So today my writing group warmed up with a ten-minute writing exercise. We each wrote down a color, a place, an animal, and a name, and then passed them to the person on our left, who was then charged with shoehorning those four items into whatever else flowed from his or her pen in the ensuing ten minutes. The results, as always, were diverse and mostly hilarious. I wrote this.
My Color: Auburn
My Place: Tequila Bar
My Animal: platypus
My Name: Umberto
“You have such beautiful auburn hair.” Thanks, Umberto. Or whatever he said his name was. When you’re still wrapped around your stool at the back of the tequila bar come closing time, you get a little fuzzy on the details. All I remember for sure are the wide-set eyes/short arms combo that put me in mind of a duck-billed platypus, and the fact that he wanted in my pants so bad he was trying to pick the lock of my button fly before he even bothered with the pick-up line, such as it was.
I remember for sure, though, that is was my first time in Mexico. I had run off to Mazatlan to try to drown my memories of Travis in ocean spray and cheap tequila when moving to Albuquerque and dying my hair that cheap Walgreens magenta — sorry, “auburn” — hadn’t done the trick. It’s not like Umberto wasn’t handsome — as best I can remember. But he was more desperate even than I was for a night of “Let’s Pretend This is My Life,” and that’s saying something. “Gracias,” I said, wishing one of us would pass out already and spare us the morning’s awkward goodbyes.