – My first year   as an expatriate in Mexico:

 

There have been many sunny days in Rosarito, where Sophy and I drive around town with the windows down, shopping for the evening meal or checking out the tile and ceramic shops lining Highway 1. Life had been humming along with only the usual assortment of challenges and setbacks.

Then the temperature dropped and the wind kicked up and the rain rolled in. I’m not sure if it was the change in the weather or a new set of microbes to contend with, but the household got sick. Ugly throat infections and fevers. The baby was crying, we were losing our voices and our coughing made it hard to sleep.

I had a tough time concentrating on my work but I didn’t have much choice. There was nobody to lend a hand. I was trying to meet a project deadline with only one cylinder of my brain firing. It was a contract my company had with Paramount Resorts to create an e-magazine for them. This company is my most important client and the money I would make from this project would carry us through the Christmas holidays.

I was already working on an accelerated schedule when my designer in New York fell a day behind. On Tuesday morning we had a five hour window to get the files to the client and implement their changes – major changes. My designer felt overwhelmed and I was coughing into my keyboard, watching the clock. We finally reached the hour where I knew it was going to be impossible to make the afternoon deadline and get the approved files to the database company that sends out our email projects. I’d never missed a final deadline before and I felt miserable. I bit the bullet and contacted the Paramount people and had to admit to them that I had missed the deadline, but I had managed to get us a slot on tomorrow’s schedule to send out the project. Luckily they were understanding and just asked to send the changes when they were done so they could give them final approval. My designer and I finished in the evening and I emailed the files to Paramount, asking them to get back to me as early as possible in the morning.

I was hanging low when Sophy came back from the doctor with a bunch of pills and elixirs. She lined them up on the dresser and said, “The doctor told me these would help both of us.”

I held out my hand. “Great. Maybe they’ll knock this sickness out of me. I have a really heavy day tomorrow.”

I washed the pills down, did an hour or two of work and climbed into bed with Sophy.

Within seconds, a series of hypnagogic images started to float behind my closed eyes. I’m used to these. If I relax and let them flow they can be intriguing, kind of a Rorschach test from my subconscious. Usually they’re herky-jerky figures that shift and change, similar to watching clouds change from one inexact depiction to another. But these images behind my eyelids grew in intensity and became distorted faces, with features bulging forward and then receding. My interior organs began to pulse and compress in strange ways. There was nothing hypnagogic about it. Then the saliva began to flow in the back of my throat –

I got out of bed and hurried towards the bathroom. The vomit was hurtling out of my mouth just as I made the toilet. I retched and retched. I knew exactly what was happening, but I hoped I was wrong.

Sophy stood in the doorway, saying, “Oh, mi vida…”

I asked her if there was penicillin in any of the pills.

“It’s called amoxicilina.”

“That’s gotta be penicillin. Shit. Give me some privacy. Here comes the diarrhea.”

I’m allergic to penicillin. Sophy knows it. I know it. But we were both too rattled to check the box.

I’ve gone through two allergic attacks in the past and it’s the closest I’ve ever felt to dying. The last time it happened was 20 years ago, when I was physically stronger. With some people penicillin allergy registers as anaphylactic shock, where your tongue and throat swell so much you’re in danger of suffocating. I can’t think of anything worse than that. My body’s reaction is different. I puke. Then I blast out a stream of diarrhea. All the while my I’m sweating and my nose is running. My body is working furiously to rid itself of the poison, using its water content as the vehicle. At 15-minute intervals the puke/diarrhea process is repeated, getting more and more painful each time. When my stomach empties I can feel it twist and turn in a wringing motion as it draws water from the surrounding organs. As soon as my stomach derives an ounce of fluid it makes me retch it out until I’m reduced to painful dry heaves that sprain every muscle in my back. Then comes the explosive diarrhea, as though I had a high-pressure hose in my ass.

This goes on for hours. I’m scared, in pain, exhausted. I don’t know when it will stop. A smarter person would call a doctor; I prefer to ride it out. I also know I have to get up in the morning and finish the Paramount project. My client is on the east coast; I’m on the west. When I wake up in the morning I’m already three hours behind.

Somewhere in the predawn hours the flushing out of the poison stops. I get under the covers feeling that a hard day tomorrow just got harder. I can’t afford to miss tomorrow’s deadline. Let’s put it this way: My billings to Paramount this year paid a year’s worth of rent, utilities and car payments.

