“The things you own end up owning you.”
Tyler Durden - Fight Club.
Lucio had bought two vans the previous week. I listened to his bragging in bitter silence. Then, he invited me over to help me sell the van. His hospitality and excessive kindness were a little fishy. Besides, he lived in a remote mountain area where I would be completely isolated from passersby and potential buyers. I wanted to take advantage of Jaco to get rid of my stuff first.
Jason, an Australian traveler in Mexico, called me about the ad. He was looking for a fully equipped van and La Chichona checked all his boxes. We had a videocall for a complete walkthrough of the setup. He liked what he saw and did not mind flying to Costa Rica if La Chichona passed a mechanical inspection. As I was showing him the inside, the fan stopped working. He said he would call back if interested.…Thank you Chichona.
Boys like toys, and I had too many. Climbing equipment, golf clubs, surfboards, hiking gear, camping tools, etc. I posted online and toured all the shops in town with printed ads; no one cared. People came to Jaco for hookers and cocaine—not to buy used golf clubs. The boards however, found great success. I felt a pinch in the chest every time I showed them.
I had given each board a name, and overtime they developed their personality. There was the generous Flaca from Brazil, the patient Gordita from Australia, the capricious Chiquita from Mexico, and the lazy Coqueta from the Canaries. Together, we dared the big waves, dodged the reaper, feasted on adrenaline, and experienced pure bliss. We stuck together through thick and thin, across oceans and continents, and fixed each other in hard times. I wanted to entrust them to someone worthy, someone to care and protect them. They were brave. They were loyal. They were my girls. And I loved them.
La Chichona got jealous. After another sleepless night due to the broken fan, I woke up to a flat tire. I couldn't believe it; she had not even moved. I spent the day fixing the fan and changing the tire. On the way to the mechanic, the brakes suddenly screamed in agony, a cringing sound of metal against metal. The mechanic spotted other issues but I was done spending money on her.
On the way back, the old parking attendant scolded me for having lifted the gate. Too tired to argue, I walked away, sat under a tree and cracked a beer—BOOOM! I shielded my head and the beer spilled all over me. The old man cackled so loud he almost fell from his chair, a loud and mean and toothless cackle. It was an iguana! A big fucking iguana that took itself for a dragon. It fell from the sky and landed at my feet in a cloud of dust. Then, not flinching, it shot me a what’s-your-problem-bitch stare. Scared and wet, I stormed out of the parking ground. The old man was still cackling.
I was done with Jaco losers and wannabes, even iguanas turned mad in that place. I called Lucio and left the next morning. He lived in the mountains of Alajuela, west of the capital. It was a constant climb from the coast. First through a busy highway, then on a path of beaten concrete that weaved across cliffs like a snake through a canyon. I lost reception and switched to the CD player, only to find out it too stopped working. La Chichona was angry and she showed it. Her engine sounded louder without music. The road crawled and climbed, and La Chichona roared after each boost. After one too many, she quit. I lost power by the edge of a cliff and stopped along a rocky wall. Silence creeped in. It was just the two of us, staring into the void.
I punched the steering wheel, then again harder. She honked in protest and I answered with a violent scream, slamming both fists in a frenetic tantrum. The anger that was bubbling in my gut since Heidi’s comment exploded in loud fury. I hit every part I could touch. I hated La Chichona so much I wanted to hurt her, to throw her down the fucking cliff and watch her burn. Blind by rage, I started planning.
The wheel is crooked. I need to hold it until the last second. Okay, get the passport from the glove compartment and unclip the belt. No, prepare the backpack first, wear it, then drive. Pick up speed, jump out, and let her fall. Just what you deserve you ungrateful bitch. And then what? Stick up a thumb by the side of the road? You can’t even make a call. Wait! The girls? Take them out first. No, it won't look like an accident. They'll track rhe plate and find you, put you in jail, back to Jaco! AAAAAAAAARRRRRGHHH...
Still shaking, I staggered to the rocky wall and collapsed to the ground. Helpless in no-man's land, I held my head and sobbed. La Chichona made me her bitch, and there was nothing I could do about it. La Chichona Life eh...what a pathetic ending.
I sighed to the sky and saw the ugly old man laughing at me, rocking in his chair, and I laughed back.
There was no iguana.