30 Pesos

Cervaza!  Fresca!”  yelled a man a couple rows over.  “Coca-Cola, Cuanto?” I asked him, knowing that I wouldn’t understand his reply anyway.  He looked me over once, and decided to reply by putting up five fingers in one hand, and a fist in the other.   “No gracias.”  I refused to pay almost double our admission price for a soda.  The pricing seemed a little off, and I couldn’t stop mulling it over as we waited for the Lucha Libre to begin.

We were looking forward to seeing the luchadores flipping off the ropes in the matches known for their athleticism, and choreography.  And for certain, once it began there was no shortage of aerial attacks or creative counters which elicited the “ooo” and “ahh”s from the 15,000 Mexican fans…and us.   Well, actually my “ahhs” weren’t  on par with my fellow spectators, because for some reason I couldn’t get fully into it.  Even with the $4 I spent to rock my own  luchador mask. Maybe the feeling of something being a little off had  stayed with me.  But it wasn’t the vendor’s pricing.  I think it was not knowing what to quite make of this odd juxtaposition displayed in front of me.  The machismo of one-on-one combat, incredible athleticism and pain tolerance, bikini-clad women ushering them into the ring, and HGH grown muscles seemed somehow at odds with the bright colors and sequined masks, the effeminate names of some of the luchadores and the women wrestlers and their HGH grown muscles.

As I watched, Magenta Purpura won his match by disqualification because his opponent, Starman, had removed his mask. That’s when it became clear.  The arena.  The ring. These were places that demanded with its 30 pesos a ticket fee, you leave your preconceptions and gender roles at the gate (along with any cans or glass bottles).  And instead, just enjoy the moment, the wrestling moves, the spandex.  It’s the suspension of outside influences. That’s why within the gates they didn’t allow cameras.  That’s the reason for the masks and why Magenta Purpura’s mask being pulled off was such a big deal.  It was the equivalent to the wizard’s curtain being pulled back.

So by the time Lady Apache entered the ring to Cher’s “Do You Believe?”  I had accepted the realization as truth,   and when Euforia back flipped off of the high rope pinning his opponent and whipping the crowd into a frenzy, I was fully with them, ooo-ing away as I peered at the ring through the two cut out holes of  my luchador mask.

Posted: January 10th, 2009 | Author: | Filed under: Mexico | Tags: , , , | 2 Comments »

2 Comments on “30 Pesos”

  1. 1 Joelle said at 8:33 am on January 14th, 2009:

    LOVE IT!!! hahahahaha this pic is awesome!!!! Would have been better if u got mar in one too :) miss u guys! Look like the trips gotten off to a great start!

  2. 2 Erika said at 10:52 pm on January 16th, 2009:

    ole! i love the picture. jeff looks like el luchadore gringo indeed. this picture will have to do until i see one of mari doing the paso doble.


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