The Dark Girl and the One-Eyed Bottle

FullSizeRender (1)She was absolutely mesmerizing to watch at the dinner table.

A girl from the country who knew how to handle a plow in more ways than the average Argentine macho man. The loud scar that stretched from her wrist to her elbow spoke about that, and clumsily disguised itself along her forearm with traces of thin skin revealing her green veins.

She protected her long black hair with a scarf which she wrapped around her head, bringing a buried piece of her great grands’ customs to life in this small and forgetful German infused Argentine town.

After a bottle or two of wine, she shared her opinions on the strugglin’ folk of Santiago de Estero and sex education in general. A bright and courageous mind seeped out from behind her veil with each word. More and more, still, as the red wine took hold of us all.

The bottle carried a single eye on the label situated in between the glassy neck and the heavy bottom full of juicy fermented grapes. An odd body, made fragile and potent. With a glass eye staring at the whole dinner table, hypnotizing the girl with the veil and her audience to give in and open up, as it had done for us.

So we did.

Her permanently swollen lips told us colorful stories that her eyes had seen, that her fair and stubby fingers had touched, and that her battle wounds had conquered.

She prepared a tasty meal, fish and vegetables. Gave advice and listened intently to the new black sheep in the room. Me. She was no longer the rare breed trapped in between two local natives, even though some might consider her more native than most. After all, her great grands were a “mixed cocktail” as she coined it – a runaway African slave and an Arabian man on one side, a Native American and a Spaniard on the other.

Every now and then, we’d share a familiar beat between our eyes, and I no longer felt misunderstood.

The country girl with the scarred arm and the swollen stories brought home to the table.

And for a few moments, I no longer felt homesick.


Woman Walks Out of a Bar

Entry: One Act


Woman Walks Out of a Bar

Stranger: You’re leaving alone?

Woman: I came here alone. I believe in going out the same way you came in.

Stranger: A life rule or a bar rule?

Woman: Depends on the bar.

Stranger: What was your poison for the night?

Woman: You have a million questions for everybody who walks out of this bar?

Stranger: Depends on the body.

Woman: Creep.

Stranger: (holds out hand) No, it’s Peter.

Good to meet you.

Woman: Listen (Creep) Peter, there are plenty of empty barstools in there with a few bartenders who have their ears wide open, waiting for you. Why don’t you go on in and have a glass of, Campari or something bitter to loosen up and (get a life). It’s happy hour. Maybe you can smooth talk some lonely bodies inside who have the ganas (time).

Peter: You usually this bitter, speaking of?

Woman: Guess.

Silence surrounds them as they wait for her bus. Twenty minutes pass in silence. Mostly because The 29 takes forever at this hour. Also because she turned her back on him.

Peter looks at the sky and sees the stars form the same image Simba saw in The Lion King when his Father gave him the courage to keep going.

So he kept going.

Peter: Campari and what?

Woman: And one ounce of sweet vermouth over rocks. Topped with Prosecco, an orange zest and a kiss of ginger on top of the bubbles for a little spice.

She hands him 100 pesos.

Peter’s eyes light up. He quickly runs across the street, inside the bar and comes back out with two cocktails thinking, “a little drink on the streets in Springtime September with a beautiful woman should be nice. Good thing drinking on the streets is perfectly normal and legal here in Buenos Aires.”

Peter: You’ve done this before haven’t…

Peter turns to see the woman blowing a kiss goodbye on the number 29, heading south of San Telmo, back into the city. It was the quickest 29 he’d ever seen.

Woman: (on bus) Chau Peter!! Enjoy the drinks! And remember, don’t be such a tight ass!

Peter downs the two cocktails.

Another woman walks out of the bar.

Peter: You leaving this place the same way you came in?

Woman: I’m gay. So yes. Save the speech for the next girl.


Peter: If you’re waiting on The 29 it takes a while. Or at least it usually does. You might as well let me but you a drink and we’ll wait for it.

You like bitter stuff?

(And so on and so forth until sunrise).

