Don shook the bottle next to his ear, listened to the sharp crackling within. He frowned then and looked across the table.
“Ain’t much in here, hombre. Maybe just one pill.”
In the other chair, the Mexican smiled. His teeth were long and yellow, and he chewed on a thin cigar. Guessing by the sheen of the man’s hair, Don suspected it had been days since the last bathing. Still, underneath the tattered denim jacket, the man wore a gold necklace and a white shirt, the collars starched and knifing down.
“For what you need, señor…” The man looked left, then right around the plaza. Like it really mattered. Here in the border town, where a man could locate "dancing girls" who'd spend a couple hours with him for fifty dollars, nobody cared, not even the so-called federales. “I think one will be enough.”
Don looked at the tangerine colored bottle. The label looked professional enough. There was even the obligatory governmental caution prohibiting the transfer of this drug to any person other than the patient for whom prescribed. Which was funny because looking at the name again Don had never thought of himself as an Ignacio Inés. Not in a million years. And even though the pill was indeed a drug, it was neither the drug labeled nor a drug that a doctor would prescribe. Not any doctor he knew, at least.
He placed the bottle down on the table. Only one pill. Really, though, exactly how much did he need? It wasn’t like he was a doctor. He thought about Gladys back in the States, the constant badgering, the bird-dogging. Good Lord, not even his own kids could look at him with respect anymore. Last week, after she'd walked into the office to chew him out, he finally told himself it was enough. A man can only take so much.
He glanced back across the table and hoped the Mexican was right.