Wednesday, October 10, 2018
Juarez City, Chihuahua. 1998. 11pm. Two years before the cartel wars.
A steamy Friday night. The reek of decaying garbage mixed with car fumes wafted along with the ever present banda blasting from every cantina from every shattered corner. Along Avenida Mariscal, the broken pavement was pregnant with late night revelers staggering past Day-Glo colored prostitutes and vomiting borrachos. A million neon signs illuminated animated faces of barkers who enticed the wary to enter their dens of questionable conduct. Every sin imaginable was hawked, every soul a potential victim.
In a dead end alley that scarcely saw the light of day, I readied myself in my furnished apartment. Showered, dressed, and shut the steel door behind me with such a loud clang it caused a dog to bark a block away. The air was warm and carried the ever present grit of desert dust that irritated your sinuses. I darted down the concrete stairs, past the all seeing eye of my landlady Maria. From the darkness of her doorway, she croaked, “Luis…a donde vas?” (Where are you going?)
“A pasear…” (For a walk) I replied, striding toward the steel door entrance of the small complex.
“Cuidado.” (Be careful) I heard as I opened the door and stepped out into the dusty alley bathed in dim yellow light from the one street lamp. Oh, Maria, I thought, she was not being nosey, she actually held concerned for the well-being of all her tenants…every junky, prostitute, madman, and homosexual writer who inhabited the twelve room dump. She didn’t judge.
I walked the two blocks over to Mariscal. I desired some sort of sexual contact and as so many that evening, I knew exactly where easy trade dwell.
I headed toward Burrito Row, an entire block offering one filthy stall after the other quick and cheap burritos haunted by vendors of sex from both genders and beyond. On one side of the short block, rows of smelly restaurants lined the broken concrete. Some offered dented and greasy metal tables to sit at, other simple rickety bar stools. The smells of refried beans, seared meat, and salsa competed with the pang of stale urine and unwashed feet. Adjacent to the cafés were rows of one story, red brick housing cubicles inhabited by prostitutes who stood at the dark doorways and beckoned with hooked finger or flashing silver teeth. On one corner lay Hotel Rex, the other Queen's Club where a gaggle of white shirt doormen, arms flailing and mouths opening and closing like landed fish. Especially when they caught sight of my sulky, white ass.
I ignored their calls and headed straight to Café Meny to shoot the shit with my good friend Antonio who manned the stall. Antonio was handsome beyond words. Married with a newborn baby girl, he once confided he too sold his ass to make rent “back in the day.” When he found out I was strictly gay, the sexual innuendo in our conversations was thick as tainted cheese. Alas, nothing came of that, but he was an enjoy to talk to and ogle. He realized that, too.
I said Hi, he said Hola and I order two burritos colorado, taking a seat on the frayed faux leather bar stool outside the soot and grease covered café. He asked for a cigarette and I passed one, lighting up myself. After casual convo and chomping down my cheap food, I turned and scoped out the menagerie of filth that occupied the popular area. Drag queens squealed and cooed bunched at a table, old fat men in Stetson hats and protruding bellies sat nursing bottles of Carte Blanc, as mariachis roamed through the throng offering brassy and melancholy ballads. The smell of marijuana blanketed the stench of the urine stained old woman sitting in a pile of week old garbage.
As Antonio assisted a group of teenagers out on dates, I languidly sat, biting the tip off of and sucking out the juices of a fat, grilled jalapeno. That’s when I saw him. I really couldn’t help it. He stood out in the sea of brown faces. Tall and fit, he was in his early twenties. A shock of shaggy, blond hair covered a handsome and clean cut face. He looked like he was more at home associating with his la croix team in rural American suburbia than meandering in this south of the border hell. And meander he did with the look of a lost, doe-eyed animal. He quickly passed the fey lifted eyebrow of many interested Hispanic faggot and transvestite alike and walked straight up to me.
“Excuse me, do you speak English?” He asked.
I dropped the stem of the now eaten jalapeno onto my dirty plate, “Fluently.” I croaked.
“Well, you know this area?”
“Know it? I live here. What are you looking for?”
“Yeah, well, I’m visiting.” He began, head held hang dog. He glanced up and down the sidewalk. “I’m travelling from Florida, through El Paso to California and was wondering if you know anyone who could sell me some coke?”
“Coke? Cocaine?” I asked. I turned toward Antonio who was using a spatula to scrape rank grease and charred meat off the grill. “Yeah, sure. Antonio! This guy wants to buy some coke, know anyone?”
Antonio’s face remained blank as a poker dealers. “Si. I can get you some.”
Antonio wiped his hands on his filthy and frayed blue apron and stepped out of the stall. He called down to the gaggle of transvestites hookers loitering on the corner. “Senora!” He called. Several glanced over, their pan caked makeup faces slowly raised like animals sensing danger. He made eye contact with one and motioned for her to approach. “Oye! Jota, ven!”
An enormous transvestite, who resembled Fred Flintstone in drag, clomped up and smiling, her blue sequined mini-dress was so tight over the corpulent form, I was afraid it would burst like can of biscuits at any moment. Face glistening in sweat and meth induced perspiration, she smiled hola and after pleasantries, Antonio explained the score. The tranny then reached into his blue sequined purse and fished out a small baggie of coke. She held it out in an upturned, pudgy palm.
“How much? The blond asked.
The tranny smiled a row of discolored teeth, “Fifty pesos.”
“How much is that?” The blond said.
“Five bucks.” I said. Five dollars was slightly more than fifty pesos, but I assumed the blue sequined monster needed to make a profit.
The deal was made out in front of God and the public without even a care. A stooped federale in shades stood in front of the doorway to Rex Billiards. He noticed what was going on, looked away. The blond turned to me and said, “Can I do this here?”
Antonio laughed, “No.”
“I live near here. We can do it at my place.” I offered.
“How far?” He asked. I could see in his handsome face his defenses were at full alert. Hell, I could be some deranged psychopath ready to feed on his corpse. Partially, that was true.
“A five minute walk.” I stated.
He agreed and we made our way through the gritty, dry heat. I saw no reason from pretense and asked, “By the way, what’s your name?”
He told me. It was Stephen or Mike or Eric. I could care less. As we made the turn up the dead end alley, I pointed to the decrepit looking building, “I live in there.”
