Deep down the Juarez strip is a hole of a bar where a nightly trio plays through the common canon of old boleros. They reproduce the classics with a garage sale synthesizer, trumpet and a tab in alcohol. The singer croons for a sparse audience of lost Mexicans, a couple teenage Americans on a drunken romance escaped from the more popular bars on the strip, and a fat man who sits in a back corner most evenings staring into space or at dusty ceiling fan blades.
The American girl covers her boyfriend in lipstick and between each bout of sloppy affection she cakes a fresh layer of red to her lips. This is before the turf wars of the narcos when she lounged free to buy anything to get high, smiling at a mirror at the red smeared across her face. The two continue kissing, sipping blue colored drinks and beer.
Mexicans follow a myth to this town. It is as unreal as the river which separates two worlds. Pollution clings to the valley, filling the streets with stinging air for no other reason than geography, air pressure and prosperity. Until the unseen river flows from the hundred year flood, the Mexicans will watch the weeds grow in the ditch and Americans mind the fence. The populations bleed into one another despite the rust and sand and the water heeds the treaties in concrete canals.
King Dick Lucca sits in back, staring at ceiling fans. At times the blades are a blur but with great concentration, his eyes can track a single blade fixed in its unending cycle and everything but the blade and music disappear from his care.