I’d like to think I write travelogues. Tom Waits said his songs were travelogues. But I’m not a travel writer. Behind the Wheel deals with time spent in Mexico. It’s a tale of being had, drinking, debauchery, Mexican drug cartels, downward spirals, redemption (upward spirals), and dreams turning into nightmares. It’s personal but it’s also timely and deals with drugs, violence, and border issues.
Behind the Wheel is set for a January 2013 release through Musa Publishing. http://www.musapublishing.com/
The rough outline of the story is that it’s a tale (where the names have been changed to protect the innocent) of a guy I may or may not know who went to Mexico to teach English and to pursue an existence more closely resembling something meaningful. Instead he found himself in a job -surreal in its absurdity and in a city plagued by violence and terrorized by three warring drug cartels.
All this guy wanted to do was surf, fish, and love whatever ladies were willing to love him back. He wanted to dine on ceviche and camarones a la diabla and drink cold beer every night. Of course that’s not how it went and instead he sprouted a few gray hairs, threw more than a few bottles at walls, and may have even broken a chair and started a coffee table on fire. I won’t tell you if the guy made it out alive or if his head lies north of Torreon with a limb or two and other body parts scattered at other cardinal directions along the outskirts of that specific desert city found in the state of Coahuila.
The story may at times read like interrelated short stories but is actually a novel and the beginning of a larger work. The backdrop is a teaching stint in Mexico but explores family, friends, politics, the desire to only traverse paths of heart, sickness, health, work and other subjects…It is fiction in that names have been changed but reads like a non-fiction memoir which in essence it is.
I go by N. Peligeiro for matters of the pen. I studied journalism and Spanish at one of Minnesota’s fine universities. After a seven-month Argentine exile, I’m back in Brazil teaching English, translating a book, and working on a doctorate in malandragem among other things. I don’t plan on ending my travels anytime soon (though Brazil and Minnesota are poles I bounce between), and each time I meet a fellow traveler and swap stories, my desire to keep going is only fed. I speak Spanish and Portuguese aside from my mother tongue and will learn something of Italian before I die.
I like to remain anonymous and none of my familiars know anything of my literary endeavors. I know how people get when one of their own tries to do something out of the ordinary, and my end will be met before accepting ordinary. That death could be poor in the street, violent at the end of a machete, or self-implosion should I ever accept cubicle space (not that anyone would have me anyway). My credit cards are maxed out and student loans are past due, but I do have a substantial volume of poetry which will also be dispersed at intervals.