Once in my dim apartment, he sat on the rickety bed as I offered two beers from the fridge. He used my end table to cut up three lines from the meager stash. I rolled up a twenty peso note and we inhaled the weak shit. Not much of a lift, but I am certain the idea was to scam the American tourist. It’s in the city charter.
He leaned back on the bed, propped up against the wall. My weary eye scanned his lithe form. My stomach tightened. At that moment, I fully understood Nosferatu’s angst when Harper cut his finger.
“Hey, man,” he began, “can you spot me a twenty so I can get some more?”
“Twenty? Twenty dollars?” I husked. I jerked my head toward the faint residue remaining on the end table, “This just cost you five. You planning on overdosing?”
“Well, I want to take some with me…”
Fuck it, I thought and said without any virtue of emotion or sympathy, “Look, I’ll give it to you but I need something in return. You let me suck your cock and it’s a deal.”
His face went slack and the light in his eyes died. He was used to this, obviously. Didn’t like it, but was definitely not unexperienced in these transactions. The look in his eyes stated scores of of similar occurrences had been made in every back room bar, truck stop, and cheap hotel across the Untited States.
“Sure…yeah…” He finally exhaled.
We returned to Burrito Row and copped a twenty. Returning to my lair, as soon as I closed the steel door, the blond peeled off his t-shirt and jeans in what seemed like one swift movement. He stood in the dank light in front of me. A lean and athletic body, tanned and hairless. He could had been a model, if he wasn’t a fucked up junkie.
“Before we do this, “He said, “I wanna take a bang first.”
“Certainly.” I said as I flopped onto the bed, propped up on my elbow.
He pulled something from his jeans and walked to the small bathroom. My eyes followed his well-formed ass and dangling genitalia like a lizard watching the course of an insect. From my vantage point, I watched him unwrap his works from a handkerchief – syringe, spoon, lighter. He had a problem locating a vein. When he was done, he lay down on the bed with a line of crimson trailing from the inner elbow to the elbow. He took a wad of tissue and wiped it away. A drop of blood formed on the hole in his arm.
“I always have trouble shooting this shit.” He said nonchalantly.
“Why don’t you simply snort it?”
“Shooting it is better.” He stated matter of factly as his green eyes glanced down to his crotch. “Wanna do this?”
Wordlessly, I moved in. I grabbed his floppy penis. Even soft, it was thick and long. Uncircumcised, odd for an American male. One hand held his penis while the other wove through light brown and trimmed pubes up along a washboard stomach. After some light work, he achieved a full erection and I sucked his cock. A few minutes later, he blew thick ropes of semen up across his abdomen. I rose, snatched a towel from the bathroom and handed it to him.
A long and uncomfortable silence followed. He had that guilty, sulky look on his face of when your mother found yellowed splotches on your underwear on laundry day, a look that he just committed an unmentionable sin and was caught. I took a swig of tepid beer as he wiped the offending matter off his golden colored torso. He threw the towel onto the floor.
“You have a smoke?” He finally asked in the dark stillness of the room.
We shared a cigarette and I slapped him the twenty dollar note after he wordlessly got dressed.
“I thought this was paid for already?” He asked slipping the crumpled note into his front pocket.
I took a drag, lay back, and blew a grey plume towards the soiled ceiling, “For the road.”
“Uh…thanks.” He said then asked how to get back to the border.
Since I lived on the second floor, I took him out to the landing and pointed to the International Bridge a few blocks away. He said goodbye and I watched him make his way down the alley and around the corner. From my viewpoint, I could see the entrance to the Mexican custom kiosks. I never saw him. Most likely he made his way toward Avenida Mariscal for more dope. I never saw him again, nor did I care to.
*post note: if any adventurous soul cares to travel to this locale and locate Burrito Row and surrounding diversions, it, sadly like so many other places I transcribe, no longer exists. After the cartel left - or at least toned down - the entire street was razed and eradicated. There is nothing there but empty dirty lots. a ver...
Sunday, October 07, 2018
So, reality check. With the winter season rapidly approaching, I thought it would be nice to order some clothes from Amazon. One of the reasons was, I do not have a coat because I was supposed to go the the fucking tropics, so I never got around to getting one and had gave my good jacket away to my neighbor before I left Yuma.
I recently joined Amazon's Prime membership and decided to take advantage of it. One of the items I purchased was a jacket. A little weary on buying clothes online (though the few I had purchased in the past, I was pleasantly satisfied), I read the reviews on said jacket and almost all the customers warned the jacket ran large, order a size smaller than you normally do. Fine, I thought and sent away for it. Positives? It arrived in two days and unboxing it, it looked great...until I put it on. The sleeves were just right, the cut and material I liked, but I had trouble zipping up the front. There was something in the way. Something created from the last two months I had not noticed from sitting around playing Fallout 4 all day. I have really gained weight. Now, you are probably saying, "Hey, fatso, just return it for a size larger." Well, smartass, I could orrrr purchase a gym outfit and go workout, using the goal to fit in the damn thing as an excuse to exorcise. Which I did today. Bought some sweats, tennis shoes, and joined a gym. So, there was that. Wobbled to the market and purchased fresh fruits and veggies - no bread, no meats, no sweets. I really need to get my shit together. I am turning into these marsh mellow shaped old men I see shuffling up and down the street petulant and dire wondering where their youth had gone.
What a fucking first world conundrum...
Wednesday, October 03, 2018
I have hit the inevitable crossroad. For the past three months I have been existing in a state of nothing but wait. Waiting for the months to drag by so as I can save sufficient amount of funds to purchase a couch, a comfortable bed, a state of the art television, a game system…all those little attributes which make the foundation of a nice home livable. After three months of this, the only outcome I have achieved is boredom and an expanding girth.
I know no one in this city and really have not attempted to connect with any the locals. The very few I have made contact with are mean and insufferable. Bitter and conniving. However, my logic being, let me get my affairs in order and then I will socialize with my ilk so as I can have an apartment I am proud of to show off to people I most likely won’t give a damn about. So, I remain at home, playing video games and writing absurd memes via Facebook or twitter to a dead audience. Online, the few people whom I do lovingly associate with (all travelers of various ages) broadcast their lives from Viet Nam, Peru, Mexico City and various other exciting and wayward locales. I sit in my uber modern apartment granted by the powers of fate and watch their updates in downright jealousy. Angry, depressed jealousy at that.
