Bikernet Blog Search Bikernet
Ride Forever -
Thursday Edition

Mexican Run

Inspired by Marty Robbin's Son

By Bandit with photos from Sam Burns

Share this story:

A divorced rider, Marty, with a hot rod Dyna and a pocket fulla cash rode out of LA for the last time. Sad to the bone he stopped in Coachella Valley for a Date shake but drank six beers in a biker bar.

His Dyna barked and stumbled into a gas station for refueling. He paid cash at the counter and lifted the high-test nozzle. His heart crushed after his 15-year relationship crumbled, when the love of his life fucked her boss. He demanded blow-jobs daily from his new babe and the wicked relationship started to crumble, like bad chrome on aluminum primaries.

photo by David Dubnitskiy
photo by David Dubnitskiy

An attorney, he handled the divorce on his dime while fucking his client, his employee and his wife. Marty, stared at his Harley is disbelief. Unlike most of his brothers, his bike was silver and polished aluminum. His mag wheels shined bright without the dread black most riders drenched their bikes in nowadays.

Marty stood just 5’10”, but he didn’t mess around. He worked hard as a seaside truck driver lifting hundreds of pounds of fresh catch daily but stuck in traffic allowed his mind to wander into the danger zone.

He struggled against depression and mental anxiety, but riding helped. He kept going, leaving everything behind. He rode through Blythe out of California into Arizona, but not towards Phoenix. He headed south at Tucson but wouldn’t have another city. He caught two-lanes further south into Tombstone, where he slid to a stop in front of the only remaining historic bar across the street from the OK corral.

He wanted to drink himself into oblivion or ride. After a shot of Tequila, he mustered the courage to ride east, into Bisbee, Warren and Douglas. On the crest of a desert hill peppered with sand, creosote, tumbleweed and Yucca plants he could see the border town of Nogales in the valley below.

Something alluring struck him about the desert burg, but he had enough for one day and found a grungy motel where he could shower, crash for the night and ponder his fate with a bottle of tequila, a cheap salt shaker and two limes.

The next morning, his outlook trimmed with a chorizo burrito, a cup of coffee and a tall shot of tequila, he grappled with his fumbling fix on life. The sun glistened on the valley below him and cactus bent to the heat. The border town, surrounded by chain-link fence, concertina wire and guards of different varieties called to him.

He took another shot, took a shit and rode. Without anything to center his thinking, he lost mental ground, saw only the plights and obstacles to his future. He rode hard and fast to the border, uncaring if they shot him down as he approached. He didn't give a shit if he lived out the day, ended up in prison or dead.

He pulled up to the Mexican guards in dirty Navy blue uniforms, who had no use for a biker, except to steal and sell his Harley after drenched in too much cheap tequila. They steered him to a bar of bad dreams and no hope, Bandit’s Cantina on the edge of town.

“Si Senor,” the burly, pot-bellied border guard muttered and pointed to the edge of town. “You can’t miss it.”

Marty dropped the clutch, and in a drunken haze, tried one more time to entice the law to shoot down the wild gringo. He was through the crossing and sliced through the dusty town as if he owned the roads and no one lived there. He didn't care.

He pulled into the sandy lot in front of an old western dilapidated building. Only a handful of rusting hulks of vehicles, like old pickups, resided in the massive parking area. They stood like tombstones to failed relationships and he sensed he was next. In his current mental state, he didn’t give a damn.

He pulled on his leather vest over a torn flannel shirt and stepped up onto the faded, wood-slat porch. Outside the sun’s fiery brilliance roasted all the color from any abandoned vehicles. The dried wooden building bleached, and even his silver Dyna seemed to disappear in the dust as if it reached its seemingly last destination.

Marty yanked on his scruffy beard and entered the deep, dank and dark saloon as if someone turned out all the lights as he stumbled in. Even after removing his dark sunglasses, he couldn’t focus except on a swaying light above the bar, as if he tripped into an underground mine and only one flickering bulb hung from an overhead extension cord.

