Friday, August 26, 2016
Johnny rolled over in the musty, sagging bed and attempted to piece together the night before. The cramped, dank room he was in was windowless – walls painted a ghastly pink, covered in graffiti with the lingering, vaginal stench of a million Mexican hookers.
He lay naked on an old, spotted mattress, itself reeking of mildew and various indescribable aromas. The bathroom was down the hall. Johnny rose slowly and staggered toward the chipped, porcelain sink next to the bed and took a piss, rinsing the basin with water from the tap. He then splashed water onto his greasy face.
Gravity took over which caused him to slump uncontrollably back onto the bed. He lay there dizzy and aching - head pounded as he stared at the naked lightbulb dangling from a wire protruding out of a hole cut in the plaster of the ceiling. Directly above his face, there was a dark, orange spot in the plaster.
That’s rat piss, he thought, not water damage. Rats always piss in the same spot. Humans don’t - unsanitary fucks...
Johnny’s mind throbbed with the kaleidoscope of a million images from the previous evening: He was naked, on his knees in a submissive crouch; hands on his knees. Towering above him stood a 40 year-old Hispanic ex-con who recently been released from the border patrol after being detained for two days in the States. Or so he claimed.
Johnny met him in the Plaza. Said he could get a good score on coke. His torso was a mass of tattoos and scars. The ex-con was of medium height and beefy/muscular. After hours of doing dope, through fucked up eyelids, Johnny saw the ex-con standing above him, naked...no not quite...his khaki pants were dropped at his ankles and the stained wife-beater was pulled up over his thick neck. A gold necklace of the Virgin of Guadalupe was the only color across the wall of brown chest. With a muscular left hand, the brutish ex-con held Johnny painfully by the hair and with his right hand, he rapidly masturbated himself.
Johnny’s eyes were not focused on the thick, brown penis, he was more entranced on watching the huge testicles bounce briskly as the brute jerked off. Johnny glanced up at the bulldog face. The grimace. The thick moustache. The slicked-back, black hair.
“Don’t you fucking look at me!” He snarled and whack! Slapped Johnny across the face with an open palm.
Johnny nearly fell over, but the ex-con roughly grabbed him by the hair. Johnny could feel a trickle of blood ooze from his nostril, down across the lips. The ex-con tightened the grip on Johnny hair. Johnny winced. It hurt.
The ex-con rose onto the tips of his toes and grunted similar to some kind of beast. Johnny could feel the hot licks of the man’s semen as it splashed across his face. The ex-con then jabbed his thick, short penis into Johnny’s mouth and rammed it in deep, pushing down the back of Johnny’s head. Johnny gagged - he couldn’t breathe. Tears swelled in his eyes. He felt as if he was going to throw up.
“Take it, you fucking faggot!” The ex-con growled through gold-capped teeth. “Clean that dick!”
He roughly shoved Johnny down onto the cold, dusty, concrete floor. The brute wiped his penis with a ragged towel and tossed it onto Johnny’s semen and blood splattered face.
Dressing, the ex-con grumbled as he walked out with his back to Johnny, “You’re shit’s on the table, joto!”
Slam! The ex-con was gone and Johnny was alone. He could taste semen and blood on his lips. He looked up through a haze to see the junk and pesos the asshole had left on the nightstand.
Man, the things I do for this shit.
Thursday, August 25, 2016
Heat and dust punched me in my face. Dodging groping hookers and grasping hands of dirty children, Cesar and I siphoned into a booth at a small café in Zona Norte. Zona Norte was a barrio consisting of row after row of crumbling, adobe buildings and sordid, ramshackled shacks resembling chicken houses. A dingy neighborhood located immediately south of the great iron wall which separated the haves from the have-nots.
We silently sipped ghastly instant Nescafé as my eye caught a young Mexican queer who wore a red and white striped polo shirt and tight blue jeans. He sat on a metal stool and was glancing at me from the counter running the length of the small café.
