Adventures in Tequila (and Billiards)
My mouth feels like desert. So does my skin, and my head feels like a paved road after a winter of thawing and freezing. Opening my eyes is such a chore that it takes me multiple tries to complete it, and when I do, glaring brightness fills my vision. The piercing light makes my eyes snap shut.
A hand on my shoulder jostles me closer to consciousness. I now realize that the surface I'm laying on is hard, but with an abrasive fabric texture to it.
"Carver," a voice mumbles. The voice sounds like my mouth feels. "Carver, I don't know where we are." I don't know either.
I manage to raise a hand to cover my eyes, and struggle to open them. First, the flesh color of my hand, backlit by the same bright light that nearly blinded me only moments ago. Second, as my body shifts atop this rough hard surface, my bare foot kicks something hard and heavy, but smooth, and the object is suddenly no longer against my skin. Third, the hand on my shoulder has long nails that scrape lightly on my desert-dry skin.
It's difficult, but I will my eyes to open. The source of light hovers only a few feet above me, three bulbs huddled together under a circular glass lampshade. Allowing my head to roll to one side, I see that the coarse surface I've been laying on is a bright kelly green carpeting, framed by deep chestnut wood with gold trim. A pool table. I would laugh aloud at how ridiculous it is if I didn't feel I would vomit upon doing so.
I allow my head to roll to the opposite direction, to my left, and see the woman who spoke my name a moment ago, pushed at my shoulder with nails that are only slightly shorter than her actual fingers. They're painted bright pink, and her hands cover her face like my hands were covering mine a moment ago. Kat. My sluggish brain tells me her name is Kat.
"Where are we?" Kat struggles to say. "I don't remember where we are."
Taking a deep breath in through my nose I sit up, careful not to hit my head on the lamp, and take in my surroundings.
Item number one: pool table. Earlier I had kicked the cue ball, which sadly did not sink any of the other balls still on the table.
Item number two: lots of bottles of liquor. Mostly tequila, which is mostly Cuervo. No wonder my head feels like cracked pavement.
Item number three: a man I do not recognize. He's sitting on a chair in the corner, head supported by his hand, propped up by an elbow on the wall. He's an older man, with oil-black hair and a creased face worn by weather and time. He's asleep, and remains that way until I attempt to get off of the table and fall spectacularly. When my body hits the hardwood floor he jumps awake, hand over his heart.
"You scared the living daylights out of me!" he exclaims, looking down at my prostrate body for answers. His words form around a thick accent, the origin to which my American ears can't place.
I rub my eyes as I stand, trying to recover from the fall I just took. I look to Kat for a moment, then back at the man with the accent.
"Where are we? Why were you asleep there?"
The man points to the pool table I just climbed off of, laughing. "Why were you asleep there?"
Fair. I chuckle to myself. "Where are we?"
The man's eyebrows raise. "You don't know where you are?"
I shake my head, and the man laughs again, this time making me feel embarassed.
"My boy, you're in Nuevo Leon, in Monterrey."
I'm guessing the look on my face makes him feel like he needs to elaborate.
"You're in Mexico."