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Issue 13 – Christ the King 2022

The Jungle

Hasten Down the Wind

On Hamlet.


The man selling the tickets wore a blue uniform, unmarked like a plumber’s. I found him sitting at his table in a narrow atrium. It was also unmarked, a blank door next to an unreliably open café called La Organización. The concessions table was plastic, the universal bumpy gray you get in summer lunches and cheaper coffee hours, sudden games of beer pong, and also apparently when trying to buy a ticket at the Macedonio Alcalá theater in Oaxaca de Juárez. Arranged in its center were printed-out seating charts. Neon greens and yellows highlighted the occupied spots. The dust covering the table and papers and the clarity of the neons made me feel like the room should’ve been part of a construction site. I pointed at a promising balcony center stage and top floor, nestled in a gray zone above all the greens near the orchestra pit. “Is the performance in English?” The man looked at his mop, slumped a bit. “Señor, understand,” he said sympathetically. “Shakespeare wrote in English, yes?” My seat got marked purple. 

I’d heard about the play from my friend Dylan, who looks like a cartoon version of a gringo but speaks a slow and courtly Spanish. Coming back to our room one night he’d had a glossy show poster. He found it pasted eye-level at a urinal near the Zócalo, the city’s main square with a battered metal gazebo and huge trees rooting into the stone and the worst restaurants in town. It advertised performances every other night and an actor from London. The man on the poster held the skull in a surprised way, as if he couldn’t decide why the script included it. 

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About the author

Daniel Ortiz