I have even stopped writing purely out of boredom. I began a novel, but lost interest. And writing? The sole passion that kept me sane over these crazy decades? The neglecting of updating in this blog confirms that. But, what ferments my fear of remaining and making this my home? What reigns in the decision of not simply continuing on travelling? Two major reasons, really. Firstly, it is my age and health. I am getting old and my health is waning, so that puts me in mind to stay put and live out my remaining years within this tomb. It is a tomb. My neighbors are all doting elderly and continue to drop off like flies – a week does not pass when someone isn’t being courted off in a body bag. It is depressing when you are faced with your inevitable outcome. Secondly, as you may or may not know, I receive a monthly supplement. It is enough to live comfortably off of, to be certain, however it is not permanent. Sort of. I am evaluated once every three years to see if I am still insane. I am certain, one day, it will be taken away. Then what? Work? I have not worked in over a decade…what am I going to do? In that, who the fuck would hire me? I know I wouldn’t.
So, the decision which hangs over my head like the proverbial sword of Damocles is this: Do I remain here in the constant paranoia of perhaps returning to the streets when this is all snatched away, becoming one of those shoddy old souls you see pushing his meager possessions down the streets in a cart or do I leave and experience all the crazy that I crave out in this wonderful and relentlessly cruel world?
The way I lived, the way I enjoy living, I understand is an outmoded construct. I am a dinosaur. Even among the gays I am considered somewhat of a pariah. Twisted and evil was what I was called recently in lieu of my books. No longer is the homosexual of today the pillar of free thinking or progressively different from the norm, this new generation has become the very thing that we attempted to differ ourselves from; they are now hateful and overtly judgmental. Especially among each other. Everyone is so divided...my time here in the states...fear, fear of doing what i want has been placed in my mind. I remember there was a time when I wasn't afraid to do or go anywhere. Is this what getting old is supposed to be like?
I am getting off track. I believe if I am to continue to live, I need to follow my passions and not preoccupy myself with accumulating material possessions.
Typing this out, I believe I have my answer…
Saturday, September 01, 2018
I wish meeting guys in real life was as easy as it is for heterosexuals. I want to go into a coffee shop and write my number on a napkin without it being weird. I want to bump into someone on the street by accident and it be love at first sight. This internet culture gives me the green light when it comes to sexuality. Profiles tell me which males are gay. I wish I had the courage to effortlessly flirt. I wish I could go into a normal public space and pick up a guy. I have to travel a distance to a gay bar just to find someone similar to me while my friends get to go almost anywhere. I’m sick of staring at a phone when I just want to connect with another human being in the flesh.
Then again, perhaps I am feeling my age. Five months here in the states and, don’t get me wrong, I am living the exact opposite as far as standards of living goes, but the loneliness is unbearable. The solitude. I simply cannot connect with anyone of this culture. Though half of me wants to shut down all this wayward wandering in exotic locals down and retire, the other half screams fuck it go! go! go!
I have become to feel so alien here in this uber modern high rise I dwell in. I keep myself busy writing or playing video games or producing moronic posts on the internet, or plotting what next piece of swanky modern furniture I will purchase next. And yet, I feel so empty…so void. Is this what getting old is all about? The devistating finality of sitting alone in a souless apartment and living and reliving past experiences? This blog, after over a decade of spilling my guts, has lost its luster. Everything is at a standstill. And frankly, it scares the shit out of me.
Thursday, August 02, 2018
Ten miles west of Las Cruces on a stretch of desolate highway, Stephen Foster began to realize hitchhiking was not as alluring as portrayed in romantic anecdotes he had read in those beat novels from the 1950’s. An adventure, he supposed, yet a negligible one at best. Definitely in no way an inspirational form of art. He came to the dire conclusion hitchhiking was more an act of reckless freeloading. Borderline parasitic. Even so, it was a decision he purposefully opted into and as Charles Bukowski once wrote, If you’re going to try, go all the way. Otherwise, don’t even start.
The sky radiated a brilliant cloudless blue of a late September common to the Great American Southwest. Whispers like the sound of long dead Indians and the forgotten frontiersmen who exterminated them, the ever present wind hissed across a seemingly endless prairie of yellowed and desiccated scrub. A monotonous and otherwise flat landscape was broken with an occasional tilted power pole or rusted billboard splashed with faded advertisements of by-gone products. The glaring sun beat down on the two-lane black strip of lonely highway stretching both east and west. A stunningly panoramic horizon of low-slung biscuit colored buttes to shimmered in the rising heat.
Tuesday, July 31, 2018
white flash...mangled insect screams...
I woke up with the taste of metal in my mouth back from the dead.
trailing the colorless death smell
afterbirth of a withered grey monkey
phantom twinges of amputation...
"Taxi boys waiting for a pickup," Eduardo said and died of an overdose in Madrid...
Powder trains burn back through pink convultions of tumescent flesh...
set off flash bulbs of orgasm...pinpoint photos of arrested motion...
smooth brown side twisted to light a cigarette...
He stood there in a 1920 straw hat somebody gave him...soft mendicant words falling like dead birds in the dark street...
"No...no more...no mas..."
A heavy sea of air hammers in the purple brown dusk tainted with rotten metal smell of sewer gas...young worker faces vibrating out of focus in yellow halos of carbide lanterns...broken pipes exposed...
"They are rebuilding the City."
Lee nodded absently..."Yes...Always..."
Either way is a bad move to The East Wing...
If I knew I'd be glad to tell you...
"No good...no bueno...hustling myself..."
"No glot...C'lom Fliday"
Saturday, July 28, 2018
In the dry desert heat, I ambled across the street toward a 24 hour café near the old Greyhound station. I found the neon lit, brown brick restaurant relatively empty. I entered the diner dizzy with heat and loss and despair and made my way to the counter. The café was small, offering four worn leather booths running along a set of large plate glass windows dirty streaked with soot that looked out into dark and empty streets. Along the counter were beige faux leather stools (the leather cracked and peeling) bolted to the checkered tiled floor. Along the walls were tacked hundreds of amateurishly designed garage band flyers and invitations to local art shows. The café was occupied by a middle-aged and obese couple who were poured into a booth and a tall, read headed guy who sat at the counter staring perplexingly at the television set mounted to the wall over the cash register.
