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Numb, unknowingly detoxing,

I was annoyed, angry, entitled.

My right eye felt strained. My patience was worse. 

We were finally in El Paso.

I had never meant to return, yet here I was, unloading my belongings in a somewhat hypnotic state. Isa had an empty house that was on the market which I could use as my personal storage. She was generous, I was self-centered.

I had a plan, sort of, not really. At least I knew where I would get my next hit, and the next. And that was something.

There was a trace, in equal amounts, of failure and relief amongst my stupor. The self induced haze that I initially equated with freedom had taken my seemingly dormant pain and turned it into a beast.

It consumed me. I barely existed within.

We unloaded quickly and immediately set off to our second stop. The intensive care unit. Westside.

I can still picture the four of them, framed in the window, smiling and talking to each other, unaware of being observed as I paused, 

relieved to find love and laughter. That was the last time the Iglesias sisters would ever be together like this. Marta remained in the ICU two more days until she was transferred to hospice where she would die less than a week later. 

Refuged in my family's loss, I did not immediately acknowledge my surroundings. However, it was soon impossible to escape the sensationalist display of unpleasant soundscapes and dead bodies that were indiscriminately and constantly televised. 

Names instantly forgotten.

Names never revealed.

Most of the horrors infesting the city would go undocumented, contributing to the societal decrepitude and its distressed and distorted psychology.

That week alone, 68 people were violently murdered.

All of this spun by the Mexican Government's "effort" to dismantle the top drug cartels in order to bring about peace.