He found the bar and ordered a bottle of 100 percent agave reposado. He knew where he was heading and as his blistering pupils adjusted to the change in scenery, he found himself nearly alone in a sprawling saloon surrounded by a troop of thugs looking for their next prey. He knew trouble when he saw it, but then something touched his shoulder.

“Senor,” a voice as calm as an ocean tide cut through the mariachi music blaring from the blinking jute box. Instinctively he turned.

“Hablo Español?” she asked.

“Muy pequito,” Marty said and tried to focus on her soft features.

“You shouldn’t be here,” she whispered and leaned close.

“Donde, where can I go,” He mixed his limited Spanish with his drunken English. On the verge of self-destruction, he began to focus on her dark concerned eyes, her fleeting smile and her gathered cotton top. Her face an angelic, Hispanic tan as soft as a baby’s ass and those warm eyes yanked him away from his doldrums.

“Go to Maria’s Tortilla flats, quickly,” she muttered. “I will meet you. I must go.”

She poured him a large glass of his reposado and laughed out loud as if taunting him to drink it, which he did and tried to find the door.

He grabbed the bottle and stuffed the limes in his vest pocket and stood swaying. As he focused on the door, two thugs moved to block his escape.

“Senor,” Enrique said, a nasty sort with a long mustach. “We get you anything you need here from something special to smoke, to young girls.”

“Who was she?” Marty said pointing in the direction of the waitress.

“She’s nobody,” Enrique said. “Let me find you a quiet table and some hot action.”

“I need to run an errand,” Marty said slipping his narrow shades back over his face and staring at the blistering sunlight creeping through a crack in the wooden door. “But I’ll be back.”

Enrique wasn’t convinced, but he opened the door for Marty and nodded to his partner. “He will be back. There’s no place in town like this one.”

All they needed was one lost customer a week and they made bank, after they stripped him of his cash, credit, belongings and vehicle. He’d most likely end up in a shallow grave just beyond town and no one cared. Another soulless gringo buried in the desert.

Marty shuffled into the overwhelming heat and sunlight. His lips were parched before he threw his leg over his Dyna. He didn’t know where Maria’s was or what to do next. Somewhere beyond the haze he was aware of what the girl with the soft eyes did for him.

He motored out of the parking area and kept toward the edge of town, where he lumbered onto a colorful palapa with a brilliant multi-colored sign, Maria’s Tortilla Flats. Something glowed about the atmosphere surrounding the flats, with its rich green shrubs and agave plants in colorful ceramic pots. Brightly adorned tables with red and white checkered table cloths made up the patio area.

Marty carefully stopped the dyna to prevent undue dust from marring the setting. He dismounted trying not to disturb what looked like local patrons mixed with a smattering of evil white tourists perched at various tables. A large jovial woman stepped out the main entrance and passed the outside covered patio. Bigger than life, her smile glistened surrounded by shimmering waves of full black locks. She wore a similar cotton gathered top as the other girl, and her abundant chest said it’s warm and comfortable here.

“You found me,” she said knowingly. “Felina called.” She motioned for Marty to follow with his bottle of tequila and a lime and a half. She took them from his hand and threw them in the trash. “You don’t need these. I have fresh ones.”

She led him inside to a small wooden table under a whirling fan in the corner of the ceramic tile floor. “Sentarse,” she said. “Relax, I’ll set you up.”

Marty scanned the room. His morning buzz interrupted by everything unfolding in front of him. He scratched under his earlobe and pulled at his mustache. His depression suspended as the room offered two rows of small round tables surrounded by four wooden and artistically adorned chairs laced with grass seating. The wooden tables faced an area for dancing and a verdant stage festively adorned.

Maria returned with a glass filled with ice, a shot glass, a small ceramic plate containing slices of lime and a small crystal-like mound of pure white salt. “Knock yourself out, Senor,” Maria said. “But try to stay sober enough to enjoy the show. Your blues will be forgotten.”