I sat at the counter and ordered a cup of coffee from a sullen, green-haired waitress with a nose ring. Following a news clip of four police officers violently beating a Latino homeless man with batons, the image switched to an arthritis medication ad.
“If you think Arbitol is right for you, consult your physician.” The images displayed smiling elderly frolicking in a pastoral park as a calm voice rapidly stated, “People who have used Arbitol have noticed the swelling of legs, hands and feet; capillary leak syndrome; fever; muscle pain; unusual bruising; dizziness, blurry vision; rash; hives; blisters; nervous system and blood disorders; lymphoma; swollen tongue; dry mouth; weight gain; inability to fight infections; nausea, diarrhea; constipation; depression; dehydration; suicidal thoughts, and death.”
“Gawddamn! After all that shit, who the fuck would wanna take any?” Spat the red haired man sitting next to me. In his late thirties, dressed in Levi’s and a plaid shirt, he sported a dull orange mullet and his face and arms were covered in freckles.
“Old people with arthritis problems, I assume.” I mumbled as I tore open a sugar packet and emptied it into my coffee.
“Buncha bullshit.” The man snarled as he scrapped his fork in the sloppy remains of egg yolk. “Everything in this fucking country is designed to snatch up what little money you got.”
I took a sip of my coffee and chided, “It’s fear. Fear is the most valuable commodity on this planet. Look on the TV. What do you see? People selling only products? Nope. They’re selling the fear of having to live without their products. Fear of aging, fear of loneliness, of poverty...of failure. Fear is the single most basic emotion we have. And most importantly, fear sells.”
The man slowly glanced over at me, ticking particles of food from his teeth with a serpentine tongue. His stare was both predatory and ominous. Gray eyes of a dead animal. Frowning puzzledly, he sighed, “What are you? Some kinda fucking intellectual?”
“Me? Nah…I’m nobody.”
Wednesday, July 25, 2018
I have lived in abject poverty. I am perfectly aware how dire life can become when you hit rock bottom and I mean rock bottom when all options have been depleted and there are only two avenues you can follow: either change your situation or die. Now, this can apply to many things: addiction (all levels), mental stability, and/or financial stability.
With that being said, I’d like to focus on what happened earlier today. I went to change over my mailing address to my new apartment from the building where, if you are homeless one can receive a multitude of services…all free of charge and receiving mail is one of them. As I stood patiently in line among the insane and unwashed, there was an obese bull dyke on a phone apparently abusing her underpaid caseworker. That wouldn’t had bothered me until she snarled, “I want the things from you that I am entitled to!” In which I casually turned to her and stated, “Lady, you aren’t entitled to anything. Not one damn thing. These people don’t have to do anything for you.”
“Why don’t you mind your own business?” She snapped at me.
“Since you decided to yell and include everyone in you dilemma, you obviously made it my business!” I stated.
“Fuck you!” She barked.
“Nope. It is you who are obviously fucked.”
She rose red faced and faux hyper-ventilating, “I need someone to talk to! I need to calm down! This fucker….this fucker can’t talk to me like that!”
I sighed, “Look, lady, I’m not your therapist. Pay me $250 an hour and I’ll tolerate any asinine bullshit you can spill forth and then tell you all is okay. But, you don’t, so I’m not.”
Eventually, a case worker whisked her outside and I finished my business and left.
On the walk downtown, I was approached by an elderly woman. In a timid tone she asked, “Could you help me? I need food for me and my kids…could you spare anything?”
I explained calmly to her I just left staying at a shelter (her attitude dissipated quickly) and when I informed her of the family services provided at the Primavera Foundation (food, clothing - all free), she mumbled okay or something else dismissive and sulkily walked away.
That and that alone is why I never assist anyone in this country. For one, I know for a fact that the homeless or near homeless in The United States receive benefits free of charge that would be envious of anyone in other countries who work and toil for their meager possessions. As a matter of fact, years ago when I resided at the St. Vincent de Paul shelter in San Diego, during their lunch a kid from Central America was appalled and shocked at the amount of food wasted by the clients who ate – for free – in the cafeteria. His comment being the amount tossed into the garbage could feed the people in his village for an entire year.
The homeless of America – generally – are spoiled and over privileged. They believe they are irrefutably entitled to all free benefits and do become quite irate when those benefits; i.e. food, financial, or housing – are not provided at the given moment requested. They expect everything without any effort to work on the situation themselves. Please recall, I lived among them and witness this time and time again, so save your ignorant comments.
I for one will never assist anyone down and out in this country unless I knew them personally. There are far too many organization who will assist with food, housing, clothing, employment, among many other things most people take for granted.
As I have mentioned, I have lived in other countries and witnessed unassisted poverty at its most insidious. Most, and I refer to most and not all, Americans are in it for the short con…I ought to know, I did it for decades…
Thursday, July 19, 2018
The bar itself was out of the way, I mean, it was downtown, but hidden. Located in a dusty, cobble-brick alley from the main strip. For me that worked, I didn’t particularly care to be around a bunch of loud tourists…or students, for that matter. I ducked into the door, a battered, metal one plastered with flyers of bands no one ever heard of and after my eyes adjusted to the dank I took a seat at the counter.
The bar was small. The counter itself only offered about six or seven chrome stools bolted to the concrete floor. There were four booths lined along the opposite side of the bar. A large, dusty plate glass window shrouded in dead neon tubes. The bartender, a flabby, balding middle aged man with a ponytail, attended to a group of four University students who sat at the end corner of the bar.
I ordered a beer as I scanned the dank room for a familiar face. Nothing. Everyone I hung with previously in this town, where did they all go? An abrupt wave of alienation surged over me. An absolute feeling of being severed from the human condition.
I took a napkin and began jotting down notes for the novel I was working on. I made no eye contact with the group of raucous male students as I sipped my beer. Heaven forbid I get wrapped up with the Are You A Writer/What Are You Writing crowd. To be sure, conversations of that ilk don’t unsettle me, but at that moment in time, I simply wanted to drink, not to be bothered.