The fag smiled. Handsome until he smiled – the mouth was a forest of rotted, black and yellow teeth. I then recognized him. He worked the ancient, ex-pat vampires who roosted at the café tables all day in The Plaza, surrounding themselves with young boys in a vain attempt to impress the other ex-pats on how desirable they still were. Those types of hustlers were the purest of thieves. They patiently sat and waited and nodded and laughed until the time was right to squeeze every peso they could from those quivering pedophiles.
After the waitress slammed two plates of eggs and chorizo onto the greasy, formica table, I turned casually and stared out the window – dead, black flies lined the sill. There was a commotion outside across the one-way street. Two hoggish police cornered a young gangster - the scrawny thug faltered and began to fight back. The crowd gathered. A paramilitary truck roared up. The soldiers jumped out of the back of the vehicle, swarmed the thug and with clubs and boots and rifle butts, beat him to a pulp. They dragged his unconscious, blood-splattered torso to a paddy wagon and flung him in. Hookers and Amazonian transvestites scowled at the soldiers, muttering to themselves.
Cesar and I returned to our cold, tasteless breakfast.
I lit a cigarette and blew smoke up toward the high ceiling of the café - painted mint and dangling with grimy, dust bunnies. Outside lay the panorama of Tijuana, Mexico spread out in all its glory. A kaleidoscope of criss-crossing electrical wires laced the smoggy skyline of squat, dirty buildings. Honking, choking autos sluggishly roll over shimmering, pot-holed concrete, filthy prostitutes of both sexes parade and lean and stare catatonic under the bleak sun as terrified and belligerent tourists paw over their diseased wares with lascivious finality all to the beat of high decimal cha-cha mambo.
A ragged, elderly man - salt and pepper hair, silver, scruffy beard – sat in his own waste under a rusted, neon sign, stirring the putrid puddle of fetid substance on the sidewalk with a stick. Filthy children played and frolicked - laughing, dashing around obese tias and between the legs of hip-hop pushers vending insidious medicinals.
This life is too much, I thought.
I paid for the meal and we left. Cesar and I shook hands on the corner and parted. Never to see one another again.
Wednesday, August 24, 2016
RIGHT BETWEEN THE EYES. It was the shot heard round the countercultural world; the literal Big Bang of the Beats. In 1951, during a party one night in Mexico City, writer William S. Burroughs drunkenly convinced his wife Joan Vollmer into standing against a wall with a shot glass on her head while he fired a gun at her. BLEW THE SHOT weaves up to this appalling incident, drifting back and forth in time, examining the reasons and keystones behind Burroughs’ murder of Vollmer. The motivations and events, examined and tossed about like a Rorschach test, creates a story that’s part biography, part horror tale, and part touchingly emotional psycho-drama. The author Luis Blasini leaves lusciously ambiguous whether the shooting itself was murder, drug-fueled madness, or one of those great historical incidents transcending its reality to become an allegory for art and destruction. BLEW THE SHOT slides artfully along the razor’s edge suggesting the principal character might be either a genius or merely a depraved madman. There’s the sense of a man who’s tormented by the demons of his lusts and appetites, and is often helpless before them, as revealed within dramatically fact based innuendos that will leave the reader desiring for more.
At long last my novel is complete! It just went hot on amazon.com if anyone is interested in ordering a copy. I quite enjoy the outcome of it and I hope you will too. As a matter of fact, I think you will.
Tuesday, August 23, 2016
Johnny and the tourist stumbled out into the bustling streets of a Tijuana Saturday night, rushing over crumbling, trash littered pavement smelling of shit and urine. Shabby, sad taco stands sweltered with the wafting stench of burnt meats and fermented salsas and wilted vegetables. Mangy dogs and small infants played in the black grease pools between the stalls.