When the alarm goes off at six I put on a bathrobe and hobble down the hall towards my office. I think I know how a prizefighter feels after a tough bout; every muscle in my body aches. I turn on my computer and check my emails. Paramount received the files and will get back to me with their final changes in an hour.

So far so good. I set the alarm for 7:00 and catch a bit more sleep. It looks good. We’re going to ace this.

The alarm goes off. I get up and check my computer. My inbox has the changes from Paramount – eight separate emails, one for each page of the project.

I click on the first file –

I lose my internet connection.

Okay. This has happened before. My PC often functions like it’s had a penicillin attack or two. I try to reconnect to the internet.

Nothing.

I’m swearing as I grab the laptop from the bedroom and power it on. I feel cursed when I can’t get an internet connection on the laptop.

Then it becomes clear and I shout out to Sophy, “Babe! Did you pay the internet bill?”

There’s some frantic conversation between Sophy and her daughter Denisse. The bill wasn’t paid.

Sophy hollers from the other room, “I told you it was due on the 16th.”

I yell back, like a wounded boar, “And every time you told me I said take the money out of my wallet and pay the bill.”

It’s now 8:00; 11:00 on the east coast. The internet office won’t be open until 9:00. Once we pay the bill, it may take an hour or two to restore service.

I’m actually moaning now.

I pick up the phone to see if my designer was cc’d on the emails. I dial the number and then realize I have Vonage – without the internet, I have no phone service.

I can hardly stand up. I’m gulping down tall glasses of water to restore my fluids – in the words of a black cook I saw on TV, I have hot pipes. The internet cafes in my neighborhood don’t open until 10:00 but I decide my only option is to drive around Rosarito in the hope of finding one that isn’t padlocked shut.

Sophy tells me she’ll go to the internet office and pay the bill. I grab whatever clothes are handy and get in my RAV 4. Backing out of the driveway I drive over the curb like a drunk. I’m in another dimension. Something is wrong with my reflexes. One, two, three times I drive over curbs.

I finally find an internet café that’s open. It’s 9:00. I settle down in front of a computer, my body probably giving off toxic rays of desperation.

I open up my emails and begin the process of making edit changes with my designer, knowing we’re under the gun. Sour sweat is dripping off my hair. I have a family that literally depends on me – I have to do this and do it well. There’s no allowance for error. In the background, the internet café clerk stares at the TV, watching a blow-by-blow account of the Manny Pacquio/Marquez fight.

At 11:00, Sophy comes into the internet cafe. I’m surprised she found me. I look over my shoulder and barely hear her words that the bill has been paid and the internet service has been restored at home. I feel like a clam dislodged from its shell. All I can do is nod and say, “I’ve got to finish this.”

I’m still going back and forth with my designer when I get an email from the company sending out our email project. Since tomorrow is Thanksgiving, they’re closing early. Can we get the finished files to them in 45 minutes?

The margin of error is now minus zero.

Mentally, I’m in a cube – a soundless room without furniture. No windows. Just a ticking clock on the wall.

Through a miracle we make it. The project goes out. The invoice will go out. The check will come in. No December wolves at the door.

As I type this three days later, the final signs of the penicillin reaction are making themselves known – large blotches of rash spreading over my thighs and belly and up to my chest. It could be my imagination, but I feel as though the rash is on the flesh under my eyelids and around my tear ducts.

There’s a silver lining. I’ve been trying to lose some weight. The night of the allergic reaction, I dropped from 203 pounds to 200. The next day I figured I’d swell back up with all the water I drank.

Instead I dropped down to 197.

The next day, 196.

Chicken Bone

13 Jan

Kuma 2

I’d grown up hearing warnings about feeding chicken bones to dogs – that the bones would splinter and the dog choke. Then in Mexico I learn its common practice. The dogs love them and I’m soon treating Kuma, Toby and Loba to leftover bones from our chicken dinners.

Everything went fine for a while, until one day I stepped out of the back door with a plate of chicken bones and began feeding the dogs.

I fed Kuma a leg bone, then Loba, then Toby. I started a second round and saw Kuma standing stock still. Then he started to hack and claw at the roof of his mouth. I thought, Fuck – he’s choking.

I was alone at the house without a car. Getting to a vet was impossible. Kuma scratched at his mouth so desperately that in seconds blood covered his paws and dripped from his teeth. I wasn’t sure what to do. I remembered the Hippocratic Oath: First do no harm, but I couldn’t watch and do nothing. I lifted Kuma up and peered down his throat. I couldn’t see the bone. I was afraid to push my finger down his throat and jam the bone even deeper. Then I wondered if a splinter had gotten into the roof of Kuma’s mouth, but a quick look told me that wasn’t the problem.

