Title: "Repertorio"
Author: mala
Fandom: "Once Upon a Time in Mexico"
Rating/Classification: SAC, El Mariachi/Sands.
Disclaimer: Nope. Still owned by Robert Rodriguez. Any errors with Spanish are mine.
Summary: An attempt at the Mariachi's side of the "Border Crossings" and "Ultraviolet" universe...(which will eventually need a title, methinks)

There are songs his fingers no longer know. Se ha olvidado. He's forgotten. Like so many points of memory that are blurry now. Faded scars on his palms that keep his hands from gripping his guitar just right.

Ahora, he writes new canciones for the blind man, whose hands work better than his own.

He never asks him what he wants. Why he is here. That's a dangerous question. Peligro! Peligro, says his heart, so he just lifts the agent gently from their bed and tries to forget other things, too. How Carolina smelled. Como rosas. Like roses. How their little one used to laugh and laugh and she was her own perfect melody.

He writes songs for a blind man who doesn't want to play. Who fills up the silence with his chatter as if it will beat off the darkness. Esta hablando siempre. Always...always talking.

"El...say, El...are you ever going to tell me your name or do I keep shouting out pronouns when we're in the old sack? I could just make up a name, you know. Like I did for the kid. Juan Valdez...how's that? I could call you the coffee guy. Except that he's Colombian. And he has a burro. You know, I shot a burro once...fucker shit on my Bruno Maglis. Couldn't have that, oh no."

He sighs, smoothing the length of sandpaper over the body of the new guitar Luis so painstakingly put together. Con cuidado y afecto. And respect. The old man always creates with respect. "Call me whatever you wish." He has become accustomed to taking the rough edges off the wood...to watching it gleam under its first coat of lacquer and listening to the echo of the notes inside the swell of its belly.

This one is for the agent.

He does not yet know it.

He still feels the weight of the guns too much. Too heavy.

El Mariachi knows this all too well. He has lived it. For years. Una eternidad. An eternity. He sings a ballad for the hombre sin ojos...and the agent calls him a "motherfucker" and bites his lower lip, hard, drawing blood.

There are songs his fingers no longer know.

And new ones he is just beginning to learn.

Beneath the surface of hard plastic sunglasses. In dark, warm, crevices where memory cannot go...y Úl puede ocultar. And he can hide.

He still has not forgotten enough.


September 18, 2003.

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