Marty looked at her wondering as three mariachis entered the bar and made for the stage with their bongos and steel guitars. As if fresh from a bullfight, each member of the band adorned himself with silver conchos, delicately embroidered pants and shirts, plus broad sweeping sombreros spilled from their heads in waves of silver and festive colors.

Marty couldn’t believe his cloudy eyes as couples poured into the merry room chatting and holding hands. The music group sprang into traditional Mexican festivities, stamping their ornate cowboy boots with silver spurs against the marred wood slat stage, when suddenly the corner of the crimson curtain flapped and a netted stocking-wrapped shapely leg appeared, her red flashy dancing shoe adorned with a brilliant silk flower twisted and teased the crowd.

Felina burst onto the dance floor nodding to the band, and then spinning, her dress revealing her legs and more. Her hands moved quickly out, around and then above her shapely torso while her fiery red cassinettes clapped and worked flawlessly with the Mariachi’s lively music.

It was the girl from Bandit’s Cantina as beautiful as a freshly blooming flower swaying in a warm breeze. Marty shoved the liquor bottle aside as they made eye contact and he felt a connection as if in a dream. It felt real, warm and wonderful.

She didn’t seem to let go of him as she danced with all her heart and spun along the shiny floor. As soon as the dance was over, she darted to his side. “Are you feeling bueno?” She asked him intent on his answer.

They introduced themselves and she glowed with every word Marty said. As the day wore on and the sun faded in the west, they cuddled and kissed. She fit against him like a hand sewn deer skin glove. She brought him tacos and salsa, sincerely concerned.

She danced with the mariachis and always returned to his side immediately. By the night fall she became his tranquility, his soulmate, and his salvation. She had but one more set and she could be his, seemingly forever.

The clock struck midnight and she sashayed onto the dance floor as if walking on air. Marty moved to a closer table at her behest, so each dance drew them tighter to their sealed relationship.

The three Mariachi performers played with enhanced gusto, knowing full well this was their last set, but excited to make an unwavering impression on the full house. A shotgun blast rocked the joyful atmosphere like a wet blanket over a fireworks display. The band stopped with a final out-of-tune twang.

“I thought you were coming back to the Cantina, gringo,” Enrique bumped Marty’s shoulder as he passed his table. Marty jumped to his feet.

Enrique, the thug with the wicked mustache and evil eyes walked to the center of the room and grabbed Felina’s arm. “You work only for Bandit’s Cantina whore and fuck anyone who doesn’t like it.” He fired another round from his double-barreled shot gun into the ceiling, scattering the silenced room with debris. Patrons darted for the door, hid behind their tables and women screamed. Enrique tossed the old sawed-off shotgun to the floor.

Marty watched as Enrique yanked and slashed at Felina’s delicate flesh. He witnessed his love being mauled, his future abused and his salvation crushed under the hands of a simple thug from across town. Enrique reached inside his vest hauling out a long-barreled, stainless, .357 magnum, revolver he spun toward Marty dragging the girl with him.

Likewise, Marty’s hand slipped into his vest gun pocked and yanked on a rusting, blued .38 snub-nosed Colt. Marty’s alert blue eyes locked with Enrique’s dark evil gaze. Enrique whirled, dragging Felina’s supple body in front of him for protection and lifted his polished weapon to fire in one deadly flowing motion.

Marty dropped to one knee, took aim and aimed at the slurry bastard, man-handling Felina. They fired simultaneously. Marty’s bullet pierced the man’s forehead and he died before he took another step.

Marty, realizing what he did, dropped the old pistol and started to run to Felina’s side, but Maria headed him off. “You must leave quickly,” she said, “More will come. I will protect her.”

