The state I am in is famous for its conservative politics and opressive police presence. Juan tells me that he is afraid to walk at night with his girlfriend because if the fuzz sees you walking with a girl they can stop you and take you down on suspected rape charges, rounding up both members of the couple in different cars and driving them as far out of their way as possible, but not before extorting money. It doesn’t matter that you fuck her every day without a condom in your parent’s house, you are powerless against them men with guns.
Sometimes the gun trucks appear in droves, filled with hooded troops to police the political manifestations of the trucked in demonstrators, sometimes they hassle the punks and the hippies, the rich yet fashionably sloppy youths, sometimes they sadistically kill the town drunk by driving him to highest hill to pass out in dry desert cold and die.
Best not to look them in the eye. Best to watch television non-stop. Best to politely discuss the possibility of disaster from the back seat of your father’s car and not allow your girlfriend out of your sight and certainly never into the big city, where I have found that the paranoia is somewhat lighter and less tinged with televised sensationalism.
There are endless roads and rows and rows and culdesacs of modest houses and apartments. The avenues are lined with a mix of big box stores and smaller neighborhood establishments. The tv is on in the corner somewhere, and the gridlock at 5 in the afternoon is straight of the the “The Southern Expressway”. The parking lot at the mall is always filled. If you have the car you take it to go more than five minutes, because the devil might get you if you don’t. The dinner plates are larger than your head.
Fear is opressive and omnipresent, yet no one is exactly sure who to fear: the police, the taxi driver, the just met, the narcos, the mother and child behind you, the city dwellers, the noble yet poor or the perfectly coiffed. The distances and population create the possibility of anononymity necessary for perfect crimes and grisly murders. The beautiful country-side can hide the bodies. Just think of the Tamalera, tabloid sensation of the 90’s, who chopped up her husband in little pieces after a lifetime spent providing for the sloppy, abusive drunk. She was discovered when a customer found a finger bone in his tamale.