I put Kuma down on the ground and stared as he scratched in desperation at the roof of his mouth. A resigned voice came into my head. “You’re going to watch your dog die right in front of you.” It was disturbing – the voice wasn’t frantic or panicked – it was calm – too calm. What was wrong with me, that I could react so calmly, as though part of me was dead inside?

I picked Kuma up and wrapped my arms around his chest and squeezed hard in the Heimlich maneuver.

Nothing.

I figured there was only so much air in Kuma’s lungs. I might only get one more chance. I squeezed harder this time, hoping I wouldn’t break his ribs.

I set Kuma down and seconds later he spit out a jagged one-inch piece of bone. Maybe my squeezing did the trick; maybe he dislodged the bone on his own.

A minute later, Kuma was wagging his tail, the experience behind him. I washed the blood off his paws and put the rest of the bones in the trash.

I was left with the disturbing memory of my calmness in the face of my dog’s imminent death. It frightened me, wondering how far this calmness could extend.

(Rosarito, Mexico 2015)

Dog Fight

5 Jan

 

Modern Art and Design auction, October 12, 2014

It was noon and the dogs were barking loud. I ran outside and saw a Mexican guy standing in the road holding a staff with a metal hook on its end. He had two dogs with him. One was huge and black – snarling and gnashing at our dog, Toby. It was a full bore dogfight. Toby was trying to sink his fangs in the black dog’s neck. Blood was going to flow any second.

I glanced at the Mexican and he was unperturbed, as though I should invite him in for tea.

I lost it. This was my house – my property. “Hey, motherfucker. Get your motherfuckin’ dogs under control!”

The dogs were locked together, beating up dust from the road.

The Mexican looked at me with a pleasant expression.

I took a step toward him. “Motherfucker! You think this is funny?”

He backed away, frowned, lifted a hand. “Tranquil… Tranquil…” and then yelled out “Marley!”

The dog didn’t stop trying to kill Toby, so the Mexican had to grab Marley by the collar and drag him away.

By then Sophy and Denisse and the kids had spilled out in the road.

Things calmed down. The Mexican said, in fractured English, “You don’ recognize me.”

“No, I don’t.”

“I’m live in the brick house.”

This meant nothing to me.

He pointed to the stone steps leading to our door. “I made those steps.”

I looked hard at the guy. “You grew a beard.”

The Mexican fingered his heavy beard. “Yes.”

The Mexican – Jose – made a gesture like he was flexing his muscles. “You were very fuerte.”

I took a breath. “You’ve got a big dog.”

By now, Jose had once again let go of Marley’s collar. My grandson Yalith wandered too close to the dog and Jose said, “Careful with the boy.”

I shooed Yalith away while Jose tied Marley to a utility pole.

Jose pointed at his two dogs. “Marley and Rita. After Bob Marley and his wife.”

It turned out Jose had come by to borrow our power drill.

When he left, Sophy said, “He brought that dog here before. It bit Antonio (our worker). Antonio told me if he saw that dog again he was going to kill it. Why does he have to bring that dog here? There was no reason. I told him not to bring that dog here.”

Is it madness? Or Mexico?

Pit Bull Puppy – Sukey

25 Dec

dirt1

Christmas Eve day. I was sitting on the concrete driveway of our house, trying to get some sun, when I saw a stray puppy walking by. It didn’t take but a second or two to see it was either abandoned or lost. I picked it up – a two month old female pit bull. It was a pretty color, a mix of soft grays and browns. The puppy was friendly and obviously relieved at getting some affection.

I walked across the street to my cab driver neighbor and asked him if he knew whose puppy it was. He shook his head no and I said if anyone is looking for her, to send them my way.

I fed her some dry dog food with a couple of eggs cracked into it and she scrabbled in the bowl, making the food disappear. I noticed her belly was swollen, which was probably a result of eating all kinds of awful things by the side of the road. I was going to have to get some parasite medicine.

I watched as one flea after another poked its head up out of her fur and then burrowed back down to her skin. I got a bucket of warm water and a bar of flea soap and dipped her in and scrubbed her down. The soap is strong and all of the fleas high-tailed it to hide under the hollows where her legs met her body. I hit them with an extra dose and probably killed a hundred fleas by the time I was done.

