by Jim Tindle
DOUBLEWIDE is an intense novel of revenge, friendship, and a look at the cultural divide we experience everyday. The story alternates between a trailer park in Dallas and the Hotel Zone in Cancun, coming together in a powerful, unexpected ending.
Boyd Tanner uses the Ridgetop Mobile Estates as his base of operations to inflict justice on those who wronged his daughter during a Christmas vacation in Cancun. The "revenge paradox" is constantly on Boyd's mind as he tries to rationalize what he is planning to do.
Shibumi has to do with great refinement underlying commonplace appearances. It is a statement so correct that it does not have to be bold, so poignant it does not have to be pretty, so true it does not have to be real. Shibumi is understanding, rather than knowledge. Articulate silence. In poetry, it is eloquent brevity. And in a man, it is…what is it? Authority without domination.
Cancun, Mexico…December 26th
The humid Cancun night was made bearable by the steady flow of margaritas. The Blue Turtle Bar was rocking. The pungent smell of marijuana filled the air. It followed you to the restroom and clung to your clothing like a starving mendigo from the barrio. The music was blaring, and the young crowd seemed even more raucous now that Christmas vacation was almost over.
Jenny Tanner was on her second drink of the evening and did not have a care in the world. She could feel the stares as she walked back to the table. Jenny’s deep tan afforded an eye catching contrast to her white shorts and baby blue halter top. She wished she could stay eighteen forever. This was her last night in Mexico before returning to Dallas at noon tomorrow with her parents. One last semester of high school and then off to college.
Ruben handed Jenny her drink and proposed a toast as she sat down. Glasses held high, the four of them drank to world peace and Lady Gaga.
Ruben wasn’t through. His play-on-words was indicative of his wit and charm. “Another toast to our new friend, Jenny Tanner.” Pointing at his chest, he added, “Even though I’m tanner than she is!”
The car bounced along the pothole plagued street as its black exhaust mingled with the stench of garbage. It was near midnight and there was scarcely any traffic on Avenida Nizuc. The ten-minute trip from the Blue Turtle Bar remained right on schedule.
“Keep your hands on the wheel, asshole,” Ruben ordered from the back seat as he exhaled a cloud of marijuana smoke.
“You got your hands all over that Tanner bitch,” Hector growled as he removed his right hand from the breast of the Mexican girl who was slumped over next to him.
Ruben and Hector had been “brothers” for almost twenty-two years, having grown up together in the neighborhood they were now driving through. Ruben had always been the leader of this two-man pack, but Hector knew he was an important part of their new money making scheme. Estralita, the girl passed out in the front seat next to Hector, was part of the team, too, but she was in it only for the drugs.
Ruben sat up and spit out the open window, nervous, but looking forward to the evenings activities. “Park under the carport in back, this chica is not out of it the way she should be. Tenemos que apurarnos…we’ll have to hurry.”
Ruben’s small, one story apartment was reasonably well-kept. The door to the kitchen was about ten yards from the carport. Outside lights had been removed from both the pole next to the carport and over the kitchen door. Hector unlocked and opened the door while Ruben removed the limp bundle from the backseat of the car. The young Mexican girl remained passed out in the front seat.
The kitchen, with only a table and three chairs, was attached to a small living room that was sparsely furnished with a well used brown couch and a broad end table on which sat a lamp and a Dell laptop computer. A 20-inch TV/DVD player sat on the floor next to the end table. An oval shaped rug covered most of the living room area. A door in the living room connected to the hallway that led past several other apartments and terminated at an exit door.
Off the living room was a bedroom with a king size bed and a side table with a small CD player. Since the bed took up most of the room, it had been shoved against the far wall. Only about six feet separated the foot of the bed from the door to the closet and the door to the bathroom.
An abstract black-velvet picture of a bull fighter covered the upper half of the closet door. Behind the picture, a six-inch square of the door had been removed creating an opening barely large enough for the Sony 1080i HD camcorder. A small flap had been cut in the bullfighter’s crotch that covered the opening and could barely be seen in the dimly lit room.
Jenny could hear voices, but in her disoriented state could not process the words. She felt as if she were flying both in the air and underwater at the same time. Blackness would come and then a bright light. She wanted to open her eyes, but every time she tried, they slammed shut. She wanted to raise her head, but it refused to cooperate. Fear mixed with euphoria, consciousness with drowsiness and then more blackness.
“I wish he would hurry up and get here,” Ruben mumbled as he buttoned his cotton pants. “We have to get her cleaned up, dressed and back to the hotel in forty-five minutes.” He reached in the drawer of the side table for the syringe containing 0.2 mg of Flumazenil which his uncle had provided. Uncle Emilio had said this was the best-known antidote for Rohypnol, his date rape drug of choice.
Hector emerged from the closet with a look of anticipation. “Yo primero la proxima vez…I get to share the next one.”
She was floating again with a light numbness that seemed to be centered in the back of her head. Everything was okay, but nothing was right. Her clothes had dissolved in the thick, damp air and someone was stretching her hands above her head. Panic was just not possible when you were soaring through a giant white cloud. There was no explaining such a feeling of numbness and pain at the same time. This was a night that Jenny would not remember, but one she would never forget.
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Jim Tindle lives with his wife, Jan, in Palm Desert, California. They previously lived in Dallas, Texas, the setting for DOUBLEWIDE.