While working in the security-guard game, I was living in a mini-trailer – let’s be kind and call it a “trailerette” – the scene of my tryst with the crippled, trainee-janitress Barbie. This trailerette was in the Wagons West Trailer Park right off Route 101 in Oxnard, California. When I say “right off,” I mean I could reach out the window and adjust the rear-view mirrors on passing cars. (It has been said that oxnard is something that comes out of a bull’s nose. I don’t know if that’s true but I can testify that Oxnard, California smells like something that comes out of a bull’s ass.)
Strawberry fields surrounded Oxnard to the horizon. The fruit was grown under long strips of black plastic sheeting so the fields looked as if they had been wrapped in an enormous garbage-bag. But, in a certain light, those garbage bags were beautiful. They shimmered in the sun and radiated heat waves so that, at sunset, Oxnard was a mirage city afloat on a glistening, black-plastic lake.
Wagons West Trailer Park, an island in that lake, was infested with illegal immigrant Mexican families. Wetbacks. Like their Puerto Rican cousins in Brooklyn, they spent their days screaming the Mexican equivalent of “mira, mira,” blasting the Mexican equivalent of Tito Puente music and shoplifting. Wagons West had a swimming pool the size of a toilet bowl so the Mexicans used it as such. All in all, this wasn’t shaping up to be one of the more festive Yuletide seasons of my life. Besides, Christmas and Southern California didn’t go together. It was just plain wrong.