In a hot flash Maria steered Marty toward a side door not far from his motorcycle. He straddled it and inserted his key quickly. The Dyna roared to life and he cut a dusty trail deeper into the heartland of Mexico. He rode hard through the night and into the sunrise along unlit highways south. His mind a blur of emotions, anger and guilt, he refueled in Hermosillo and just kept riding.

Low on cash, low on hope and dragging bottom at midday he rolled into Guaymas a desolate port town on the West Coast of mainland Mexico. He slid to a stop on the edge of the sand, struggled in his riding boots to walk across the soft beach to the waters edge. Kneeling in the sinking sand he removed his riding gloves and splashed the briny Gulf of California water in his face. It was as hot as the blistering air he breathed and he stood up abruptly. The notion of hell filled his destitute brain cells.

He looked up at the small town perched on the hillside around a craggy inlet. On reserve he rolled into town where he meandered along the single street until he saw a young prostitute on a second story deck above a crusty, dank discothèque waving her arms frantically. “Senor, Senor,” she hollered as he approached. Like a scene from the old west, a boardwalk of tilting wood planks lined the street and wooden poles were still in place for horses.

Marty parked his Dyna and the perky broad with her jet black hair pulled in a ponytail, wearing a western whore frilly dress ran to his side barefoot. “It’s you, it’s you,” she said with bright eyes. “Come inside, come inside,” she repeated herself.

“Can I have something to drink,” Marty said and found himself sitting in a similar setting to Maria’s in Nogales. He looked around confused.

“Cervesa?” The tiny young thing hurried behind the bar and returned with a Corona and a slice of lime.

Marty squeezed the lime, turned the bottle upside down to mix the juice and drank half of it.

“Maria called,” the young girl spoke anxiously. “You can’t go back there.”

“I must, but I need a job,” Marty said and buried his face in his arms. “I need Felina,” he muttered to himself.

The little Cecily’s boss offered Marty work as saloon security with a room in the back. Daily he chased down the skinny kid in the same western dress and bare feet. “Have you heard from Maria?”

“You must stay, very bad men looking for you,” Cecily responded with sad eyes and never mentioned Felina.

They stashed his motorcycle is a wooden shed behind the old building. Mariachis played every night to a half empty saloon. They didn’t move with the same passion or with the dynamic furfur as the brilliantly dressed Nogales crew.

Weeks passed and Marty’s angst grew. “I can’t take it,” he pleaded to Cecily. “I must find my Felina.”

Another Saturday night came and the bar filled with riders who spoke of Mariachis in Nogales and the lovely dancer with sad eyes. Marty’s tip jar overflowed, and he bought a bottle of their best Reposado. Half into the bottle and with a full tank of gas, Marty gave into his emotions. After closing time, against Cecily’s pleadings he hit the road north.

Afraid and distraught he rode like a madman into the night and slept under a Joshua cactus with the tarantulas. He drank tequila for breakfast and rode like the wind north. He had to see and touch his Felina for a moment, for an hour, for the rest of his life. She returned love, warmth and goodness to his being. She was his spirit, his recovery and his future.

As the sun set in the west, Marty refueled once more at a dried out truck stop in the desert. He cleaned up, dusted himself off, polished his boots and sprayed off his Dyna. It sparkled in the setting sun as he threw his leg over it, donned his cleaned dark glasses and fired it to life.

The Dyna was all he had to his name and another .38 the bar owner gave him in the right gun pocket of his 5-Ball vest. Felina was all he wanted in life and he didn’t care about anything else. He took a final shot of tequila and tossed the bottle into the tumbleweeds on the side of the road.

He rode into the night, his single headlight dancing along the unlit two-lane road. Passing a small mountain range, he entered another desolate vast valley containing a tiny grouping of sparkling lights like a clump of burning bushes. It had to be Nogales at the base of the Patagonia mountains. He pushed dangerously hard at almost 90 mph, when the flash of five motorcycle headlights lit-up to his left and the roar of bikes filled the air. A dozen or more sprang to life in the darkness on his right, half mile away and charged in his direction.

