I cannot think of a more perverse time or place to be living in than Lincoln, NE during the summer of 2015. Not only is the air sweltering, but the people are rude and the drug lord El Chapo has been hiding under my bed for weeks.
At first, I thought it was a dream… but then the texts began. I have no idea how he got my number but El Chapo has been texting me from beneath my bed for some time now. Why don’t you just whisper these things to me, El Chapo? But he seldom responds. El Chapo is very illogical.
El Chapo will wait until my wife is asleep, then he’ll slowly crawl out from under my bed. He’s never quiet and often I’ll look to my wife in desperation but she’s had an Ambien “affection” for years now. He will stand right at my side and bribe me. He’ll tell me how he’s worth millions and how he can buy me yachts or a life-size porcelain replica of Big Ben, if only I’d help him escape. I tell him that is unnecessary, that I do not desire these things, and to please just use my front door. But El Chapo is very unreasonable.
He’ll rummage through my kitchen for hours, but always make it back beneath my bed before daybreak. My wife thinks I’m a pig! But I can’t tattle on El Chapo… I can’t tell you why, but if you met El Chapo, you would understand. El Chapo is very persuasive.
I am frightened constantly; so much so that I’d manufactured a clever ruse. My wife was convinced for several days that there was an entity in our house. An angry spirit. However, instead of wanting to move, as I’d hoped, she hired a ghost hunter. She thought we’d be on television! This made El Chapo very upset and I had to squash the whole thing. El Chapo has a very short temper.
My wife no longer sleeps in the same bed as me and we barely speak. El Chapo is very pleased, though. Lately, he’ll lay in bed next to me and tell me stories of how he started the Sinaloa Cartel. He’ll frequently give me advice, but I’m afraid to tell him I have no use for it. I shy from anything illegal. El Chapo does not take bad news well.
I think El Chapo has taken a liking to me, though. With my wife in the picture less and less, he and I have much more time alone together. He still refuses to go outside and enjoy the sun with me, but he’s excellent at chess and we will sometimes play for hours. El Chapo is a natural.
I am quite good myself, but when I’m with my friends I’ve learned to cheat. It’s quite simple if you’re skilled at misdirection. But El Chapo never removes his eyes from the board, even when I knocked his glass of Hi-C off the table. El Chapo is very focused.
I caught El Chapo cheating once. But I said nothing.
My wife sometimes tries to reach out to me. Catching me playing chess “by myself” as El Chapo slinks into another room, she’ll offer to play with me. But I say no. It is El Chapo’s turn. El Chapo always finishes what he starts.
He has been pestering me lately for details about the Midwest Regional Chess Championship in Omaha this year. I don’t know how he found out about it, but I suspect he figured out my laptop password. El Chapo is pretty crafty.
I’ll remind him, though, that I’d probably have to smuggle him into the tournament. He claims he has experience with that, but I am still skeptical. Really…
However, I’m afraid to see what would happen if he lost. I wouldn’t know, but if I had to guess, El Chapo is a sore loser.
Now every night as things become more “normal,” I say good night to El Chapo. As he crawls under my bed and settles in on my hardwood floor he’ll say, “Hey, gringo.”
“Yes?” I say.
“If you ever beat me at a game of chess I will fucking murder you and everything you love.”
“Sweet dreams,” I reply.
El Chapo is such a fool…