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|Are You Lonesome Tonight?|
Terry Faulkner & Alex Barragan
In our tireless search for lively articles for publication at BanderasNews, we thought that the time had come for an informative story about the area's nightlife for the Lonely Male. At the offset of our assignment we knew we would need a lot of cash, so I sold my 29" TV and a small stove I no longer needed. In retrospect, I believe Alex sold his soul!
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We start our evening on the south side of the Rio Cuale River. The time is approximately 11:30 pm on Thursday night.
The taxi stand in front of the Farmacia Guadalajara is backing up. We pass through the drivers who are standing idly in small groups. It feels as if we are passing through a gauntlet. There is an urgent, hungry tone in his voice as one of the drivers questions us. "Taxi?" - "No gracias." We continue on our way.
The evening air is cool so we are able to dress in our nice clothing. Alex is wearing a black, button down collar dress shirt. His black slacks are pleated and accessorized with a black leather belt and dress shoes. I am wearing my moss green Levi 501's, a deep green Polo shirt and black cowboy boots and belt. I never had much of a fashion sense.
We are not yet perspiring as we step from the sidewalk fronting Calle Insurgentes. Two steps up and we enter the small foyer. A uniformed security guard greets us. After scrutinizing us head to toe, he nods us toward the heavy metal door that still separates us from our mission. A single knock and a pair of eyes appear through a rectangular viewing slot.
A smile replaces the questioning look on his face as he recognizes me. As the guard turns to confront an obviously unwelcome visitor, the door slides open far enough for us to enter. As it closes behind us, we offer our holas to the door attendant, shake hands and proceed to the small bar on the left.
The bartender is a handsome, well-groomed man, whose moustache almost seems too small on his large face. He greets me. "Terry, que tal?" His friendly smile offsets his muscular physique. I introduce Alex. He offers his hand. Alex shakes it. We take a seat along the right wall near center stage.
Mamacitas, was the first "table dance" bar I ever visited. In those days its name was Kiry's, and some friends had felt it was time to enlighten me. Over the span of years, I have developed a friendly relationship with the staff. I present Alex to the waiter Luis, and some of the girls who greet us while we await our Pacificos.
A mirrored disco ball bounces light off of everything and everyone in the room as it spins overhead. The dance platform, which is more like a fashion model's runway, is about 2.5 feet off the floor, 5 feet wide and spans two-thirds of the length of the room. There is a metal pole at one end. It rises from the stage and attaches to the ceiling, offering the dancers a prop to climb or twirl on.
She appears on stage within minutes. Sensual and innocent, she moves methodically. Our eyes follow as she promenades from one end of the stage to the other. In perfect rhythm, she is led by the music that vibrates in and around her. The beat of the percussion compels her to perform for her audience. All eyes in the room are fixed upon her.
She is in her early twenties. As we watch, I recall the evening Luna told me she was a mother of two. I was surprised to hear it. Her figure seemed not to have suffered the consequences. She climbs the pole and with a corkscrew decent to the stage, Luna completes her grand finale. The music stops. She picks up pieces of her costume from the stage. Grasping her tips in one hand, clothes in the other, she retires to the room at the rear where she dresses and primps a little.
Shortly, she reappears. Luna has already noticed us and rushes over. I give her a kiss on the cheek as I help settle her into the space between Alex and I. We converse and consume a couple more drinks. I announce that we are working tonight and will need to depart after this round. Disappointment appears on her face. I assure her that we will stay longer next time.
The walk had entailed no more than five minutes and I start feeling a slight buzz from the beers we had consumed so far. I wonder if Alex is experiencing it also. We are on Calle Francisco Madero, half a block from the beach, when we encounter the non-uniformed doorkeeper pacing the sidewalk in front of the building. He welcomes us and pulls the door open wide. We enter Los Lobos.
We have to pass through a second door before the room opens to meet us. The architecture is Spanish with large, brick lined arches reaching from one side of the room to the other. The floor is elevated on the entry side of the room. The stage is at ground level. There are built-in, upholstered benches at stage level. One hugs the far, eastern wall and is speckled with customers and their companions. The other runs parallel to the length of the stage on the west.
There are some tables on the raised floor at the entry side. There are four men at one, two at another. They have the vantage of looking down at the beautiful young girl below. She reminds me of a palace dancer from a scene in "Cleopatra." Her motions are like that of a cobra swaying to the music of the flute player. Her outfit is of the same era. One of her veils drifts in slow motion through the air. Others lie about in heaps on the floor around her, shifting as she tosses them gently with her feet.
A stocky man, in his mid-thirties welcomes us and we are ushered to our seats, again, at the center of the room. Nina and Mar come over to join us before we have the chance to order our first round.
Both girls boast of being native to the state of Jalisco. As they are seated, Alex orders us a couple more beers. The girls ask for something I have never heard of; some kind of tequila drink.
The tequilas are nearly finished when Mar excuses herself. The music starts and she begins to dance. I excuse myself as well and head to the restroom at the rear. There is a middle-aged attendant on duty. I give him a five peso tip as I return to the table. Still standing, I suggest to Alex that we should be going. I pay the check and we offer our farewells to Nina and wave goodbye to Mar who is still dancing. She nods her farewell.
I look at my watch; the time is 2:40 a.m. as the taxi comes to a halt in front of Juniors. It is situated in half of the now defunct Capriccio Restaurant building on the hill, two blocks above Playa los Muertos.
She stands out like a rose in a patch of ferns. She watches as we enter. Alex catches a glimpse of her dark eyes and releases a sigh. He approaches her as if in a hypnotic trance. I reach out and take him by the arm. "Don't forget why we are here," I caution. He shakes loose and continues towards her. She has begun a conversation with two men at a table on the right when he reaches her. Sensing his presence, she quickly turns and shoots him a half smile.
This agitates one of the men at the table. He lets Alex know that the girl is talking to them. Would he please leave? Alex responds "She is free to go with whoever she pleases."
A waiter is quick to notice the controversy and rushes over. By the time he reaches them, they are shaking hands and smiling...
To join Terry and Alex on their continuing quest for knowledge - click here.