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Irish pt. XLIX


Jose walks into the suite. He's wearing a pink polo shirt and voluminous shorts that go below his knees. He has tassel loafers with no socks and some expensive looking shades pushed up on his head. He has an unremarkable haircut and no tattoos that I can see.

"So this is the Chinito?" says Jose.

"Yeah," says Larry.

"Where you want him delivered?"

"Drop him off at Rosecrans and Pacific Highway, by Old Town, San Diego," says Ramona. "Can you do it?"

Jose gives Ramona a look of contempt. "For a grand," says Jose.

"What!!???!!! A grand???" sputters Larry.

"Take it or leave it," shrugs Jose.

"Fuckin' A!!! You're not even crossing any border, for crissakes!!" goes Larry.

Jose shrugs again, turns and makes for the door.

"OK, OK, hold on there, let's talk about this," says Larry.

"The only thing to talk about is when you want him dropped off," says Jose. "I can have him out of here and down to my cousin in El Cajon in an hour. You guys are stuck here until the casino drives you home, right? And, by the way, I will be crossing a border. This casino is reservation territory. Technically a sovereign nation. That's how come they got to set up the casino here in the first place."

"Let me talk to my partner," says Larry. He and Desiree go in the bathroom and shut the door.

"So you're the famous Scrabblero from Thailand," says Jose, to Joe Bap.

"Yes. From Thailand I came," says Joe Bap.

"And now you want to be an American."

"Yes! I want to join the huddled masses breathing freely!" says Joe Bap.

Jose rolls his eyes.

"Why you sometimes talk like that Yoda in Star Wars?" says YoYo.

"I learn much about English, watching Star Wars. Yoda is my favorite!" says Joe Bap.

"Well you're going to have to stop doing that cause it's irritating as fuck," says YoYo.

Ramona gives YoYo the evil eye, then pats Joe Bap on the shoulder. "If you want to talk like Yoda you go right ahead," says Ramona.

Larry and Desiree come out of the bathroom. "It's a deal," says Larry.

Jose holds out his hand.

"Half up front, half on delivery," says Larry. He pulls out some cash. "We should be back in San Diego in no more than 24 hours. I'll call you with the time to meet up as soon as I know."

"Fair enough," says Jose.

Larry hands over the dough. Jose slides it into his pocket. Larry and Jose shake hands.

"The sooner you guys check out the better. The Chinito stays behind. Housekeeping will be by with a laundry cart. The Chinito leaves the room in that. Once I have him away from the casino I'll wait for the call as to the time for delivery, cool?"

"Sounds good," says Larry.

So, 24 hours later we're back at Ramonas RV, parked on Pacific Highway. Ramona is furiously tapping her laptop.

"So we'll have to take the kid to San Ysidro, to the port of entry, he turns himself in and asks for asylum. But he has to come from the Mexican side. So we have to get him into Mexico first. They'll probably want him to stay in Mexico while they process the app. That can take months or even years. Probably have to buy some papers for him in Mexico. Larry, are you paying attention?!" says Ramona.

Larry is playing Tetris on his phone. "Yeah, yeah, asylum in Mexico, loads of paperwork. Whatevs," says Larry.

"We should hire an abogado, as well," says Ramona.

"I gotta go pick up the kid," says Larry.

A few minutes later Larry is back, with Joe.

There's a gloomy marine layer in the sky and a cool breeze coming off the bay.

Joe is wearing a Lakers hoodie and some baggy Dickies barely held up by a cheap belt.

"See! I am a Lakers fan!" says Joe. "A grievous mistake they have made signing LeBron!"

YoYo rolls her eyes.

Ramona gives Joe a hug. I shake his hand.

"So are we going to head down to San Ysidro now?" says Ramona.

"Fuck that noise," says Larry. "I already bought papers off Jose."

"You what?" says Ramona.

"I am Aloysious Wagonfender. I am a native American," says Joe, proudly.

"Oh are you?," says YoYo. "Which Rez you come up on, boy?"

"YoYo! That's rude. Don't call Joe 'boy' like that!" says Ramona.

"Oh trust me, We go to play a match out in Bakersfield, or some hellhole like that, some cracker will be in the kids face with way worse. He better be able to handle it."

"Is OK, Ramona," says Joe. "The answer I know! I am a city Indian. I grew up in Phoenix, Arizona. Not on the rez!"

"Oh yeah? What tribe?" presses YoYo.

Joe draws himself up straight. "Yavapai Apache," he announces proudly.

Ramona taps at her laptop. "Yavapai are a registered tribe,"she says .

Joe grins.

"Maybe he can pass at that," says YoYo.