The phone rings.
In Spanish: “I’m Fulano etal (Mexican John Doe). Mario’s friend. You remember the guy that bought the horse? I have a really big favor to ask.”
“I need a place to stay. Things are bad for me now. I just got out of jail.”
“I’m living in a car. But I got a job.”
“What happened to the restaurant?”
“I sold it. My wife got the money. I married another woman. We fought. She called the cops.”
Another call. Another friend.
“I need to borrow money. The truck I use to come to work—the finance company is looking for it. My grandmother reported it stolen. A friend has a car for sale. $1,200. He needs the money, but it has to be today.”
The phone, again.
“Your diesel bill for the month of March has not been paid….”
A horse is colicking.
Abraham is drunk. Has been since Sunday.
Bearing went out on a disc.
Tractor tire, flat again.
Manuel thinks it’s sabotage.
I know better.
You have a bull out on my place. Big spotted Brahman.
I have a bull out of his pen on my own place. Holstein-Jersey cross. Along with some dairy heifers.
Guess I left the gate unlatched last night. Go to catch that motherfucker.
The immigration lawyer wants more money. I’ll pay you back man.
All of this before milking.
I encounter a man at a nearby trailer park. A new neighbor. Ex-special forces.
Trying to kick the drugs the government uses to chemically lobotomize him. Handfuls of pills with names I don’t recognize. He quit all of them.
Can’t sleep. Killed kids sent into the mine fields. Shot them in the fucking head. 50 cal.
The way he moves, acts: rapid fire speech, jittery movements; looks, smells, tastes like meth to me.
This gang controls this, that gang controls that. Another over there.
More gangs than I can keep up with. I don’t want to know.
There’s dope everywhere. So much dope they’re burying the shit…
Everyone has dope, everyone’s the dealer. Who’s the John with a fucking job to sell the shit to?
Meanwhile, cops watch. Listen. Wait.
I best be moving along.
I call to check on the one horse I have left in training.
My trainer answers, from the emergency room.
Horse is fine. He isn’t.
Time for lunch.
America the beautiful.
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