On the second bottle, I was approached by a scraggy little lad in baseball cap and worn jeans who apparently stumbled in from the heat. Shaggy, black hair fell out from beneath the cap and cascaded down over much of his dark, Native American features. Short but skinny, he obviously was poor and undoubtedly lived either on the streets or South Tucson. He was actually ruggedly handsome, but already intoxicated. The group of white, male students scowled at him in derision. He wasn't bothering anyone from what I could tell. I saw him as simply another guy out for a drink and managing with his life’s hardships like anyone else, through alcohol. I sighed, glancing at the students. People can be such hypocritical shits.
As I stated, he approached me and slurred timidly if I was German. I smirked and said no, I was American. He never asked, which was a plus, but I chose to drink with this guy, who said his name was Stephen. He was twenty-two and worked parking cars in a parking lot. For almost nothing, he sustained off of the meager tips from washing the vehicles and guarding them against thieves who have a habit of stealing license plates and selling them. He stated he wasn't queer and actually never had sex with a man. Leering at me he smiled that tonight he might want to change that. I laughed and said calm down tiger or some stupid shit in a vain attempt to be coy.
Noticing my scribblings on napkins, Stephen asked what I did for a living. I mumbled, "A writer."
"A writer?!" He snatched a napkin off the bar and plucked a pen from his pocket. "I don't believe you. Write something."
I smirked, grabbed the pen and scrawled out, "His eyes were stone. Sadness. Yet a spark rose from the ashes with a sudden burst of lust that was likely to drive a man mad. He eyed me as he ran his fingers gently back and forth across the stubble on his chin. His mouth was slightly open, his lips plump and soft, with a glint as though he had just ran his tongue across them. He wanted something. Actually, he wanted it all. And one day he would have it."
He glared at the scribbles and said in mock surprise, “Oh no! That’s about me?! It’s good, though.” As he folded the napkin and placed it in his front pocket, we both burst into laughter and more beer was ordered.
Things were going good and pleasant until Stephen threw up. Right there at the bar. A cascading flow of pinks and yellows splattered onto the cigarette butt littered tile. The students and the bartender reprimanded him as Stephen stumbled back into the mensroom.
After a bit, the bartender snarled at me, "Go check on your friend."
I rose and when I entered the toilet, I found Stephen passed out in the urinal. After a couple of are you all rights, I succeeded in pulling the young man out. Unfortunatly, a student witnessed this and repoted this fiasco to the management. Thanks, snitchy.
The bartender behind the bar ordered the young man out. Two of the students grabbed the lanky lad and tossed him out on the street. I followed them to the curb and picked Stephen up out of the gutter, handing him his cap.
“I want to go home.” He said, wobbling.
“I’ll walk you to your bus stop.” I stated.
“This late? Not running. I need a cab.”
Thoughts of dragging this lad to my house and doing all sorts of nasty things flashed through my head. Literally using his anatomy as my own personal amusement park. But, I digress. I am not a monster. I agreed to find a taxi to take him back to South Tucson. One surly fucker stated eighty dollars and before I had time to protest, Stephen climbed into the back of the cab. I handed the smirking jerk of a driver four twenty dollar bills (all I had left), waved goodbye to Stephen and headed back home.
3:26am. I exhale a breath and look around at the still buildings where I see darkness and light. I bet most people are in bed right now sleeping or reading a book or novella while some people are on the phone, watching the television or maybe there’s a few in love couples lying beside each other carrying on a conversation while sleep beckons for them and the smile and voice of the other encourages them to continue to ignore the sleep.
I walk the long, lonely way. Nothing out on these dark streets. Not a soul. I feel the beat tide of depression consume me. I seriously do not know what to do...
Monday, July 16, 2018
My God, this is becoming fucking unbearable and I am not being overly dramatic. I realize it has been only two weeks since I moved into my apartment, but it has been three months since I have been living in the States and that is what is irritating me. Americans…Jesus Christ you are a bunch of sulky, arrogant, foul mouthed self important assholes! That is all that I have come in contact with since I returned...and the one's who put up a front of being kind and or considerate? I see right through your fake asses. In a few years when this country is laid waste from full scale atomic annihilation, all ya'll definitely got what you deserved…
Fuck! Let me calm down. I was all set to get the fuck out of Dodge and live an exciting life in the manner I saw fit and yet I found myself tempted and seduced into choosing a life path I had so many times before mocked – an uneventful existence of debt and hate filled paranoia. I literally cannot take this shit anymore. Everyone is fucking arrogant and hostile…why? What purpose does that serve them? I realize Americans always attained a shitty reputation, but goddamn, they really are pushing the envelope. Is it because the asshole warming the Presidential chair is such a pathetic role model? Can the masses not realize that ideal of base hate is all wrong? Is the concept of common sense a dead medium?
I seriously do not know how the fuck I let myself sink this low. I definitely do not like it here and I will be damned if I remain…
Thursday, July 12, 2018
I am bursting with artistic energy at last. Spending long hours in the middle of the night at the 24hr coffee shop near my place writing out the new novel invariably titled The Algebra Of Melancholy. Here is an excerpt from the opening chapter. Young Ford Davis is hitchhiking from a small New Mexico town to find excitement and adventure from the stories he's heard of the city San Diego from a mutual friend. On the way, he is picked up by a smooth trombone player named Otis Hampton. Please keep in mind this is the first draft and will be open to much revision:
“Where’d you go, homie?” Otis Hampton’s question knocked Ford out of his revelry. Otis glanced over at the scrawny youth. He was too pretty, too delicate and fair-skinned; each of his features was shaped with a sensitive accuracy, and a girlish tenderness softened his eyes, which were brown and very large. His brown hair, cut short, was streaked with pure yellow strands. A kind of tired, imploring expression masked his thin face, and there was an unyouthful sag about his shoulders. Otis smiled.
“Can I ask you a question?”
“Can I ask you a question?”
Ford thought. What does that have to do with anything? Is this guy homophobic? Am I gunna find myself face down in the desert on my stomach, beaten to a pulp with my underwear around one ankle turned inside out?
“Oh…uh…” Ford finally said.
“Look…I just want to give you a heads up. You one of them pretty boys with no experience in life whatsoever.” Otis Hampton took a long drag of the joint, never once diverting his eyes off the interstate ahead. “When I was younger, I played around. Had my fair share of homosexual experiences across the Great Southwest. Grew out of it, that’s all. I like pussy now. But, I remember.”
“What do you remember?” Ford asked.
