I didn’t notice her. She asked me if I would like to kill a Mexican tonight. I didn’t want to kill a Mexican tonight.
“Sure”, I said sure, as if it were something to say sure to, and she laughed through her laced face mask, the only area of her body not exposed. Her smile widening further than the circle cut out for her to breath. She took my hand, and I thought to myself that this was the first time I wasn’t self conscious about my hands being clammy. Her skin wasn’t sweating much yet, but it was sticking and stretching at points to her transparent rain coat.
I said, "Sure." and she had smiled as if it were something perfect.
Waiting behind her, a tattoo variation on the Last Supper scene was wet from her pores leaking. And roses. I had been asked to kill Guillermo Gómez-Peña. I stared at another man’s back as I looked at hers and my thoughts traced the inside of my own.
Then there was the experience of difficulty; choosing where to place the tip of the gun. Hold his face in caress. The gun heavier than expected, weighted material once originating from the ground, and then the memory of watching his aged torso as he stood speaking earlier in the night.
His abdomen raised higher than the last time I saw him, pressing to his sternum and against his lower ribs. He is 60 years old now? Tonight advertised the aging body. The last time I saw him was four years ago when I had sewn a skinned and butchered goat back together before and for his performance with Roberto Sifuentes. I wonder if he recognized me within my desire to stick my fingers in his mouth to better grip his jaw as my hand slid off of his face. His jaw more narrow and less protruding than my planning, than my desire could take a grip.
I wanted him to look at me, he wouldn’t look at me. My eyes wouldn’t let go of the moment, the moment being inches from his face while his lids upped and down slowly. He looked at me for an instance and kept his eyes open, dimly open, and after he saw me through those eyes, he disappeared inside himself. I felt him sunken further down inside his body than where I was staring. I had seen aged eyes before and taken them apart for transplant. Yellow and browning where there should be white. He whispered, “Work the image."
Somehow we ended up on the ground. His knees collapsed and I followed. I didn’t want to be above him. I wanted to be his equal. He angled slightly atop me for a moment, only the gun separating us and my leg between his two. But he easily gave way to his back. My hand went from caress to a strangle of his throat.
As the gun pushed into his abdomen I worried I was hurting him but the thought transformed into his permission; he pressed harder and harder against the circular inch of the tip.
He said ok. He took a deep breath. He said wow, ok. Ok. He wouldn’t look at me.
He turned over and got up and I got off of him and walked away.
My legs walked me only ten feet. My breath focused and aware of how I was, as if I was even more than had I just biked up a hill and stopped at a traffic light. I kept trying to hold my breath so that my chest wouldn’t move my body so thoroughly. But self consciousness aside, I realized, that, was why I had said, "Sure.”
Recognizing Guillermo Galindo across the room, I felt like he looked at me with so much in his eye that his body came over to me through them. I put it all on and I took it all off.
"Sure," I wanted the opportunity to be moving near Guillermo Gómez-Peña and Balitronica Gomez.
The motion made me want to puke out living in LA as a teen and all the hateful racist commentary I had put up with, standing up to in words, on occasion, but only changing the situation by leaving the city. But for tonight, I was killing a Mexican, and we all had bodies in which to extend ourselves.
This was my experience of The Body Cartographic, a performance by La Pocha Nostra.
These moments were with Balitronica Gomez and Guillermo Gómez-Peña.
Searching for these people behind these characters online after the moment makes the experience distill down to encyclopedic unveiling. Experience is more real than the internet could ever be.