- Dude! WTF are you doing? Stay here. It’s dangerous!
- Don’t you worry son. I got this...
Big day! My friends Abi and Beto were getting married. I had not seen them or any of my Montreal family since I left with La Chichona, two years before. The whole crew flew to Monterrey (Mexico) for the occasion. Thanks to my incredible luck and to the Canada Revenue Agency, I was able to book a last-minute flight and join the party.
Waiting for my connection in Mexico-city, I saw Papi and called him out. Who would have thought the Africans would be the first to arrive? We caught up on the past two years and discussed our plans for the week. Abi and Beto instructed us to stay in San Pedro, a secure neighborhood of Monterrey. They insisted that the city was dangerous, and did not want any of us wandering around.
Our crew, TPMC, was founded when a young Mexican graduate named Pablo moved in with me in Montreal. Soon after, more Mexicans started to show up. They drank tequila, partied all night, ordered poutine, and passed out on our couch. Beto was a pioneer in the trade. More parties brought in more people and more backgrounds. Our little group learned and shared the best of each culture. Senegalese chicken, Peruvian ceviche, Colombian cocaine, Moroccan bullying, and French racism. Over the years, TPMC has evolved into a loving and supportive community. A family bound in international values, Tequila, Poutine & Mucho Chile.
I was more excited to see my boys than the bride to get married. While Abi and Beto were busy with the preparations, the rest of us met in San Pedro. Every reunion was emotional. The bravest kept their dignity and greeted each other with strong embraces, good jokes, and warm smiles. I cried like a little bitch.
The ceremony took place in a famous Church in Monterrey. Beto sent a message to his people. He had Manu, the Spaniard, make his speech. A Spaniard in the service of a Mexican; there was something satisfying about it. The priest took over, and Abi and Beto made a majestic entrance. They exchanged vows, kissed, and stormed out in a thunder of flashes and applauses. A Rolls Royce waited for them outside. They disappeared in a shower of rose petals, ever beautiful.
The common mortals headed to the wedding party in a bus they arranged for us. We reached the venue, pre-drank and met the families. Pablo made an exceptional speech that touched even non-spanish speakers. Everyone did their best to mix with the other guests. Some even repeated recently memorized sentences.
The local guests were struck by TPMC's diversity. They had a hard time understanding we were all Canadians. Some asked Brad to take a picture holding their baby, some called Ming Kyu Chino, some looked at me suspiciously, and a few kept their distance from Papi. France may be the best in class, but racism is truly international.
We all behaved until the elders left the party. At three in the morning, only the brave remained. Beto was too drunk to stand and Abi, like always, was the last one singing. We walked back to the bus, and headed to their hotel for the after party. The entrance was on the highway exit and too narrow for the bus to go through. The driver stopped in front and blocked the highway. Cars lined up and people started honking.
Steering a crowd of twenty drunks had its challenges. Beto, king of the night, was unconscious in the back of the bus. It was impossible to wake him up. Our two strongest men had to lift and carry him out. More cars added up and impatience turned into rage. One guy did not stop honking. The situation got tense. I was afraid someone might do something stupid.
In the mid of that loud chaos, Papi stepped out of the bus. He adjusted his costume, his hat, and walked towards the line of cars. On a saturday night at 4:35 am, a black man in a silver blue getzner raised his arms in front of an angry Mexican crowd. He looked like a messiah shining in the night. Papi walked along, praising the lord and waiving his hands for peace. The honking intensified.
They dragged Beto's body out. Then Abi followed, the last one out of the bus. She held a bouquet in one hand and the tail of her dress in the other. The bus finally moved but one car kept the raucous., that same guy who did not stop honking. As he passed by Abi, he slowed down and released the honk. In the brief silence, he peeked his head out of the window and yelled,"Chinga tu madre!".
In a scene worthy of the Matrix movie, Abi threw the bouquet in her other hand, twirled around, raised a defiant finger and roared, “CHINGA LA TUYA PENDEJOOOOOO!!!!". Her dress wrapped around her like a white tornado, triggering a burst of laughter and applause.
In that precise moment, I knew Beto will always be alright.