I’m not sure when I’ll get around to publishing Mexicans Don’t Eat Pancakes. I was going to try and get it out in 2018, but it doesn’t look like that is going to happen. The book is finished (beginning-to-end finished). It’s just taking me an incredibly long time to finesse/edit the language to my liking. Plus, I’ve recently been more inspired to work on my new book, The Saint, rather than my memoir from thirty-plus years ago.
Here are a couple of excerpts from Mexicans I’ve posted to my website.
Well, it finally happened. I knew we were gonna run out of money sooner or later
and, for the first time since running away from home a month ago, we’d hit bottom. The
streets of Houston were growing dusky now, and our thoughts began turning to where
we’d spend the night.
Actually, we weren’t completely broke, we did have a few dollars left. But we
were saving that to get out of town with. Plus, we figured we’d need a couple of bucks
for coffee and toast in the morning.
The block where the Greyhound Bus station was seemed to be the hub of life for
the down-and-outers in the city. On one corner of the block sat a divey little bar called
The Diamond Club, where mostly old men and pimps hung out. Then there was the
Greyhound station. Beyond that was a coffee shop, then, at the end of the block, was the
Manpower employment service.
In those days you could hang out in the bus station all night if you wanted.
Nowadays, they’ll kick you out after midnight if you don’t have a ticket to prove you’re
waiting for a bus. But even if you did spend the night there, you had to stay awake.
Otherwise, a cop would come along a wake you up with a nudge from his nightstick.
All in all, the Greyhound wasn’t a good place to be. If it wasn’t the cops or the
stayin’ awake all night, then it was some pimp or druggy hassling you about speed or a
lay, or else some bum, frothing at the mouth, hassling you about nothin’ at all. Yes, bus
stations are no place to stay when you’re tired. It’s better to sleep behind a dumpster
And we were tired. I remember my ankles wincing with pain at every step I took
on the hard pavement. My friend, Blake, and I had arrived in the city only two days ago
and it seemed like all we’d done since was walk.
It’s a long story, but basically what happened is this: we were two seventeen-year-olds who had run away from our homes in California about a month before. We had done some adventuring down in Mexico; now we were almost broke and were stalking the streets of Houston, trying to scare up some dough before we moved on.
As we turned the next corner we saw it: The Star of Hope Mission. I sighed
deeply as I looked up at the pathetic neon sign flashing, “STAR OF HOPE — STAR OF
HOPE”. Blake and I both had the same thought and so, in silence, we walked the few
short paces to the door and went in.
I heard the sound of a vehicle approaching from behind. Through it was still a ways off, I automatically turned and stuck my thumb out, squinting to see what it was. It was another truck.
“It’s probably another farmer. He won’t pick us up. Don’t waste your time,” said Blake.
I began to lower my thumb, then I stopped. “No, wait. He’s got a camper on the back. Maybe it’s not a farmer. And he’s got Oklahoma plates!”
The truck slowed down and pulled up alongside us. Three guys were inside the cab. One was middle-aged and the other two were young. The middle-aged guy was driving. He had on a black baseball hat that was about two sizes too small. The hat rode high up on the point of his football-shaped head. Hunched over the wheel, with a u-shaped neck and a beak nose, he looked like a buzzard. There was this kind of dim-witted expression on his face as he eyed us, his head bobbing up and down.