I Was A Matador Groupie

PC: Instagram @alan_hurtado

This title, sadly, evokes an impression that isn’t quite true, so I apologize for bringing you here dishonestly. I’ve never slept with a bullfighter. A long, long time ago though, I probably would have if I’d had even the slightest chance. In my twenties, when it came to the heart throbs of the bullring, I found myself the kind of shrilling, shrieking fangirl not found in any part of North America. Ole!

When I was in college, my dad moved to the border town of Laredo, Texas with his job in the oil field. Before the drug cartels ruined the mercados on the other side of the US-Mexico border, we would cross over and spend the day in what felt to me like another world. I bartered for trinkets from open air vendors who didn’t speak English, trying my own hand at the high school Spanish I rarely got to actually use. It was exhilarating when the storekeepers smiled and nodded at me in understanding.  I purchased cheap t-shirts and funny-smelling blankets as souvenirs for my friends and my dad and I drank real margaritas out of enormous plastic cups. By ‘real’ I mean alcoholic margaritas because, let’s be honest, there was no drinking age in a town starving for American dollars. I silently worried about the ice in my beverage because visitors to Mexico knew we weren’t supposed to drink the water. Read more