Victor said, “You know what Apaches still call white people? Los Goddammies, because many of you cannot talk without swearing. You use God’s name even when you don’t have a reason to. Maybe you agree with me, maybe you don’t. But you said people who speak in foreign tongues refuse to follow the goddamn laws of the land. You saying all of us should speak only English?”
This Ice Man took time to stare at Victor. He said, “They teach you that at Indin school? I hope you aren’t getting smart with me. I see you drinkin … Can you show me you’re old enough by law?”
Victor said, “This is what it’s about, my age?”
“You show me you’re old enough,” the Ice Man said, “I’ll let you step outside and arrest you for being shit-faced drunk.”
“You kidding me?”
“Drunk and disorderly, arguing with me.”
Victor said, “You go to all this trouble—”
Nachee said, “Because we NDN, we must be drunk.”
“The three of you actin up,” the Ice Man said. “I been watchin you since you come in.”
“Man,” Nachee said, “Victor rode three bulls today. We drinking to his honor.”
“What’d he win,” the Ice Man said, “trading beads?”
“Four thousand dollars, man, and a saddle.”
Victor took the roll of bills from his shirt pocket and laid the wad on the table.
The Ice Man, looking at the money, raised his hat and set it on his head again saying, “The bulls buck any, or they too old? I can cite you now for tryin to bribe an officer of the law.”
Victor said, “I’m not offering you anything.”
“You’re mouthin off, arguing with me. Give me your names and we’ll get her done.”
Victor said, “My Mimbreño Apache name is Deer With Horns Running Through the Woods Being Chased by a White Dude Wearing a Cowboy Hat.”
Nachee said, “You know Agua Calientes operate the casinos? They get to watch white men become drunk and lose all their money.”
“Keep talking,” the Ice Man said.
Nachee said, “You know how NDNs know it’s safe to go fishing in the winter? When all the white guys quit falling through the fucking ice.”
This time the Ice Man only stared, no expression on his face.
“I was in a bar,” Nachee said, “where a white man with a cigar was blowing smoke rings, nine or ten of them hanging in the air. I look at the rings and said to him, ‘One more remark like that, I’ll bust you in the mouth.’”
The Ice Man said, “I was at a Indin wedding on the rez one time. The flower girls were all the bride’s kids, her bastards. You hear that one? Or, how do you tell a rich Indin from a poor one? The rich Indin has two cars up on blocks.” He waited a moment and said, “We’re through here,” picked up his cellphone and said, “Wesley, I might need a hand.”
What was going on? Nachee never carried ID working bulls. Victor didn’t either. They both believed if you know who you are, what do you need ID for? You want to tell somebody your name, tell him. You don’t want to, don’t.