A Journey to Arteriosclerosis | Matthew Dexter

 Cabo San Lucas arch

The mud that comes from a hundred cervezas within a week, a dozen a few days in

a row, lies circumventing the waste in the bowl and amber strain can lead to blood–again–

so red the bowel movement is the least of the problems. Your trouble is not the alcoholism

of a binge drinker capable of going days without taking a drink, or at least doing so

moderately for a couple weeks, anything better than that year wasted by day-to-day


She calls, though you have been trying to track her down for hours, to bring home

those pesos from the casino for the bets from Thursday Night Football and the Colts, but

the stomach is the root of the man, the toilet is the tooth of his franchise and it’s days like

this when you wonder whether food is the cure or ill of the same name? You wait for her

llamada. You are on the throne the first time, so those thirteen rings were the worst, but the

second time you enter reality with lucidity to answer on the eleventh, your pants hosted by

nine grimy fingers that refuse to purchase sufficient toilet paper, and into the basket your

appendages roam, searching for one not coagulated with piss or mucus or facial cream, or


You tell her you need the car and the money and she says twenty minutes but you

say an hour or two, and in an hour she arrives, and you take out the garbage that she does

not, and you stuff it in the green canister with flies and the swarm of degeneracy that

never closes. You smell the refrigerator and find two extra kids in the car, and you head to

the beach, which was the plan to begin with, and while parking at the beach, your child,

now awake, is bloated with crimson pocks and white on his face–allergies–yet you never

were able to have blood drawn to determine which, and so you head to the sixty-peso

doctor as his face gets worse and the pains of being a man subside to soggy obligations of


No downtime, no need to waste fifteen hundred pesos on medications and chest and

spinal x-rays for another panic attic of nausea and dizziness and severe abdominal pains

like Charlie Sheen after a monster thousand-mile binge; no need for another hospital to

cramp your swag: only tacos beer and weed.

The marks go down as you drive. All you wanted was your cash, and some wheels

to get some beer, now you wait to head to the Cabo San Lucas marina with a baby, waiting

to sail out to sea, to vanish into maturity. There is always a panga desecrated with seagulls

and pelican shit. You take another Pepto-Bismol and then plan on heading out to eat, or

drink most likely, and enticed by the magic of a third-world country, you journey to

Arteriosclerosis, the carretera arteries that harden and fill with blood and that something

must absorb the alcohol, which scurries and drifts like a rotted log on a river, a thirty-three

year tributary of seventeen years of addiction, tapeworms climbing serpents, you are not

complaining, just explaining how your son was the only thing that matters in the end; not

the sunglasses or the sombrero or the filthy stench of the gutter that awaits your hasty


Like nomadic Pericú natives before him, Matthew Dexter survives on a hunter-gatherer subsistence diet of shrimp tacos, smoked marlin, cold beer, and warm sunshine. He lives in Cabo San Lucas, Mexico.

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