David Lorean is a fictional character I created to be my public persona. I thought public appearances would be more fun and I would be more at ease in the spotlight if I was playing a character. David's story is that he was just living his life in the year 2023, hanging out with his friend Dr. Emmett Brown. One day Emmett let David borrow his Delorean to go on a beer run, and David got a little carried away going way too fast and then in a flash, found himself driving back in the year 2012. So now he's stuck in this timeline with no plutonium and no way to get back, except to wait for 2023 to come.
The original plan was to always be in character as David Lorean whenever I was in public with the hovercraft, but in reality I usually am not. It usually depends on how weirded out the person I'm talking to is. You can follow David on Instagram, Twitter, and Facebook.
To get a sense of David's clueless and irreverent personality, you can read this article he wrote in 2007 for my alma mater UC Santa Cruz's satirical newspaper "The Fish Rap Live!" The article is based on my experiences traveling in Central America, but imagined through David's perspective. At the time, he was supposed to be a typical UCSC student (hence the fondness for socialism and marijuana), with some douche-baggery (shameless superficial hedonism) thrown in for humor. I had a whole character arc planned where he would mature over the course of his travels, but I only ended up publishing this one article. Enjoy!
Amigos! This is your humble servant speaking, David Lorean, official cultural ambassador of the City of Santa Cruz, on a mission around the world to promote cultural exchange between our homeland and the rest of the world. How did I luck into such a job, you ask? Well, actually was just thinking that I should take my partying to the next level, the international circuit, but I missed the deadline for semester at sea. Then my advisor recommended me for this thing, and bam! I’m in El Salvador! I’ve been to three countries already, using your (parents´) tax dollars to see the world, and you get to read all about it in this distinguished publication.
I arrived in Mexico City on September 15th and the whole city was getting ready for a huge Independence Day celebration. I didn’t want to burst anyone’s bubble and tell them that Cinco de Mayo is in May; a party is a party, right?! And it worked out because my hostel was right next to the Zocalo, their huge city square, where the newly elected conservative president Filipe Calderon was going to give a speech at midnight. I set down my stuff and got right to work: I went to the corner store and got a two liter bottle of Corona and some tequila and started exchanging culture.
The Hostel was hosting a party on the roof that night and I met lots of cool dudes, like the pair of Danish dudes who had just gotten back from a trip to Guanajuato to the west.
Dude 1 (scratching his crotch): “If you ever go there, ask around for American Lindsay, everyone knows who she is, she’s a nymphomaniac.”
Me, nodding at his still scratching hand: “Looks like she left you with a gift? Was it worth it?”
Dude 2: “Ha! at night he keeps asking me if I have bed bugs in my bed, too!”
We were having a great time, but there was a dearth of comrades of the female persuasion, and I noticed a huge Mexican family (is there any other kind?), muchachas and all, partying on the roof next door, so we jumped down onto their roof and were immediately deep in our game. I figured with the money to rent out this rooftop apartment on the Zocalo, they must be a drug cartel. To show ‘em I’m down, I offered some advice. “If you ever hear the Federarles coming, all you gotta do is put a beanie over the smoke detector and you’re cool. Worked for me in the dorms!” I kicked it with a group of hip youngsters, and a gorgeous one surprisingly quickly told me that “Mexican women love sex. Love it!” I was about to ask her to prove it when she introduced me to her boyfriend. Curses! Foiled again!
With all the free tequila, dancing with grandmas, dancing with granddaughters, we forgot about pinche Calderon’s speech. When we heard him come on (we were that close), we sprinted down and out through the police checkpoint and into the massive crowd, just missing the end of his speech. We did, however, catch the good-by-third-world-standards fireworks show. On the way out of the square there was a crowd surge and I was on the very edge of the mass. Right as the crowd forced me to pick up the pace I literally ran into a riot policeman, knocking his shield and helmet on the ground. In the next panicked instant, I thought about what it will feel like to get hit in the back of the head with a truncheon, I thought about how exciting the rest of my trip will be at this rate, I thought about my family, and I thought to pick up the shield and helmet and hand it back to him, which I did, muttering “lo siento, desculpame.” I guess that was enough for him, cuz I just kept going without looking back. After that, all I remember is making it back to the party and getting so crunk I broke my sandals. I woke up at 6:30 in the morning, my pants down, sitting on the toilet in my dorm room, with the puke mostly contained within the toiletbowl. So far the trip is off to a great start!
After I caught a few more zetas (in bed this time) I told my hangover to kindly kick rocks and met up with my new buddy Daniel and we trotted off to the Trotsky museum, housed in the house in which he was murdered with an icepick in 1947. The subway ride there was delightful, with constant insights from Daniel, like, "Do Mexicans just call it 'the hat dance'?" The museum was an unexpectedly emotional experience. I mean, I’m as communist as the next guy; I wear my Che shirt the first week of school just like you, but have to admit I never really cared all that much. I’m still not even sure what ‘means of production’ really means. But being at that man’s house really got to me. Seeing his austere surroundings, the bullet holes in the walls from an earlier assassination attempt, the red metal canister of Colgate toothpaste still sitting in his bathroom, I realized that I’ve been a bad communist. I repented. I asked Trotsky to forgive me and he gave me strength.
So I embarked on the rest of my trip with a renewed, more authentic Santa Cruz spirit. And I wasn’t alone. In a tiny isolated fishing village on the coast I met Rafa and Alfredo, two 19 year-old Chilangos on vacation. They graduated high school and didn’t have to work, so they canceled their jam band practices and went camping on the beach for a week. They had plenty of weed and alcohol, both of which you can buy with your dinner at the restaurant where I met them. We had a great time chillin, listening to their speaker-equipped ipod on shuffle, and discussing their book by Eric Fromm on Marxist practice. After a period of silence, Rafa would take a drag on the joint, lean back and ask with frowning seriousness something like, “¿Que es el mejor disco de Metallica?” and pass the joint to the right (due to the Coriolis Effect, joints are passed in a counter-clockwise direction in the Southern Hemisphere). I eventually had to move on, and Rafa and Alfredo promised to keep fighting the man.
Next I spent some time in the Surf-mecca of Puerto Escondido, but I figured this isn’t the best location for cultural exchange since half of the town of Santa Cruz (the surfer half) moves here during the summers anyway. It is, however, the best town for buying cheap coke and hooking up with European girls. This is the one town in Mexico where the female travelers aren’t just the girlfriends of the male ones. Sadly, though, your bro-in-arms couldn’t mack. Too many hot surfers with toned bodies and perfect chest hair, while I sat there with my disappointing happy trail (or “trail of tears” as my ex-girlfriend called it).
So now I’m on my way to rural Nicaragua to see how the modest, hard-working, salt-of-the-earth future (and former) revolutionaries live.