Monday, August 20, 2007

Mutual attractions bend cultures, genders at Murfreesboro Road bar

Nashville Scene cover story finds loneliness, indulgence

"For many patrons, these hours are the bright spot of the week"

"She loves to dance with these Mexican men"

For its June 28 cover story, the Nashville Scene published Thirsty for Company. The feature by P.J. Tobia paints a fascinating picture of a seedy Murfreesboro bar, where U.S. men and women offer cheap companionship to Mexican and Central American men:
The vast majority of laborers who come to the U.S. from places like Mexico, El Salvador and Guatemala are men. These laborers live with men, work with men and drink with men. Walk into any Mexican restaurant in South Nashville, and you’ll see tables of six, eight, even 12 men dining together on a Saturday night. While it is true that many foreign-born Latina women live in Nashville, most have come with their children to join men who were already here. In short, there is a shortage of female companionship for Nashville’s immigrant labor pool.

Except at El Dos de Oros. Crystal and her two sisters come because the men will give them money just to flirt with them. Rita and Carla, two large middle-aged women, come because they say Mexican men know how to treat a woman and haven’t been softened by middle-class living. Gracia and Ashley, who visit El Dos de Oros with friends every weekend, keep coming back because the hard-drinking patrons don’t seem to realize—or care—that they, too, are men.

These women are of varied ages and fit many descriptions. Yet the most surprising thing about them, perhaps, is the one thing that they have in common. Of the dozens of women who come to El Dos de Oros each weekend, aside from the transvestites, almost every one is white and American-born. What’s more, they speak virtually zero Spanish. What everybody looks for, at El Dos de Oros, can be found with few words.
Read the whole article here.

Photo by Curtis Perry

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