In the end, Peter and the girls go home, separately, but full of tomorrow’s hope.

MVSC’s Foreign Corespondent – a year in Argentina

MsdMaryella Shelton-Dyson broadcast her special brands of passion, fun, and creativity here at the Mongoose over the last year.  Now she is visiting the Land of Good Breezes, and as Mongoose Versus Cobra’s first International Literary Correspondent, she will be regularly updating us on her experiences both inside bars and outside in the World.  Travel on, Maryella; your Safe Quarters wait for your return!

About her: Maryella Dyson describes herself as a free spirit, eager to travel the world with paper and pen in hand. She is a creative soul with a passion for influencing the masses with words on a page, through the arts, and through all avenues of creative expression. Maryella writes poetry, character sketches, plays, short stories, children’s stories and never ending to-do lists. Born in Los Angeles, California and raised in Jonesboro, Georgia, Maryella put her creative wits to the test by obtaining a Bachelor of Arts Degree in Theatre, with a Concentration in Writing, and a Minor in Spanish, from The University of Georgia. She moved back to her native homeland of California after graduating in 2010, and worked as a an actor while simultaneously developing and pitching her scripts in Los Angeles. She also worked as creative consultant and executive assistant to one of Hollywood’s most ambitious executive producers. While there, she gained expertise in developing research, creating unique writing content, editing, and developing manuscripts. She was also responsible for drafting outlines and conceptualizing stage production for various projects.

Her most treasured works include her original one woman show, Blue Skies, performed to three sold out audiences on Theatre Row in Los Angeles, California and in Athens, Georgia; Minnie Monkey in Bonkersville, a children’s interactive book series that combines written text and visual web scenes targeting 2-8 year olds, to be released this year; and her collection of short stories and poems to be released in 2014.

Maryella has lived in Buenos Aires, Argentina and in Valencia, Spain in an effort to become bilingual, to study different cultures, and to expand her global awareness. During her past travels, she served as Arts and Culture Analyst at Elkafka Teatro in Buenos Aires, Argentina where she researched literary material, organized and transcribed catalogues, and evaluated students and instructors in an institutionalized performance environment. She was also an active member and volunteer teacher for a prestigious linguistic and multicultural exchange program in Spain.

Maryella lived in Houston for a spell after Los Angeles, and fell in love with Texas! She is now living in Argentina, and will write for Mongoose Versus Cobra´s Blog as she settles into her new life as an American Emigrant. She hopes to find the hidden treasures of this unfamiliar country while discovering the similarities of her former lover, Texas. Some of her favorite writers include Oscar Wilde, Woody Allen, Eugène Ionesco, Aaron Sorkin and William Shakespeare.

Some of her private works can be accessed at:

News from the Mongoose Den vol. xxxvii


“Forehead to forehead
we stand on a hill
with no view. The car
a few paces back, in a thicket
violent with
an absorbed sunset.
The stream gurgles
in place, in an ecstasy of hands.”

— Ana Bozicević, The Night Meal

Join us today (Monday, August 12th) at 8PM when the Mongoose versus Cobra Reading Series Number Ten will bring us Ana Bozicević, Dan Magers, and Sampson Starkweather, hitchhiking across space and time to learn new things about us and about themselves.

On August 14th we will welcome the fine folks from Infamous Brewery. Meet the crew who Infamously brews while you sample any of five of their finest stews.

Also please note a special one-off book party on Monday, August 19th at 8PM when we we will celebrate the release of The Pomegranate King, a collection of essays by Nishta Mehra. Nishta will read from and sign copies of her new book. Light fare will be provided.

This Tuesday, Imperial Andy will celebrate the Mayan New Year (how do you say Auld Lange Syne in Mayan?!) with his historic cocktail specials, and Jason “That Seventies Guy” Parker will be back on August 18th to give us his View from the Back of a Buick Roadmaster.

In the meantime, come on by our safe quarters and have a pretzel, recently named one of Houston Press’s Hundred Favorite Dishes!

Yours in the Bond,