The afternoon wore on. She slept with her head on my shoe and I named her Sukey.

I put Sukey on the porch when Sophy and I had to run an errand. By the time we got back it was dark and we learned Sukey had either been let out by one of the kids or she’d wandered off. I figured if she truly chose to wander off that was just the way things go sometimes. But if she was confused or nearby I wanted to give her a choice to come back.

I walked up the dark street. Fifty feet way I saw a man with a child perched on his shoulders. It looked like he was playing with his Chihuahua or similar small dog, which seemed to be scampering back and forth around the man’s legs.

I got closer and saw that the man was kicking dirt in Sukey’s face. When she’d try to run in the other direction he’d step in front of her and kick another mess of dirt in the puppy’s face.

I walked over and picked up Sukey. I was happy to have found her and I just stood there for a few seconds. I hadn’t said anything to the man, who I recognized as the ultra-religious truck driver from across the street.

I said, “This is my dog.”

He smiled and said something I didn’t catch – something that sounded like an attempt to smooth things over.

I walked away, wondering about people. Why a man would take joy in kicking dirt in a puppy’s face. Especially with his daughter perched on his shoulders.

The Smell

12 Oct

brassai 3

 

I got back to Rosarito after a trip to The Bahamas and settled into bed with Sophy. She said,” I can’t stand the smell – the smell from the dead dogs.”

I took a deep breath and inhaled the stink wafting in from God knows where. It was coming from the empty lot next to ours. A sweet smell, invasive, clinging to my nostrils. Sophy told me dogs were eating the dead body – she saw them.

I was tired and said I’d deal with it tomorrow.

We woke up the next morning, clinging to each other and I said, “We need a bag of lime”

I woke up, wrote a bunch of stories. Sophy drove out and returned with a couple pounds of lime. In my mind, I remembered European & African tragedies where bodies had to be sprinkled with lime.

Sophy and I walked onto the lot next to our house. There were two dead dogs. An unscathed puppy and a chewed-over mutt with a beef jerky grinning skull. I shook the lime over them, covering every body part I could see.

The next two days the rain came.

I looked out my window and saw the two bodies of the dogs, one much smaller than the other. Even in the rain, the lime clung to the dead bodies, like a candy coating.

I was glad.

Maybe they wouldn’t smell so bad.

(2013)

New Home for Rosalinda

2 Oct

SAM_6704

 

Last weekend we bought a horse that was in really bad shape. Rosalinda was starving – mainly because the owners could barely feed themselves. After only a few days, Rosalinda is doing great, being boarded at a house less than a 1/4 mile from where we’re building two houses. So we see her every day. She’s still skittish because we’re told she may have been abused at a rodeo – not ridden, but roped and brought down. Anyway, Rosalinda is happy now and whinnies when she sees us coming. That’s our dog Kuma under Rosalind’s legs.

Rosalinda

22 Sep

* * *

Rosalinda

 

My wife has a big heart. She came home and said, “Lots of people in Rosarito are starving. They don’t have enough money to eat. A man tried to sell me a horse today. He can’t afford to feed it – its bones are sticking out. It’s going to die.”

We drove over to see the horse, a brown mare. First we stopped off at a guy’s house and bought a big bag of alfalfa, like we were scoring five kilos of weed. We drove to the lot on the poor side of town where the horse was being kept. It came right over to the metal gate. I grabbed some alfalfa and the horse ate out of my hand. Its ribs were corrugated, its hoofs cracked and what looked to be hard ulcers stuck out on its forelegs. A couple of guys came over and told us the horse was ours for a $120. We learned the mare was named Rosalinda.

One of the guys could hardly look me in the eye; his dirty feet were in flip flops and he was missing a couple of teeth. I watched the horse walk over to a water bucket and dip its muzzle down and come up dry. It was one thing to not have money to feed a horse; it was something else altogether to deny it water.

The guy who owned the horse wasn’t around and we were told we’d have to come back tomorrow.

Sophy and I drove up to our lot, where we were building our house, talking about buying Rosalinda. On the dirt road leading to our lot we saw a guy on horseback. Sophy stopped and rolled down the window and started asking the guy questions about the practicalities of buying a horse. I noticed the rider’s mare was sleek and beautiful; calm and following his commands. The guy’s name was Rodolfo and his mare was named Lucero and he lived in the same community where we building our house. By the end of the conversation we learned that Rodolfo was a groom. He offered to care for our horse until our house was built. It was clear I was going to learn a lot about horses from Rodolfo.

