By: Fock – El Paso, Texas
Breaking News out of Texas today states that Eccentric Recluse, Dale Simpleton, is missing from his farm in an apparent Alien Abduction that took place almost 3 years ago with no one noticing. Upon investigation, these “Aliens” came out of Mexico in the dead of night, broke into Simpleton’s home and abducted him before heading back south of the border. Locals that have interacted with Simpleton described him as a bitter old man with no friends whose family hasn’t visited him in 30 years. One acquaintance referred to him as “a fucking dick”. I inquired about how someone could disappear for 3 years and no one notice until now, to which that same acquaintance said, “because he’s a fucking dick”, again.
I decided to do some more thorough research into this friendless, mystery gentlemen. I found out that when the FBI realized he had been abducted they started an investigation but called it off because everyone was like, “We didn’t like him anyway”, and the FBI was like, “Cool. Case closed. He’s Dead.”
But I had a weird feeling that Simpletons death wasn’t so, simple, or even dead. This would be like looking for a needle in a haystack. The only thing I could do was start asking, so I booked a flight to Acapulco. I will start with the Mexican cities that begin with A and work my way through the alphabet until I find this guy. Also, it could double as a vacation and I could write it off. When I landed, I got off the plane and headed for a taxi. The taxi driver was nice, I hoped, I spoke no Spanish but tried to ask him to take me to my resort. He nodded and then in an effort to make small talk asked me if I was just here to vacation. I told him I was just starting off on a quest to find a missing American named Dale and I had to start somewhere. The driver turned and nonchalantly asked if I was looking for Dale Simpleton. I was flabbergasted! Could it be, I was moments into a lifelong adventure and the first person I talked to knows this missing man? “Yeah Dale lives over on Tortilla street with the Cuervo family.” I asked if he could take me there and he said, “Yeah sure.”
2 minutes later I found myself staring at a little adobe house, it’s door hiding the prize I had worked and searched for for the last like 2 hours. I cautiously made my way to up to the porch and knocked 5 times. “Knock, knock, knock, knock, knock.” I then thought to myself, “Why the fuck did you just knock 5 times. Weird. No one knocks 5 times. It’s like, just knock 3 times. That’s plenty.” But it didn’t matter, at all. It had no real bearing on the moment.
The doorknob shook and opened, out stepped a small weathered man, tired, but seemingly content. “Hola”, I said. “What’s up bro”, he replied. I introduced myself and he told me he was Barry Cuervo but everyone called him Barry. I asked Barry if he knew a gentleman named Dale Simpleton and then I heard soft, smooth voice call from inside the house. “Barry, welcome him in.” Barry motioned me through the door and I found myself standing in front of an old man wearing a cowboy hat and sipping on a Tecate. “It’s you!” I exclaimed. “Everyone has been looking for you. You are all over the news.” He looked confused and asked who exactly had been looking for him and I was like, “well, shit, no one actually. I just said that. Wasn’t thinking. I mean, like, I am looking for you. But I’m pretty sure no one else really cares. No offense.”
It was at this point that I noticed Dale didn’t seem gruff or angry or dickish at all. In fact, he looked happy, content, at home. I asked him what had happened that fateful night 3 years ago and he stood up, took my hand and replied, “The greatest day of my life.”
I stood confused, and uncomfortable because he was still holding my hand. I asked him to elaborate and he motioned for me to sit on a well loved rug on the ground. I obliged.
“I’ll tell you what happened, but it’s not what you think,
I kidnapped myself (he offered me a drink)
My wife left long ago, my kids did as well,
My dog died the next day and my truck went to hell.
(Is this a fuckin country song?)
Bitterness swallowed me, dark hate grew within
Life’s about family and gone are my kin.
So that’s when I left, to save my own life,
I was done with the loneliness, the grudges, the strife.
So I got in my truck, I’d forgotten it died
Well I ain’t walkin, I thought, so I went back inside.
But later that night I awoke in a sweat
If I don’t leave now it’ll be my greatest regret.
I started walking with purpose but no final goal
I didn’t follow a plan, I followed my soul.
I came across a river, this couldn’t be the end,
But that’s when I met Carlos, and Jose, his friend.
They must have come from the river, how ironic it may seem
I was fleeing my Hell, but my hell was their dream.
We hate it here too, they said, with a look of appall,
and they offered to help me climb back over the wall.
And they took me back to their family, the ones you see here
(Where’s he going I thought, oh he’s getting his beer).
And here in this place, I’d knew I found home
And they fed and they bathed me and dubbed me their own.
(Regular Dr. Seuss) I thought
Back in the US, the focus is on self
Love’s not promoted, just pleasure and wealth.
Now it’s your turn, to make the same choice
Enter our family and we will rejoice.”
He held out his hand and all I could think of was I ain’t entering anything. I got up and awkwardly skirted away towards the door. “I’m cool bro.” I said, eager to leave.
He looked really sad in that moment, it was almost like he believed that America had actually lost focus on all that is important.
And then my phone rang. I didn’t recognize the number at first and I answered it quickly, thinking it would serve a good excuse to leave.
“Hello”. I said.
The voice on the other end was small, hopeful, scared.
“I think you have the wrong number.” I replied.
But then the voice spoke again, “Daddy! No. It’s me. Your son.”
I stood dumbfounded, an entire mexican family staring at me, I was confused.
“But I don’t have a son.” I was growing worried.
“Yes you do dad, it’s me, Gabe. Your only son.”
I stared back at everyone focused on me. And then it hit me.
“Oh shit!” I exclaimed. “Sorry everyone. Totally forgot I had a son! His name is Gabe. He’s 5 and just always calls when I’m super busy or about to have a real good time. Then if I don’t answer his mom calls. Cynthia. Ugh. She’s the worst. And I have 3 daughters too. Always complaining, and whining, and asking for money. They constantly plead for attention like I just have all the time in the world.”
No one said a thing.
“Alright, well, listen Dale, I really appreciate you filling me in on the last 3 years. Sounds like you have really found a good place to settle down.”
And then I ran out the door, down the street, hailed a cab and ordered him to take me to my resort. I couldn’t get away from Dale quick enough. That crazy old cook gave up the American Dream. Well not this guy. Not today.
My phone rang again. I rolled down the car window and chucked it into the ocean. Stupid kids.