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Puerto Vallarta News NetworkVallarta Living | July 2009 

Fiction Corner: Outing Montezuma - Part 5
email this pageprint this pageemail usJan Baumgartner - PVNN

A native Californian, Jan Baumgartner is a freelance writer dividing her time between surviving in Maine and living in Mexico.
Things, however, were not going at all well in this magical Mexican village. The English professor from Dartmouth and the not-so-blue New Yorker found themselves in a real pickle. She thought she may be falling in love. He was feeling twinges with only half a heart. But in truth, it was less than half; the larger half still lay beating on someone else's kitchen table. And if nothing more he was brutally honest, and he quickly pointed out that a divided organ made it nearly impossible to fulfill any one woman. And she knew she could never fully trust a half-hearted endeavor and thus, the battle of broken and fragmented hearts and parts still tethered turned into shades of gray and violet and an abyss of cobalt, and the finality of their words pierced deep like a matadors sword - the coup de grace.

"Forget canvases!" she shouted. "Perhaps you should consider a performance piece instead. You, in the center of the gallery, roped off, and surrounded by orange cones, bound in yellow crime scene tape - a large X taped across your chest and reading Do Not Enter!"

With that, he told her that her issues were her issues and his issues were his issues and he refused to take responsibility for her issues when he had so many of his own issues and their issues were their issues - and with that, she kicked him out of her casita - barking at him as he walked the entire length of the ancient cobbled street. She stopped, finally, when he had turned the corner and she realized that she had surpassed her word count.

Just up the street, and oblivious to the dregs of intimacy that trailed along the cobbles, the therapist from New York moved the last of her boxes into the apartment she now shared with her lover from Burkina Faso.

Help! I've Fallen and I Can't Get Up!

"I need to talk to someone," the Windy City woman confided to her friend over cups of strong coffee. "I can't get enough of him and yet we talk about nothing - it's a twisted, sexual addiction with a man who speaks only gibberish and shouts "Olé!" at climax and murders bovine. I have two weeks left here and I need help. If I look up and into the eyes of El Dandy one more time while I'm riding the bull, I'll surely shove his sword into my own heart."

The friend fumbled through her purse and produced a card. "I met this woman at my African dance class. She just moved here from New York. She's living with the instructor from Burkina Faso. Set up a small office at their casita, doing a little counseling on the side. I hear she's a rather good."

The documentary filmmaker from the Windy City who once carried kibble and now walked bull-legged, took the card and made a mental note to call the therapist later that day

"He's broken my heart," she whispered to a friend over healing herb tonics at a local café. "My stomach is in constant turmoil. I'm popping Pepto Bismol like Tic Tacs. Look, my tongue has turned black." With that she produced a tongue that mirrored the color and hopelessness of his canvases. "My colon feels like a briquette manufacturing plant. Not even my flaxseed smoothies are loosing things up. I think I need to talk to someone."

Her friend fumbled through her purse and produced a card. "Odd, you're the second person today to ask for a recommendation of a shrink. This woman is a therapist from New York, just moved here. She's living with the African dance instructor from Burkina Faso. I hear she's good, knows how to cut through the psychobabble. She's taking new clients. Hmm, must be something in the water, or a shift in the breeze."

The English Professor from Dartmouth with a fractured heart, a black canvas tongue and who no longer knew her colon inside and out, popped a Pepto Bismol and made a mental note to call later that day.

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