Throngs of pedestrians clogged the way as Johnny and the tourist weaved through knots of swaggering hip-hop boys. Their arms draped around waists of their brown, thick-hipped sweethearts with the sad, mascara-painted, brown eyes drooped up to Guadalupe. Street vendors with leprosy and missing limbs called out selling leather belts, key chains, lottery tickets, condoms - as tank like para-military vehicles rumbled down the street sluggishly, slowly past ancient, creaking buses farting black smoke into the muggy night.
Johnny led the wobbling tourist down a dimly-lit side street packed with prostitutes of both sexes who wearily leaned against broken, red-brick and grimy, white-washed facades. Roaming addicts - shifty eyed and alert - hurtled down the way, stopping only to snatch small bags of dope from hidden nooks and crannies in crumbling walls. Groups of catatonic American tourists stumbled with bloated guts and shirts spotted with beer and puke – all under the wary eye of hateful police patrols. A cacophony of car horns and screeches mixed with the smells of seared meat, steaming hotdogs, and festering garbage vomiting up into a crisp, neon splashed night.
Passing a row of tired, fat hookers flashing silver-capped teeth and unappetizing, staunch bodies, Johnny and the tourist arrived at the sordid entrance of a cheap, ten-dollar a night hotel which was reached by climbing a set of worn, wooden stairs. White paint flaked off the Spanish-style, two story structure. Hotel Independencia glowed from a dusty, plastic marquee sagging over the cracked sidewalk.
At the foot of the stairs, the tourist took out his wallet to pay a haggish, ancient woman behind a metal grate. Johnny got a glimpse of the contents of the wallet – it bulged with twenty-dollar bills. The old woman gave the tourist a key attached to a huge, plastic pad.
“Checkout is eleven o’clock, manana.” The receptionist wheezed in broken English.
The tourist paid the fat mamacita behind the black bars and the two dashed up warped, wooden stairs to a room which bore an overpowering stench of mildew.
Johnny flicked on the light and a legion of roaches scattered across the dusty, red-tiled floor. In a corner, sagged a dresser with missing drawers and across from the bed, a rickety, metal folding chair. The walls were a multicolored hue of scrawled graffiti of both black marker and spray paint. A tired, slutty mattress dominated the room supported by a bent, black-metal frame which was draped in a thin, pink blanket - bedbugs and all.
“Hold up, cutie - I gotta pee.” The tourist slurred and entered the grimy, white-tiled bathroom. Johnny heard him take a long, loud piss.
Johnny sat silently on the chair and looked around the squalid space. He overheard the muffled moaning of a whore earning her rent in the next room. From the street emanated the dull pounding of a hundred jukeboxes.
The tourist came out of the bathroom and sat on the bed, which creaked in protest under the weight.
In one lithe movement, Johnny stood up and slid down his jeans and white and blue striped briefs. His long, uncircumcised penis swung free. He sat back in the chair.
“You like this?” Johnny asked coyly as he stroked his stiffening organ.
The old tourist blubbered, “Oh yeah, baby - you got a nice dick.”
Johnny smirked, with a hint of detestation, “What’s so nice about it?”
The tourist fumbled uncomfortably, he didn’t expect that remark. He sat there and stared at the nine inches of erection being swayed in his direction - the smooth shaft, the glistening mushroom tip. Johnny seductively worked the foreskin back and forth over the head, devishly looking up at the tourist who wheezed in mounting excitement.
“I’m so hot, papi.” Johnny sighed. “Why don’t you come over here and do something about it?”
The tourist gawked at the undulating erection - hypnotized by it as Johnny smoothly swung it back and forth. Like a fat kid in a candy store, the tourist dropped to his knees in front of Johnny and gobbled his erection. Loud sucking noises echoed in the spartan room as the tourist slobbered and slurped up and down Johnny’s cock. Though Johnny had his legs spread wide open, he could still feel the tourist’s obscene stomach rubbing against both his inner calves.
God, please hurry up and cum, Johnny thought, I need to get the fuck away from this gross-ass gringo.
