The day’s drive starts at a red light alongside a curved cement fortress, a corner store painted in the likes of a green-and-yellow checkerboard. Cactus leaves for sale on one side, a man spraying fire from his mouth on the other. When green comes, I’ll know what to do. I could do it every day. Race through cobblestone roundabouts, circular kingdoms ruled by sword-wielding Aztecan giants and dead presidents. Fly over sidewalkless bridges that cover the concrete river. Dodge mammoth potholes that lurk along the pockmarked boulevards, avenues lined with women made of both clean white plastic and tarnished brown putty and square trees trimmed to look like the landscaping of an 8-bit video game. Brake, gas, brake, gas, brake, my eye all the while waving at the monstrous eagle flag waving at me from afar. Scale the rolling hills of urban sprawl, each its own tidal wave disguised as a wall of Technicolor confetti. Count the specks as I feel myself climbing into the sky. Follow the fence westward through whiffs of sewage and street food, to where the line between “here” and “there” switches from rusted panels to a roofless cage made of railroad tracks before trailing into the sea. There, in the shadow of the bullring, pause in the company of the coconut shacks, cotton candy peddlers, divided families and the falling sun, and know that the long night ahead, wrapped in neon-streaked disco twilight, will close with another slow dawn that I’ll dedicate to not letting the fear of gunfire keep me from driving the same lap tomorrow. Welcome to my Tijuana taxicab.
Derrik Chinn is a permanent tourist. See for yourself at derrikchinn.blogspot.com.
- “Sex City” // Van She
- “Wake Up” // Lo-Fi-Fnk
- “Vamos a La Playa” // Righeira
- “Moonlight Affair” // Silent Circle
- “Fashion Victims” // Zemmoa
- “Time Stands Still” // Cut Copy
- “Double Shadow” // Junior Boys
- “I Want Your Love” // Chromatics
- “Life After Sundown” // Glass Candy
- “Pegaso” // Professor Genius
- “Neverland” // Silent Shout
- “Lady Operator” // Mirage
- “Caught By Surprise” // Laban
- “Sunlight In Electric Wires” // San Serac