I Like Trains – Beacons EP

I can’t believe she said yes. I guess everyone but me knew it was a shoe-in situation. We’ve know each other for years, since that fateful day she broke my Bobba Fett action figure. I probably shouldn’t have made fun of her Strawberry Shortcake collection, though. 80s toys…

Drizzle, uh? Figures, hurricane season is upon us but since Hilda, no single hurricane has actually hit Tampico Madero. My aunt says it’s a UFO protecting us. Yeah, she’s a bit of a nutcase but I guess it runs in the family.

I get one bottle of Squeeze from the car’s boot. Hierro flavour, of course. I pop it open with my old Nokia mobile and I take a few sips while I see the sea, ever so violent, from the pier. I sigh. For 30 years I’ve lived in Madero and I have so many memories. But change is good. Change is necessary. Sometimes we need big changes and they might seem jarring. Other times, the changes are small, compact sized. Like an EP from a band playing with their sound, finding new surprising sounds in the nook and crannies of their heads. Call it creative sparring.

I finish the Squeeze and put the bottle in the car. Right, time to go to my new home. I’ve got my old trinkets in the backseat. Comic books (the ones that survived the silverfish infestation), clothes, Fronton rackets and old toys. I see my fave one, a sad robot originally called… I dunno, I never seem to remember his true name, but she called him “Jean Claude” once, so I guess it’s “Jean Claude” for you, my pal!

Yeah, the sad robot without a name. I lived near the railroad tracks and one box filled with toys fell. We treated it like a piñata and I got that lil’ robot. That’s why I like trains, they are like Christmas.

Uh oh, I can barely see the beacon at the end of the pier. The green and white alternating light is like a ghost in this drizzle that’s now turned into a real storm. Right, time to drive. I’ve got an EP here. Let’s see. First track, that low toned voice, dark and gloomy. Despondent even. A perfect clash with the upbeat electronic music. Perfect music to drive in this rain-drenched beach.

Although I’m concentrating on the road, a few images from the past years keep flashing. The first kiss. The break up. Exile. Different partners. How did she and silly ol’ me ended up together for real? The mind boggles. Am I on this relationship just because it feels “safe” or do I really love her? I’m afraid that our love might be really “holding by a thread”. Oh well, that thought can wait, it can wait…

Whoa! Where did that palm leaf came from? Nearly hit the front window! I step on the brakes. I am startled. Maybe I should just walk? Ah, man, this sucks. “Jean Claude” broke! The body is by the stick shift, his head is just resting on top of a notebook, looking like a statue from Easter Island. A bit sad and without a word to say, like a smart segue into a powerful song.

The rain seems to be subsiding and I decide to step out of the car, do a little jog, expunge this adrenalin overdose from my body. Yes, a quick jog. I pass by the dunes, where we shared that hug when her mother passed away. She was here, by herself, just 20 and I was with her when I needed to be. She said I was like the good Samaritan on the road to Jericho…

She’s too kind. I’m exhausted and I’m just walking back to the car when I see something in the distance. The Setting Sun makes me squint my eyes, but I think I can see a man in the water, waving, asking for help. I should help. I will help. After all, I’m the good Samaritan. I throw my jacket down and make a run for it. I dive in fast and swim like hell. The urgency of the situation makes me swim with a steady beat towards the drowning man. I hope to reach him in time.

Words: Sam J. Valdés López

Suggested tracks: Easter Island, Setting Sun, Beacons, Rome.

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