First published February 5, 2018
I don’t practice Santeria, I ain’t got no crystal ball- Sublime
Spring break Matamoros, 1989. Everything was whirling, flashing. Thumping beats. Strobe lights. Tall chick. Yelling, screaming, cheering. Cool dude has good smoke in his car. Beer, tequila, limes. Palm tree or shadow man? Tall chick. Dance floor. Thumping beat. Beer. Topless chicks by the palm tree. Tequila. Strobe lights. Cheering, swirling and yelling. Cool dude has good smoke outside. Weird guy with scar. Palm trees real or shadow on wall.. Tall chick… Strobe lights…. Talking snake…!
Whoooaa. Talking snake. I jumped up with a start and realized I was in our hotel in Brownsville. It was spring break and I had visions of the night before dancing in my pounding head. I looked around and one of my buddies, Alan, was watching TV. He looked at me and said “you ain’t allowed to drink no more”.
“What” I said. He replied “we basically had to carry your arse out of the club. You was stumbling and tripping everywhere and kept tryin’ to leave with these Mexicans you didn’t even know”. I fuzzily remembered meeting a tall Mexican chick as in from Mexico named “Mary” who seemed to be interested. I remembered her telling me at one point that she was a witch which I naturally didn’t take seriously. She also had a mulletted male friend- “Johnny”, who wasn’t her boyfriend. I remember being mesmerized with them, thinking they were both really cool people, and were the kind of people I liked to party with.
In the next few days and weeks after returning home, the world found out some shocking things about my cool new barfriends ‘Johnny’ and ‘Mary’.
You can read the whole disgusting story from that link, but let me summarize: “Johnny”-Adolfo Constanzo and “Mary”- Sara Maria Aldrete, were the leaders of a Satan-worshipping cult of drug-smugglers in Matamoros. Their associates did successfully abduct a gringo that night- Mark Kilroy. Adolfo and some associates sodomized and tortured Mark for hours before killing him with a machete blow to the back of the neck. They then boiled and ate his brain. A two-month saga ensued with the search, discovery of Mark’s body, the cult, the manhunt, and the ultimate arrest of Sara Aldrete and the demise of Adolfo Constanzo in Mexico City.
I had literally danced with the devil.
Sadly, that is my closest brush with fame too. I once got Gifford Nielsen’s autograph when he spoke at church, and once rode on the Bamboo Chute at Six Flags Astroworld with Cheap Trick. Well, they were in the bamboo boat in front and behind ours. The way my girlfriend was screaming, they might as well have been, right there.
Anyways, I remembered my friends telling me I had made several attempts to leave with them, which didn’t sound right. So I reflected on that night. I remember meeting Mary and I realized that if she had asked me to go outside or to her car, I probably would have. And, I think I could remember such a conversation after all. I remember meeting Johnny. I remember he told me he had some good weed out in his car, which would have interested me in those days. I truly don’t believe I would have let my guard down like that from alcohol. I was stupid when drunk, but not dumb. I didn’t like losing money, getting beat up or going to jail- having done all three in previous trips. I had vivid flashes of a shadow man by a palm tree or who was a palm tree and the talking snake. I considered someone had drugged me. But I eventually concluded I had been vexed or had a voodoo spell casted on me or something like that. Just my opinion.
It was/is a heck of a thing to consider that it could have been MY cerebrum and medulla oblongata boiling in a pot. I certainly think I was amongst a pool of candidates that night. I KNOW I was. I don’t know if it was divine intervention, friends worried about not having a ride, or dumb luck. Humbly, all things in totality, equals divine intervention in some kind of way. In my opinion.
But whatever it was, it was stunning enough that I have never told this story until now. When I saw the ‘witch’ on tv at a news conference after her arrest- and when I kept flashing the snake imagery in my mind when I saw pictures of Constanzo on tv, I knew I had dodged a bullet. Or, more specifically, a machete.
the real deal
“The Kilroy family showed deep faith and conviction while speaking to the press. Kilroy’s father spoke about the murder and told the press that they were not angry with the killers. He hoped that if and when those responsible for (Mark) Kilroy’s death go to heaven and see their son, they can apologize to him for their wrongdoing. Kilroy’s mother told others to pray for the murderers.”
Now that, my friends, is the real deal. I pray that I will always have the faith of the Kilroys. I know that if they can forgive these people for what they did to their son, I can surely forgive all those everyday stupid mundane things, as we are supposed to do. Matthew 6:14- For if ye forgive men their trespasses, your heavenly Father will also forgive you.
Forgiveness brings peace. The vengeance, the just rewards, the eternal fate of those who do such things belongs to God. He will repay. They will stand before God and answer why they did what they did.
And so will you.
Be a forgiver. That is the real deal.