I found Tres Bocas today.
After all of these years! It has been right under my pierced nostrils all along.
And just like I have always suspected – as I have somehow always really known in my heart of hearts – Tres Bocas? Total sham, baby. Take my advice and do not waste any of your precious time on this one.
It was this afternoon and the weather was cool and I was walking down Travis Street when I heard them. I heard Tres Bocas, I mean. (NOTE: For those Canadians among you, “tres bocas” means “three mouths”.)
I heard them and I knew. Immediately, I knew. How did I know? It must have been the echo or else it might have been the tone or maybe it was some ephemeral quality for which English has not developed a suitable word at all.
These are the voices which many cultures have heard and for which every culture has turned to some other language or other tongue when the time for naming has come. Sounds like these can’t be known by any designation ordinary as your mother tongue! No, you’ve gotta look elsewhere, turn to something more exotic… even if your mother tongue is otherwise pretty darn exotic in and of itself.
Will you look at this? My story has already gotten derailed somehow. Here I am, having already wasted years trying to find Tres Bocas and now it’s turned out to be an utter sham and I am not even going to salvage a decent story from it as a consolation prize.
To hell with it. Let’s keep moving.
This afternoon, then. The voices were coming from inside of a parking garage. You know, that one under the Houston Club, over there on Rusk? I tracked the voices to there – no easy feat in and of itself! – and I walked into the garage and I heard what sounded like three Eastern European polyphonic choirs singing… in unison.
This is what they were singing:
At that same moment, a valet danced down a ramp right near me. He was a valet and he was old, but he was happy and he was dancing and he was, you know, snapping his fingers and what have you. Happy valet sorts of things.
I ran up to him. The valet looked surprised. He did not say anything, but his name tag read: “ARTHUR S.”
I said, “Arthur S.! What did those voices say?”
Arthur S. said, “What voices?”
I said, “The ones just now. You know: Three Eastern European polyphonic choirs singing in unison? Sang ‘DANIELLE’?”
Arthur S. said, “Oh! Those voices? They said ‘DANIELLE’.”
The conversation was going nowhere. But I was not to be discouraged. After all, I was used to conversations that went nowhere. I once lived with an attorney for eight years. I said this: “And who is Danielle, Arthur S.?”
And Arthur S., why, he sort of stopped and he thought real deep-like for a moment or two. Then he smiled again. He said, “Only Danielle I ever known was my high school sweetheart, Danielle Nicole Trotter. Why, she-”…
I was already off and running. I grabbed another random passing valet. This one did not dance, but he wore a name tag that read, “LEON R.”
I pulled Leon R. to the ramp and shoved him up it. “Go on up the ramp, Leon!” I said, “Go up the ramp and we’ll hear what the voices say!”
Now, you might think if a stranger ran up to you screaming about voices and told you to run up a car ramp that you might be hesitant to do it. You’d be wrong, though, because people tend to do what they are told to do, no matter how crazy the order might seem.
Hey, you! Yes, YOU. Keep reading!
Anyway, Leon R. ran to the top of the ramp, and he’d no sooner set foot at the top when what sounded like three Eastern European polyphonic choirs sang out in unison. They sang this:
At this, I screamed. The substance of what I screamed escapes me just now, but whatever it was was probably not very important anyway. What I do remember is that I screamed, I jumped around a lot, and I hooted and I hollered and at the very second Leon R. got back down the ramp, I said, “My turn!” and I ran up and…
Well, maybe I do need to go back a little bit further, after all. I need to go back, on the off-chance that there are those among you who are not altogether familiar with the long and rich history of Tres Bocas. I assume it is possible that not everyone knows…
|Beneficiary of a scam.|
Of course, the first – and still the most celebrated – account of Tres Bocas in history comes to us from the historian Nicolaus of Damascus in approximately 42 B.C. Nicolaus writes of a strange trip embarked upon by then-Roman co-consul Mark Antony to Atlantis. Although some mainstream historians consider the story to be spurious, I believe that Mark Antony actually traveled to the Texas Gulf Coast, and here is why:
Nicolaus writes that while in Atlantis, Mark Antony came to a great swamp where there were many flying bloodsuckers (Houston? Houston?), and while in the very midst of this humidity and muck, Antony heard demon voices. Furthermore, Nicolaus reports that the demon voices sang this:
Upon hearing the demons, Mark Antony immediately returned to Tarsus and summoned his future lover, Cleopatra. Something is also mentioned of the relationship ending somewhat badly later on down the line.
Now jump forward a few centuries. Now farther. Jump forward to the story of Chief White Oak’s so-called Singing Crows. Forward, to Ponce de Leon’s swamp angels (which reportedly sing out, “¡JUANA DE LOS APOSTOLES COVADONGA CONTRERAS!”
Forward, to 1968, when a very young and very drunk George Walker Bush lies semi-conscious in the streets of downtown Houston and hears God shouting the mysterious phrase, “CONDOLEEZZA!”
According to the noted Bush biography, “I Really Tried Hard,” Bush at first believes the voice to be just another alcohol-induced hallucination. Only much later does he decide he’s misheard the voice. “I thought it said ‘Condoleezza’,” Bush is reported as saying. “Only later on, I realized what it actually said was, ‘I want you to be President!’ Those two things sound a lot alike when you’re that drunk.”
|Too late, Rosario Dawson discovers |
Now jump forward again. Forward to 2009, when the National Enquirer reports that, on a short promotional trip to Houston, actress Rosario Dawson steps out of her car at an undisclosed Houston parking garage and hears voices singing, “KATY ANDERS!”
Tragically, Dawson dismisses the voices, making the awful, awful fate that befalls her in 2015 all the less surprising, frankly, in future retrospect…
These have been my leads. I have found historical account after historical account after historical account like this. Buckets of them. All of them virtually identical: Texas Gulf Coast. Tres Bocas. Singing out the name of your true love. Your inevitable soul mate. Light of your life.
I’ve just never known where to look. Where to listen.
But that all changed today.
It changed. First there were the voices, and then there was Arthur S., and then there was Leon R., and then I myself ran up that parking garage ramp to hear…
How about “Bella”? There are tons of girls being named Bella these days, and that would give me a few years to grow up myself while my soul mate was somewhere out there, inching towards the age of consent.
“Regina Pastula de las Muertos y Cigarillos?”
But no. There was nothing.
Not a sound. I was in downtown Houston on a weekday and there was nothing to be heard but the notable LACK of any sound.
And the silence made me furious. The silence made me steam. I leapt up and down like Daffy Duck on steroids. I yelled things that I dare not repeat in mixed company. I showed the pavement both of my middle fingers while Arthur S. and Leon R., stared on, rather dumbfounded, I should think.
And it was only then that I heard it.
I heard laughter.
It started off a bit like Vincent Price at the end of Michael Jackson’s “Thriller,” if only Vincent Price had sounded more like three Eastern European polyphonic choirs singing in unison. But it kept building.
Tres Bocas? They were laughing at me. At me!
So you see what I mean, right? Total sham, baby. Tell me: What kind of imbecile would I have to be to give any credence at all to the opinions of some random voices singing out of the ground in the middle of downtown Houston?
I tell you, Tres Bocas is a sham. A lie repeated once too often. This myth is busted. It’s like the Loch Ness Monster or Shangri-La or Ringo Starr or the G-spot. Just a child’s fairy tale.
Ask anybody out there. They’ll tell you the truth: Katy Anders is not going to die unloved and alone.
Hey... Are you sure you didn’t just hear somebody singing, “ROSARIO”? Really? Are you sure? Because I thought I did…