“Not much. Only a hundred godforsaken motels across the country, most of them in the middle of nowhere. Black hair glistening in the syrupy air and somehow sweat looks beautiful on him in the neon glow of the “vacancy” signs. Lying awake on smudged sheets, wearing each other’s jackets because you aren’t brave enough to share each other’s skin, your fingers desperately snaked through his hair, lips on his pulse so you can measure just how much he loves you. But you are more addicted to each other’s scent than an old man smoking a cigarette, contemplating his imminent death by lung cancer, and so these shared sweaters will have to do. There are rental cars you learn to love more than the Toyota you owned growing up, because it is only in those anonymous vehicles you can roll down the windows and watch the wind play with his hair the way you want to, and brush hands across the glove compartment, and catch a glimpse of his barely-crooked teeth when you try to sing with Stevie when she comes on the radio. Because you can blame it on the little towns, the diner food, on having to share the same motel room when a convention has taken over town and it’s the only one left. Because you can say it’s not your fault that you went and fell in love, because who doesn’t want to break their heart against a steering wheel while “Rhiannon” plays in the background? Who could stop themselves, when he is the most beautiful man in the thirty-two states you’ve run through; because you know what he looks like shaken from sleep in the morning, stumbling to the front desk for a cup of instant coffee; because you know your heart still trembles embarrassingly even with his forehead pressed against the car window, soft snores filling the silence of a lonesome car on a deserted highway. Maybe, just maybe, he’ll learn to feel the same way if you keep driving long enough, if you try on enough different lives, if you bury your real name just deep enough beneath the surface…”
Ford chewed his lip, and was silent a moment. He was crazy with questions he wanted answered, but the idea of asking them embarrassed him, for to be so ignorant of one’s own seemed shameful.
Otis Hampton shot his car into the city limits of Tucson as the sun sunk below the rocky mountain range in a fiery rupture of reds, purples, and pinks. The city spires, with lights now on, reflected the darkness of the desert surrounding it. The air was still ungodly hot and the dust choked the throat. Ford coughed as Hampton pulled into the parking lot adjacent to the Greyhound terminal.
Saturday, July 07, 2018
I can't do it. I simply can't. As Bukowski once stated concerning the extravagant apartment he was awarded by a friend to write his first book, "It's a gilded cage. A locale where I simply stare at the walls and rot as the world passionately lives around me. It's nothing but a fancy mausoleum."
I feel the same way.
I was so headstrong on relocating to South East Asia and then touring the world, writing about it, experiencing life no matter how good or exceptionally bad, I wanted it all with a mad passion. And now, I am holed up in a fancy uber-modern apartment with all the trimmings, been there less than a week, and I am already bored and mired in loathing. I took a walk along the main strip last night along Congress Avenue and down 4th - Tucson's hub of night activity, neon splashed bars and clean cafés occupied by bearded, man-bun sporting hipsters and their summer skirt wearing female dates. I felt so severed from them…like the proverbial fish out of water. Definitely a college town of mostly contented, privileged white kids. Not my cup of tea, really. They come across as so…phony. I can’t really blame them, they know of no other way of life.
Perhaps I have been living as I do for so long, I am the one who knows no other way of life. I suppose I should give Tucson a chance…stay long enough to make friends and perhaps grow roots. I mean, it is what I had secretly wanted. Right? Right? Ugh…the notion fills me with depressed horror. To become a lonely, pot-bellied gay American who wiles his middle-aged time away watching reality television and arrogantly brags to other deaf ears about his attempts to bag the homeless guy down at the Greyhound station. A life of advent paranoia and condescending abhorrence.
Speaking of paranoia, the foremost reason I do not wish to remain in the states is the current political climate. How dire it has become. A functioning police state on the verge of totalitarian control. I simply do not wish to remain on this soil when the trap finally snaps shut.
So, here we go again. I will assemble plans to leave the turn of the year. As I previously mentioned, I have begun to pen another novel, so that will occupy my time. Also, I have some personal matters to tie up and quite frankly, I don’t want to be in a rush and botch this up unlike last time…and the time before that…and the time...oh, you get the picture.
Monday, July 02, 2018
And so, fate it seems have thrown me a smile. For uncounted years I have dwelled in sorrow and confusion at what this life of mine was supposed to be about. Then again, perhaps it was supposed to be about nothing. Don’t get me wrong, I have enjoyed most of it. Though I find myself cringing when I hear someone remark “Oh, your life is so exciting, I wish I could live like you.” I invariably shake my head in shame and answer, “No. No you don’t.”
Well, my original plan was to remain here briefly in Tucson and prepare for my eventual sojourn to South East Asia, but in the middle of last week, I was notified that my name had come up on a waiting list for these uber swanky modern apartments I had apparently signed up for as far back as 2012. I had completely forgotten all about it. Since traveling is in my blood and I had done my fair share the past few decades, honestly, I was becoming burned out on it. Internally, I secretly desired a stable home I could reside in the remainder of my years. Honestly, I thought I would never achieve that dream and was destined to traverse this world as a homeless phantom writing about my misery and trails for your enjoyment. I moved into said apartment yesterday. It is over. I will attempt to retain this place the rest of my days. It will be my home. Home. I really do enjoy saying that.
And what of this blog? It was began as an exercise to unleash all the horrors I dealt with on a daily basis, to vent the strange and unusual out of my spinning head. That, too, it seems is over. I don’t know if I am going to continue to write here any longer. All good things come to an end and it has reached the terminus point.
I would like to thank all the readers over the years for hanging on and tolerating this travesty I waywardly endured, nevertheless I am tired, both mentally and physically. It is time to stop.
Thank you and see you down the road...
Monday, June 25, 2018
For most of the day, I tromped around in 110 degree heat gathering the necessary paperwork to be prepared with my appointment with the housing office this Wednesday. Completing that, It was time to go home. My boots crunching in heated gravel, I wearily approached the large, steel barn-like structure of the shelter. Squatting in the shade of the awning were three or four hobos sweltering on wooden benches and silently puffing on rollies.
It wasn’t three in the afternoon yet, the entry time for the place. I stood there waiting, my shirt clinging to me like a wet condom and craving nothing more than to enter and drink some water. At three, the goober who was working the afternoon shift swung the door open and after a mandatory breathalyzer test, I headed straight to the kitchen for some much needed drinks. Quenched, I resignedly returned to the pungent dimness of the dorm room which held up to a hundred men. I obviously got a new neighbor, for the withered old thing with a walker who slept next to me was replaced by a goofy fat bald guy.