Mussel flashes pierced the darkness as he neared the town. Bullets whistled in the air. Marty reached for his weapon but felt something slice into his chest. Wavering, he pushed on, lead projectiles slamming into his Dyna as he lost control less than 1/8 mile from town.

The motorcycle lay in the sand off the road, thumping it’s final beats before it died and the headlight, like Marty’s last bastion of hope went out. Marty lay at the road’s edge surrounded by the lights of his attackers.

Maria’s pickup truck slid to a stop and Felina ran to his side. She lifted his bloody head and his eyes opened. Her beauty filled his heart with all he wished for and she kissed him. “Felina my love, good bye.”

This piece was inspired by a Marty Robbins song from 1959

About El Paso

"El Paso City" is a song written and recorded by American country music artist Marty Robbins. It was released in March 1976 as the first single and title track from the album El Paso City. The song was Robbins' 15th number one on the U. S. country singles chart. The single stayed at number one for two weeks and spent 11 weeks on the chart.

Out in the west Texas town of El Paso I fell in love with a Mexican girl.
Nighttime would fine me in Rosa's Cantina,
Music would play and Felina would whirl.

Black as the night were the eyes of Felina,
Wicked and evil while casting a spell.
My love was strong for this Mexican maiden,
I was in love, but in vain I could tell.

One night a wild young cowboy came in, wild as the west Texas wind...
Dashing and daring, a drink he was sharing,
With wicked Felina, the girl that I love.

So, in anger I challenged his right for the love of this maiden;
Down went his hand for the gun that he wore.
My challenge was answered, in less than a heartbeat
The handsome young stranger lay dead on the floor.

Just for a moment I stood there in silence,
Shocked by the foul evil deed I had done.
Many thoughts ran through my mind as I stood there;
I had but one chance and that was to run.

Out through the back door of rose's I ran, out where the horses were tied
I picked a good one; he looked like he could run,
Up on his back and away I did ride.

Just as fast as I could from the west Texas town of El Paso,
Out through the badlands of New Mexico.
Back in El Paso my life would be worthless;
Everything's gone in life nothing is left.

But it's been so long since I've seen the young maiden,
My love is stronger that my fear of death.
I saddled up and away I did go, riding alone in the dark...
Maybe tomorrow a bullet may find me,
Tonight nothing's worse than this pain in my heart.

And as last here I am on the hill overlooking El Paso,
I can see Rosa's Cantina below.
My love is strong and it pushes me onward, down off the hill to Felina I go.

Off to my right I see five mounted cowboys,
Off to my left ride a dozen or more.
Shouting and shooting; I can't let them catch me,
I've got to make it to rose's back door.

Something is dreadfully wrong for I feel
A deep burning pain in my side.
Though I am trying to stay in the saddle,
I'm getting weary, unable to ride.
But my love for
Felina is strong and I writhe where I've fallen.
Though I am weary, I can't stop to rest

I see the white puff of smoke from the rifle,
I feel the bullet go deep in my chest.
From out of nowhere, Felina has found me,
Kissing my cheek as she kneels by my side.
Cradled by two loving arms that I'll die for,
One little kiss and Felina good-bye.

--Marty Robbins

Chance of a lifetime. Click and join.
Chance of a lifetime. Click and join.

Share this story:

Back to Motorcycle Mystique, Two Wheeled Tales

Reader Comments

i am glad you paid homage to one of the greatest story tellers of our times. One would think that Marty and Bandit could have been brothers.

Torrance, CA
Tuesday, September 12, 2023
Editor Response Thanks much.
Good job, Bandit.

The Wicked One
Monticello, AR
Tuesday, September 12, 2023
Editor Response Thanks

Your thoughts on this article

Your Name
Anti-Spam Question:
Please enter the words you see in the box, in order and separated by a space. Doing so helps prevent automated programs from abusing this service.