Johnny reluctantly held the back of the tourist’s greasy head as in a matter of short, merciful minutes, felt the surge of an orgasm and squirted his semen into the tourist’s mouth. The fat, old man leaned over and spat the matter - a mix of bubbly sperm, saliva, and blood - onto the scuffed floor.
Gasping, the tourist looked glaze-eyed up to Johnny and breathed, “Oh, baby - that was good.”
“It was hot, papi.” Johnny stated mechanically, pulling up and fastening his pants.
With much effort and a series of dramatic grunts, the tourist rose to his feet. He sighed and exhaled an embarrassed chuckle.
Johnny stood also, and blurted, “Hey, you think you can help me with twenty dollars? I need to pay my electric bill and I am low on money this week.”
“Don’t you work?” The tourist asked, snidely.
“Yes. But, you know, this is Mexico and they don’t pay much and I just paid rent.” Johnny stated as a matter of fact.
The tourist grimaced as he reached and pulled out his wallet, placing a twenty dollar bill in Johnny’s thin hand.
The tourist saw the young man in a new light - the lines around the mouth, the dark circles under the eyes, the black grime under the uneven, chewed fingernails.
“Can I have ten more? I have no food.” Johnny smiled that smile.
The tourist dramatically sighed. Bitchily acting irritated, he faltered at putting his wallet away. Johnny noticed the glint of fear and distrust, the uncertainty of being in a foreign locale in the sobering eyes of the tourist. Johnny actually hoped the fat motherfucker would be knifed by some demented junky on his way out.
Johnny glared with just the right amount of sexiness and intimidation, “Please?”
“Oh, all right. But, that’s it! I have to get back to the States tomorrow and I can’t spare anymore.” The tourist frowned, placed a ten dollar bill in the young man’s hand and then quickly slipped the wallet into his back pocket.
Johnny made for the door, stopped, “You sleeping here tonight?” He pointed abstractly around the squalid room. “It’s a very dangerous area. A lot of muggings.”
Fear now flamed in the darting eyes of the tourist, “No. No, I have a room somewhere else. I’m going there now.”
“Orale. I’ll walk you out.” Johnny yanked on the thin door which wobbled a bit from sticking in the frame.
Once downstairs, they separated at the corner with a handshake. The tourist quickly strode toward the safety of the nearest waiting taxi as Johnny returned to the shadows of the corner. Several thugs stood in a knot under a leaflet plastered, iron street lamp which emitted no light.
A squat, frog-faced Mexican stood in white athletic gear and croaked as Johnny approached, “Que pasa, Juanito?”
They swapped a street-wise handshake.
Johnny’s gaze swept up and down the sidewalk, “Not much, man. Gimme a paper.”
From a sagging fannypack, the frog-faced Mexican slapped into Johnny’s palm a tiny, cellophane envelope folded into a small square as Johnny passed a wadded, ten dollar bill into the pusher’s chubby fingers.
With that, Johnny returned to the still congested Patio Bar and made a direct line to the bathroom. In a grimy, white-tiled stall, he cut three lines of methamphetamine out onto the flat, steel-top of the filthiest toilet paper dispenser in the world and with a rolled peso note, he loudly sniffled the lines up. Johnny leaned back, snorted the residue into the back of his throat and casually glanced over into the next stall and wish he hadn’t. A chunky hooker in a frayed, blue dress squatted down and was blowing some prehistoric fucker in a grey-felt Stetson. However, that didn’t offend Johnny - it was the festering toilet next to them which overflowed in thick, muddy feces. Lines of dark brown cascaded over the rim like a boiling pot of beans. The smell of putrid shit punched him in the face. Feeling the effects of the meth, he returned to the bar and stood next to an ancient and tall American tourist who leaned casually against the counter. Johnny ordered a beer for himself.
Johnny took a quick swig and smiled at the old relic, “Hola!”
The old man raised his bottle, clinking it with Johnny’s. “Hello, there. What’s your name?”
“My name’s Johnny. Ask anyone. They’ll tell you.” Johnny smiled.