I lay there quietly, but then….he wanted to talk.
He went into an extensive and confounded diatribe on how the government was hunting him down, frozen his bank assets, and caused his life in general a conspiracy laden hell hole. He divulged from a folded swath of Chinese rice paper a little glass pin with some type of electrode on the end.
"You see that?" He breathed breath which smelled like sour mop water. "You see? This is what they pulled out of my ear. For years they could see what I see...they saw through my eyes!"
Enough of that weirdness. I laid down amongst the smell of sour feet and unwashed bodies, doubting my own sanity. Am I all right? Am I losing my mind? What if I am crazy...sane people don't do what I do. I really began doubting my actions the last few weeks.
Then he walked in.
Shaven head, trimmed black goatee, hazel eyes, and baggy street clothes with a boxers build. He brandished a tattoo of a tear drop below his left eye. This short cholo was extremely kind on the eyes. And he was placed in a bunk right next to mine! Right away I introduced myself and he said that his name was Luis Valenzuela and recently released from prison. After he made up his bed, we made our way out to the little smoking patio to talk. I told him my story and he thought it was pretty funny. I said I wasn't worried about my situation that much in lieu I had some money left in the bank.
"For reals?" Luis said. "Let me have thirty dollars." His smile, though both sinister and scheming, a dimpled grin displaying a row of short, white teeth, caused my heart to skip and my mind to travel into places both mischievous and deviant. He continued his spiel regarding these sneakers he wanted.
"What do I get out of it?" I coyly retorted. Nothings for free...learned that from my days in Tijuana.
"What do you want?" He asked.
Without batting an eye, I said, "I want to suck your cock."
Naturally, he looked flabbergasted. I thought he was going to punch my lights out. Then a sly grin crept across his handsome lips. "Okay. But where?"
"Follow me into the restroom."
He followed me into an empty men’s room. We went into the back stall, closing the door behind us, I sat on the toilet and Luis pulled out his erect penis. I sucked that thick uncut cock like my life depended on it. A couple of hobos did enter to use the urinals, but in our position down on the far end of the long, white tiled room, they were unaware that malicious goings on were afoot! Luis was letting out breathy and whispered moans and I was nervous some old hobo might hear us and report us to the facilitators. Finally, when Luis was close, he pulled his glistening cock out of my mouth and sprayed down my hair and right side of my face with gobs of thick cum. As I wiped my face and hair with toilet tissue, he stated that he hadn't cum in three months.
After paying my end of the bargain with Luis and his well-earned thirty dollars, I returned to my bunk. Luis decided to go into the T.V. room and watch the football game playing on the communal television. At nine, they shut off the lights, but I couldn't sleep. I tossed and turned amid the high decibel snoring and farting. I am so excited about getting that apartment.
At five o'clock in the morning, the lights snapped on and everyone made a mad dash to the restroom sinks to wash up. I felt like shit...like I was hit by a ten ton truck. My throat ached, my back hurt, I was feverish. Luis looked so adorable wrapped up in his blankets. I wanted to reach over and glide my fingers down the happy trail that lead into his blue striped boxers. I invited him to breakfast at a downtown café, but he said he had to meet his cousin for something. He is so goddamn handsome. Who knows? Perhaps something will come of this.
Friday, June 22, 2018
After an extensive interlude of writer’s block – two years, I believe – I have begun the writing of my next novel. Something I am quite passionate about. It concerns the wayward misfortunes of Ford Davis, a twenty-three year old aspiring writer as he hitchhikes from a small southwest town to San Diego and his quest for more lucrative opportunities and perhaps even the most elusive, love. Occupied by awkward and mundane peoples during Ford's trek and set against the backdrop of a country leaning towards the threat of atomic annihilation by newly elected president, a former game show host/Chicago slum lord named Wink Scottsdale, this new book is a somewhat dystopian tale with marginally homosexual tendencies. The working title: The Algebra of Melancholy. I like it, it fits.
In further news: Six or seven years ago, I applied for admission into a very modern apartment here in Tucson. Through mischance and various unfortunate events, I thought I had lost it. Well, as I was checking my e-mails yesterday, I received an invitation to rent at the very exclusive complex located in the heart of downtown Tucson. I actually thought years ago the deal was botched, but through a miracle of God (and really, that is exactly how I see it. Wouldn’t you?) I am now attaining the paperwork for the admission interview next Wednesday at 9am. Originally, I was simply passing through Tucson to return to Tijuana and an unknown future. What does this mean? No more travelling, no more living in junky ridden grottos mired in fear and debasement, no more uncertain days of where am I heading or what am I doing.
Do not fret your little head none, Dear Reader, I will certainly maintain this blog. It simply will be different. I will focus more on my writing and thoughts and perhaps – perhaps – a little wayward absurdities here and there.
Monday, June 18, 2018
“No, you see, it holds fifteen clips. You just aim it and…” He performed a gesture of swishing his cocked hand back and forth while making a rattatat sound. “Just spray and pray. I have a huge selections of semi-automatics. I love guns.”
They sat across from me during the slow bus ride downtown. Save for us three, there was no one else on the bus. The gun aficionado was a roly-poly built goober with cascading black hair that reached his ample hips. He looked like the actor/director Tom Savini had really let himself go. Clad in double denim, his nasal voice reverberated throughout the stale air of the bus.
“Just love them. I really, really do.”
“And what kind was that?” Asked his slender companion. He toted a small black terrier on a leash. A yappy and over excitable mongrel who darted about at the tethers length. The scrawny man wore tinted aviator sunglasses and acid was denim jeans with sandals. His chinless face was smooth and pale, he had a small mustache and his hairline receded.
“A Colt .45 automatic. You ever seen it?”
“It’s a pistol?”
“Yeah. You ever seen it?”
“Nah. I don’t really carry guns. I carry knives.” His lanky friend interjected without really hearing the question.
“Have you seen The Expendables? There’s a dude with a Colt .45 automatic…”
The one with the dog retrieved a nasty looking machete hidden in the deep recesses of his acid washed back side. He nonchalantly flashed it toward his friend. A silver and curved blade attached to a black leather handle with light green highlights.
