Don’t get me wrong. I love The Zac Brown Band. I mean, I love them. But Anthony and his mom wore out “Colder Weather” to the point that the lyrics ‘maybe tomorrow will be better’ stopped resonating with me. Something about being jammed up in the back seat of your own car, on the way to one of the biggest hubs for drug trafficking and decapitating humans, makes you feel very, very far away from Zac Brown and his band. After about my sixth leg cramp in four hours I was ready to be anywhere but in the back seat of a car I actually once loved.
When we pulled up to Hotel Oasis in Caborca, I have to admit it wasn’t the worst place I had ever seen. Given the rigid surroundings of the hotel, I figured this was as good as it was going to get. But I wasn’t entirely convinced of the name of the hotel since ‘oasis,’ as defined by the omniscient and powerful Siri, was “a shelter serving as a place of safety or sanctuary.” I mean, it was decent but a safe haven from the Mexican cartels and their over-sized automatic weapons? Doubtful. And a sanctuary was just laughable. I took solace in the fact that there was a tarred parking lot and doors on the rooms.
Anthony and I waited in the car while Mama D went to check in. When she came back she got into the driver’s seat (my driver’s seat) and buckled up. Hmmm. The parking lot was really not that big but I suppose her commitment to safety was admirable. Better late than never. “They’re fully booked and the team forgot to book us our room.” she shared. I leaned over and puked right there in the back seat. No I didn’t, but that was a metaphor for ‘I hate my life.” So we pulled out of the only oasis in town and cruised around looking for a place to lay our heads for the next two nights.
The “hotel” we found was about five minutes from the now coveted Hotel Oasis, and I can’t remember the name of it, but I will assure you of this: whatever it was called, it was false advertising to even suggest people should pay to sleep there. I’m not sure I can really articulate a proper description of hell on earth, but here it goes. Let me start out by saying that Grandma was looking more and more like a palace by the minute. The small complex of rooms were tucked away behind the street-front convenient stores and prostitute standing posts so if anyone wanted to kill us, no one would really notice. The key we got to our room was one of those electronic swipey ones with the magnetic strip for added security, so that was nice. If you actually believed that last sentence, stop following this blog now – you’re an idiot. The key looked like what I currently use to open my mailbox, and the lock it opened on the door was hanging on for dear life. Come to think of it, the whole door was hanging on for dear life. In the room, two beds were delicately made up next to each other and were about as inviting as putting on a swimsuit during the first day of your period. (Men, stay with me here.) The comforters gleamed with sanitation and the sheets were made of what can only be described as the cheapest roll of toilet paper that you’ve ever wiped your ass with. The beds aligned toward a real state-of-the-art television that was set on top of an exquisite piece of plywood furniture. Why yes, I’d love to unpack my things and dump my underwear right on in the top drawer! At least the floor was tile, so it was only as dirty as the Mexican water they used to wash it with, but walking on it with bare feet was one hundred percent out of the question. And then there was the bathroom. Let’s just say Tilex wasn’t going to do this place any favors. The shower was just a step down into a rusty, broken tiled area with no door or curtain. I actually felt wrong putting my Bumble and Bumble shampoo bottle on the floor without its own shower sandals. I looked up at the area where water should come out of a faucet and had a real good laugh with myself, slash I hung my head in regretful shame. Remember the game Clue, and the lead pipe you used to kill Col. Mustard and all his cronies? Yeah, that was sticking out of a chiseled hole in the wall with a trickle of water that wasn’t strong enough to drown a mosquito. And though I found nothing when I scoured all the cracks in the walls for cameras, I’m not entirely convinced that my shower session went broadcast-free.
What in God’s name had I done to my life? In that moment of nakedness I tried to think back on the first few text messages that Anthony sent me about being a baseball player. Did he actually say he was a baseball player?? Or…did he say ‘I play baseball?’ I reminded myself to be more observant next time I went crashing into love and checking off critical life requirement boxes. But that was just it. Somehow, some god-forsaken way, I was in love with him. I hated him, but I also loved him. So I stepped (down) into the shower and got ready for the games. I dried off with a towel that I could have sanded down the door with, and got ready to go sit in the stands for the next…four years. And counting.