Friday, August 19, 2016
Days are long and nights are longer and darker. Suffering from insomnia - up until 5am and sleeping less. Eerie sense of gloom pervades every thought - my goddamn head hurts and I don’t know why. For the past few days lay in bed drinking coffee, smoking cigarettes and flipping through nothing on the TV with the sweat from the heat of day and humidity of night soaking my comforter. Gunshots in the distance mingled with barking dogs and the ceiling fan whirls to little effect.
Feeling used and unwanted and generally all around down. My roving eye pointing towards Puerto Rico. No one knows me there. Won’t be a trophy for some naco only to be discarded once the novelty wears off.
Everything is meaningless - food untouchable, beer unenduring, sex not doing it for me. Sit hours at my desk and stare into that fathomless abyss content to be left alone and live within the few cubits between my ears. I feel so bland - so numb - so uncaring for all the Fallen Angels of the World and for the world in general, generally speaking. The outside is cold but the inside is colder.
Tuesday, August 16, 2016
I stood in the alley for about forty-five minutes - smell of sewage and feces and urine - me and nine others waiting for the pack-man to show up with all the goodies, the whole time reminding myself how stupid I was standing there waiting - waiting because the man is never on time. The dope isn’t even worth waiting for, unfortunately this only happens to be the best garbage around.
Yet, here I am. Me and nine other shriveled, quivering wrecks loitering in the alley of a known drug spot in a shitty cartel neighborhood waiting to cop dope wishing this little motherfucker would hurry the fuck up. It is cold, the spot is hot, and I am not feeling well even though I did wake up. I don’t know - things are not the same - it becomes harder and harder to cop. The dope all over is garbage. When you do get lucky and find a decent spot some idiot junky comes along and tells them how good their dope is and they begin cutting it more than it already is. I don’t want to stop getting high, I love it too much. I simply hate the process of getting high. Traveling forty-five minutes on a bus, standing around waiting, and trying to get out of there as soon as possible.
Coming undone at the lines of stitching… back for more… the insignia transforms into burgundy… I stomach your latest barrier, this one divides my mind… the beauty of it all, the splendor of unpaid amphetamines… junkie he… this slit in my neckline, how did it happen? My imprint is on the raw terminal paper, it hemorrhages onto the floorboards… My heart is drenched… thought we both needed a companion to scurry to…
Have you ever longed to lead a transient life? Kerouac-esque like - hitching rides, immersing yourself in the scenes and sights of a new town completely and totally only to wake the next day and start anew. A different trip each day and a different kick every night. Here is the problem that lies within: where would one be able to hang ones hat? Where would home be? Would it be possible to, at some point, transition back to everyday life?
Perhaps a Drugstore Cowboy sort of approach would be an alternative. Get a crew of close friends together to do what you need to survive. That may also rectify the home problem. If you were with those who made you feel comfortable.
Perhaps I’m simply dreaming of an escape from the mundane today.
Ahhh yes, I’ve missed the sweet lolling of miss poppies special tea. She had come to visit me today just in time, too. The Trivial becoming much too worrisome. A shitty situation but it seems I must deal with the criticisms and lack of trust to attain my goal in all of this. I don’t actually know what that goal is just yet but, I’ll simply keep telling myself that I’m working vigilantly toward it. Maybe I am, maybe not. Time will tell.
It’s off to another sleepless night for me…
Sunday, August 14, 2016
Saul relaxed naked beside me in rumpled sheets. Cigarette smoke swirled up to a stained white-washed ceiling as lights from passing cars created moving patterns of phantoms. Phantoms who laughed at us.
2:30am and you asked me why I’m so paranoid all the time. And I looked at you and you reminded me of an Indian headdress. You’re not scared, sweetheart. Your fears ride the wind but the feathers stay.
2:32am and you commanded I write about you. There was India ink on the nightstand and a safety pin on your pillowcase and I spent the next eight minutes marking you with the proximate vocabulary of how I wanted you.