“Woah. That’s sweet. You think that’s a knife? This is a knife!” He nasally repeated in a horrible Aussie accent as he chuckled.
“Yeah. No one under thirty is going to get that reference. It’s a stupid movie, anyway. I mean, it was okay…but it was bad, too.”
I hit downtown on a tranquil Sunday morning. It already being 11am and everything still closed. On deserted sidewalks, I dodged glistening pools left after the day’s prior monsoon downpour. The most upsetting aspect was the silence…the solitude. Years ago when I was in Tucson, the downtown area, especially around the Public Library, was abundant with homeless people milling about. Where have they gone? With any indication of the over populated shelter, there is no shortage of bored tramps, I find it simply weird there are not as many congregating out on the street. Is the government abducting them and hauling them off to desert concentration camps for liquidation? Have they been swept away by some unknown virus? Aliens? I simply find it odd, that’s all.
Anyways… I made my way through those echoing streets and over toward The Z Mansion. A historically hysterical château of baby blue that stages a hobo brunch every Sunday morning. Passing through ominous spiked iron gates, I entered the back patio covered in shady trees with about one hundred or less people milling about.
As soon as I entered, some crippled slob thrusts a leaking trash bag at me and gruffly orders me to “take out da trash, my leg hurtin’!” He obviously assumed I was a volunteer. Befuddled, I carried the dripping plastic bag out back, leaving a slimy trail in my wake across the hardwood floor of the stately manor. When I tossed the bag into one of three dumpsters in an alley, an ancient and pinch-faced nun poked her head out of a window and said, “Hey! That trash is for plastics and recyclables! Put the bag in the other dumpster!” She sneered and rolled her eyes at me like I was guilty of molesting one of her favorite choir boys. I hollered back up into the window, “Why you looking at me like that? Shit, this ain’t even my job, lady!”
After washing my hands in the co-ed bathroom (opens door to a wrinkled, smiling hag squatting with dingy panties around her ankles on the toilet “Oopsies! Forgot to lock it! Tee hee!” Slam!) I attempted to find a chair at the thirty or so round tables spread throughout the patio. I noticed a handsome young Latino sitting alone. I had seen him before at the shelter. A couple of days ago, he was outside in the fenced smoking area of the shelter toking on weed and ignorantly offered to a shelter staff member. Anyone that stupid should make good conversation.
“Hey…how’s it going?” I casually asked, brushing fallen leaves from plastic and aluminum folding chair.
“All right. This is my second time here.” He smiled taking a sip of lemonade offered by a prowling volunteer. He was elfish in his looks. Thin, aquiline face, a splash of light brown freckles across a thin nose. Jet black hair cut short on the sides and back but moppy on the top.
“Yeah? I recognize you from the shelter. You’re The Weed Kid.”
“The Weed Kid? Ha-ha…I’m now known as The Weed Kid?”
I divulged a humorous and detailed account of the gossip concerning his faux pa.
“Well, I thought…” Slam! A ruddy hand slammed a styrofoam cup of whiskey scented soda onto the table at me left. It was one of those large cups from a convenient store which held cheap fountain sodas or Slurpees.
I glanced up to see a drunk as fuck white man in his fifties towering over me. He stared out into the jostling mob. I turned back to that charming lad, “I thought you knew he was a staff member. The good thing is, nothing dire came of it.”
“Yeah, I got off with a warning.”
“You could had lost your bunk, perhaps…” Slam!
Again, the lanky drunk took a sip and slammed his styrofoam cup down onto the table. He began to wobble away.
I uttered at him, “You can slam that cup down all you want, it’s not going to make the ice any colder.”
“Wut?” He asked cross-eyed.
“Why do you keep slamming that cup down on this table?” I asked slowly and clearly as one who would attempt to confer with a retarded child.
He turned and inebriatingly lumbered back towards me, vainly attempting to appear menacing. “Cuz this is me and muh frens table. We went out ta smoke an we were sittin here first…”
I smirked and stated calmly with my palm out and up, “Man, that’s all you had to say. No need for b-movie dramatics.”
“I thought I told ya that…” Again, he was attempting to test me.
“No. You simply kept slamming your cup down while we were talking.” I said matter of factly.
“Well…anyway, get the fuck up an find anudder seat.” He interjected with a fist and thumb jerking up over his shoulder.
“Okay.” I smiled. “You want your seat?”
“Yeah.” He glared. His breath smelled of stale beer and Cheetos.
I smiled and nonchalantly got up and as soon as I did, I grabbed the plastic and metal chair and hurled it at the miserable fucking drunk. The metal leg and hard plastic back smashed into his chest and chin, causing him to reel back into potted ferns.
“Take it fucking back, then!” I shouted in pent-up fury.
The old drunk floundered akimbo in the plants as all hell broke loose. The Weed Kid faded into the crowd as several nuns raced out of their warrens and ordered me to leave or they would call the cops. I left. Fuck them. Fuck all those bitter, insufferable slobs.
I sat discontent at a nearby bus stop bench under the shadow of an awning. There wasn’t a car or soul on the street. The afternoon sun was bright and beat down through a cloudless blue sky. Next to me, silent and cool as a mannequin, lounged a boney black man in wrap around shades and straw fedora. He seemed very old as his trimmed facial hair had turned white with age. He clasped both ashy, gnarled hands onto the glass orbed handle of an ornate cane made of smooth wood.
I sat and smoked my last cigarette. For I was now broke without anything to my name.
After a bit, he rasped, “You smoke weed?”
“You got any?” I coughed.
“Yeah. Wanna smoke?”
We sat the remainder of the afternoon at that lonely bench smoking harsh weed and recounting lurid anecdotes of where we had been and where we were going. His name being Steve, explained his recent relocation from Buffalo, New York to Tucson in lieu of him being anemic and constantly being cold. That may be true, but other points of his narratives revealed a nasty crack habit and a mean spirit so I think he was simply escaping to start a new.
But, then again, aren’t we all?
Higher than shit, I thanked Steve for the smoke and, strictly from the case of the munchies, darted into a sandwich shop for a cheap hoagie. Afterwards, I ambled about Old Tucson taking snapshots of adobe structures inhabited by the ghosts of cowboys and indians...