Instead of bringing Rosalinda the ten miles by truck, Rodolfo said he would lead her over a mountain trail, with him riding Lucero.

I felt like I’d just parachuted into a Cormac McCarthy novel.

Shot from Guns

21 Jun

The heat is being turned up under me. Got off the phone with Michael. He and Tom are insistent I move out to California. Michael makes the point that writing is only a third of the business – making contacts and being available for meetings constitutes the other two thirds.

We always knew that a long distance screenwriting partnership wouldn’t work – that I had to get out there sooner or later. I’ve dragged my feet longer than I should have.

If I was in my twenties and unencumbered I’d have been out there in a minute. In my fifties, with a family, it’s not that simple. The time has come to make the commitment and ask a lot of Ann and Devon. They have to understand that if I try to have things perfect on both coasts before I make a move, I’ll never make the move. One of Michael’s favorite observations is, “You have to be willing to act without complete knowledge.” If I stay at the magazine, I’ll alienate Michael, marginalize myself as a screenwriter, and slowly sink into a deep sense of failure.

Up to now, I don’t feel guilty that I haven’t done enough on my end. I will be guilty if I don’t get my ass out there as quickly as possible. Michael and Tom asked me if I’d live in Hollywood rather thanVentura- it would be a more strategic location and I’d be at the center of the action. I told them no problem, but once my family joins me we’ll be moving to Ventura. Out there alone, I don’t mind finding a cheap apartment on Western Avenue, making it into a space devoted to writing. No frills: computer, books, Blackberry, a DVD player.

When I got off the phone with Michael I immediately went in and asked our executive editor for the West Coast editor position. I also told her why, that I had sold a screenplay to Hollywood. Our editor-in-chief – the idiot – heard us and popped his head in. He didn’t seem at all surprised that I sold a screenplay.  I’m pretty sure one of my co-workers told him – probably someone trying to make points by delivering inside information.

The editor in chief asked me how I was going to juggle two careers and I said, “I’ve been doing that for ten years.” By the end of the conversation, both editors were in agreement that I should be given the position. They also agreed that I could work out of my apartment in Hollywood, which means the end of my five-hour daily commute. Once I’m in California, I’ll turn five wasted hours into writing time.

My editors still need to clear it with their bosses, but if it flies, I’m on the road in two months, in August, driving cross-country with Devon. He’ll hang with me for a few weeks until he starts school in September. It will give him a chance to get a real taste of Southern California, getting a good dose of the beach culture and maybe even taking a quick trip into Mexico.

(2005)

Territorial Imperative

16 Jun

My twin brother Scott, had a dream in which settlers sought refuge in a cornfield when under attack by demons. The settlers defended themselves by sprinkling holy water around the perimeter of the cornfield, making a stockade against the demons. Scott took this fragment and developed a premise for a screenplay called Demon Wall. He’s never written a screenplay so he asked me to co-write it with him. We worked on an outline and then I wrote the first draft, finishing it in Costa Rica on a trip I made with Devon.

Michael read it, got really excited and added some “Whore of Babylon” elements that opened the story up even further. It’s a really good, commercial script with incredible scenes – Scott and I refer to it as “Hellraiser meets Last of the Mohicans.”

Rebie at Mentor read Demon Wall and pronounced it “fun and creepy.” When she hemmed and hawed about it being a period piece, and that it needed another pass, Michael said, “Let’s not waste time – do you want to take it out or not?” Rebie said she did. We should get notes from her in a couple of days on what she thinks the script needs.

This brings Scott into the fold, although Michael had a weird reaction to that; he’s concerned about us having three writers on the script, like we did on Umzumbe Boys. It sends a confusing message to producers: “If Fallbrook and Rogers are a team, why do they always have a third writer on board?” Michael asked if I’d see if Scott would take a “story by’ credit. I brought it up with Scott and he took it well, although I could see a shadow pass across his features.

It could be that as the stakes get higher, we’ll cross the border into a Mexico of the imagination – the same terrain as The Treasure of Sierra Madre.

It’ll be a tragedy if we descend into covetousness, greed and jealousy. I’m going to do my best to get the work done and do everything I can to stay on the high road – my personal version of the high road.

Who knows what that road would look like to anybody else. Probably a dirt track with sinkholes and upside down signs.

(2005)