The Hundredth Meridian

Reprise in Vegas

The long drive from Belen to Rancho Juárez seemed to Héctor an endless agony.  He found the place in the greatest confusion, AveMaría vacillating between grim determination and hysterics as she packed a suitcase, Jesús “Eddie” tramping back and forth in the sitting room, shaking his fist and vowing to track down Contracepción’s fiendish paramour and tear his head from his body.  Amid the uproar, only Beatriz Juárez seemed calm and unperturbed, while Dubya, having caught over and again the word Vegas in the otherwise unfathomable back-and-forth, raced from one end of the house to the other on all fours, emitting leonine roars in between earsplitting shouts of “¡Leones! ¡Leones!  ¡Deseo visitar mas leones—muchos, MUCHOS leones!”  For an instant, the relief Héctor derived from the thought that he and his family would shortly be leaving this terrible establishment was compensation (almost) for the dread he felt at the prospect of visiting Las Vegas again.

While his wife was putting up a box supper to bring with them on the overnight drive to Nevada, she gave her husband the facts of the case as she knew it, which turned out to be little enough.  Contracepción had spent the hours immediately following her father’s departure for Belen in the bedroom, listening to Britney Spears and reading and writing...

Join now to access the full article and gain access to other exclusive features.

Get Started

Already a member? Sign in here

X