The Ministry of the Third
Pyramid of the Moon behind us, Pyramid of the Sun coming up. It's
hot. We're looking South down the arid calzada between the ruined
We gonna walk to the end of this? says Brutus. A long way... must
be three klicks.
Could land a jet here, says Ajo. Space craft, no
You ever read The Chariots of the Gods? I say.
Daniken? says Ajo. That's like asking a hippy if he's ever read Carlos
Castanada died couple years ago, I say. Suburb of Los
Thought it was last year, says Ajo.
Maybe it was, I say. Know
who was a big fan? Fellini.
Fellini was a fan of Carlos Castanada? says
Fellini tried L.S.D. because he was so smitten by Carlos, I say. Wanted
to get to what Carlos calls the interior dialogue.
Did he? says
Apparently not, I say. Figured he could make a movie with Carlos,
Did he? says Ajo.
No, I say. Came to L.A. but they didn't
Ever read him, Brutus? says Ajo.
Yeah, says Brutus. Read von
Such crap, I say. VD appeals to lazy thinkers.
It's fun when
you're stoned, says Brutus.
It makes perfect sense, says Ajo. Spacemen from
another galaxy come to planet Earth and live in a stone pyramid.
stoners like stone, says Brutus.
Maybe it isn't so stupid, I say. Maybe
these cities are cargo cults.
Parodies of an extraterrestial culture? says
Brutus. Uh, think VD says space aliens built them.
His thesis is far from
perfect, I say. Could be a cargo cult. Humans build them in the image of what
they saw, mimic the aliens.
Think he says the aliens mated with our women,
says Brutus. Hence evolution.
VD says that? I say. Now that sounds...
The Teutonic Plague, says Ajo. Von Daniken is pure
What about Castanada? I say. Is he fiction? He says Don Juan
Si, says Ajo. Castanada is fiction too.
Didn't he pass
off his first book as his Ph.d. thesis? I say. I think he did.
sayin', says Ajo.
Anthropology, I say.
Fiction, says Ajo.
disagreeing with you old boy, I say, it's just that a lot of people took
Castanada as the truth. Still do.
Same boreholes as believed von Dorkhead,
Hey man, says Brutus. Show some respect -- Doctor von
We've crossed the avenue, we're considering the big pyramid. The
sun ripples down the steep slopes, the black pock stones like fish scales.
Are we going to climb it? I say.
I need water, says Ajo. Got
any water Brutus?
Drank it all, man, says Brutus.
How can I climb the
fuggin' pyramid without fluid? says Ajo.
Like magic, a kid materializes from an enclave with a bucket.
Pepsi, senores? says the kid.
Beer, says Ajo. Got any cerveza?
Es illegal, senor, says the kid.
Pepsi sounds good right now, says
He's looking into the ice bucket.
Ten bucks fer three cervezas, says Ajo.
No cerveza, says the
There's an old man in the enclave. Thin like a coyote. He says
something to the kid, beckons.
Cerveza? he says.
We follow him down the steps into a stone room. Idols, rain
sticks, obsidian masks, craft trinkets arranged on a blanket. Young girl pours
three shots from a long gourd. The old man hands them to us.
Ajo holds up his glass, studies the clear liquid.
What's this? says Ajo. Tequila?
Es not tequila, says the old
What? says Brutus. Mescal?
This es pulque, says the old man.
What's pulque? says Ajo.
The drink of life, says the old man.
Got no beer? says Ajo.
Cerveza is coming, says the old man. Drink,
look, maybe you like something....
We drink the pulque... sweet, soft, no problem. And another... no
problem. By the time the young girl shows up with the ice cold Coronas, Brutus
has bought an obsidian mask, an ugly fuck straight out of a nightmare. Two
Who's the artist? says Ajo.
Take me two weeks to make this
one, says the old man. Dos.
A fine piece of work, says Brutus.
This man looks like Mescalito, I say. Don't you think he looks like
We're all chuckling here in the stone tomb. Or whatever this place
You know who Mescalito is? says Ajo.
Mescalito..., says the
old man. Es this a drink?
No no, says Ajo. Like peyote.
Ah peyote, si,
says the old man.
Carlos Castanada, says Brutus. The writer. Mescalito is a
Yeah, says Ajo. You take the peyote, see Mescalito. He's like
Magic, says the old man. Ah, si -- El Brujo.
right, I say. El Brujo -- the warlock.
You look like Mescalito, says
Si, si, I'm magic, says the old man.
Isn't Don Juan the warlock?
says Brutus. Mescalito is his spirit figure.
Who cares? says Ajo. Hey,
these your kids?
My son, si, says the old man. And this is my wife.
This stops us in our tracks. Pretty, doesn't look more than
thirteen. She smiles eagerly.
Corona? says the old man. Pulque?
The Pyramid of the