2:40am and you couldn’t sleep. We’d spent the last three hours crushing the sleeping pills into ash and blew it into soda bottles of apple-flavored cola but you said it still tasted of resigned escapism.
2:41am and time was a bag of bones which dragged itself over cracked asphalt. It took too long even though we’re not waiting for anything - but we’re the liars in room 318 because you’re waiting for the forest and I’m waiting for you to get out of it.
3:00am and I’m reading. You gently grabbed my hands and nonchalantly traced the folds in my fingers where the rhymes hide. I’d been trying to put it on hold, telling you I’d lost them.
3:17 and it’s just another night threatening to tear at the seams to reveal a morning I can’t will into life being easier for you.
Neither of us had much luck with relationships. He a hooligan of the street mired in crime, drugs and prostitution to scratch out a meager existence. Seven long years I’d spent in an on-again, off-again with the same shitbag, the same abusive scum. I would kill simply to be “on” with anyone at all. Two lonely losers lost in a night of unrelenting sadness and paranoia. At least for now, we had each other…
Saturday, August 13, 2016
He walked down the motel hallway and the lights above him flickered as he passed. His lanky, black hair kind of bounced with each step – it was bobbed short and parted down the middle, he attained the aura of a runway supermodel - but this young man was a whore. The torn, faded jeans screamed it, the cheap, wrinkled t-shirt commanded it, the dried cum in his hair bragged about it. He wouldn’t hesitate, he’d fuck you and leave and he could do it all without talking, so he’s popular. The shadows in the hall mixed with the shadows around his eyes and when he stopped in front of me all I could see was white. He looked in and I looked out and we met somewhere in the middle. I let him into my room and the hallway went dark, the lights in my room sparked out. He stopped a few feet in and turned around, red eyes glowing in the black, he curled a finger at me and I slowly closed the door behind me.
(When everything is dead it gets quiet. Quiet enough to hear muscles move or blood rush. Quiet enough to hear penetration at its deepest point where flesh touches flesh and you could hear the body send off electricity full of excitement. And if you’re fucking a beast you could hear him purr beneath you, bent in front of you, vulnerable for you in the utter black that is around you. A beast from fire will lay for you with smoke and char as you succumb to the demon who wants your cum.)
After all, we are all lonely inside.
Wednesday, August 10, 2016
Ambivalent transvestite hookers drift under yellow street lamps, eyes luminescent with methamphetamine, they lean against outcroppings of crumbling red brick walls, talk in silent, catatonic gestures, frescoes of elusive depravity, flat two dimensional howls drift into the night: “Orale!…Joselito! Omar! Donde esta?”
Stagnant patter of commerce: “See the show! Naked lady!”
“Nice girl, meester?”
A hideous soiled mouth blew smoke rings into the night, “Wanna fuck me, meester?”
Saul and I jet into the bar Kin-kle, a tacky queer joint with a mangy, over stuffed bullhead above red-metal double swinging doors where guys would show you their erections for a beer.
In the dark alcove booths, drunk and horny, Saul and I made out under the vigilant eye of a waiter with a hard on. Patrons passed us with indifference as I masturbated Saul to an unscrupulous climax under the red covered table, his lanky body entwined with mine.
“The fundamentals of it all, it ain’t right.” Sniffs the envious old expat sitting alone and indignant at the bar. He ejects his resentment like a thick fog.
“Why dontcha mind your own business for once?” I slur, wiping the glistening residue of Saul’s discharge off my thumb with the red table cloth.
Later that evening, Saul and I committed crimes against nature in Hotel Coliseo. Finding myself lying on my stomach with Saul on top thrusting into me, boy did I get the better end of the deal - slapslapslap - lean arms wrapped around my torso and neck. My back is bitten passionately. My face pressed against the dingy pillow. I feel Saul’s hot breath against my left ear as he gets closer to his climax. Closed my eyes and with clenched teeth, felt hot semen squirt up into me. Afterwards we shared a joint, our shoulders touching under the covers as ominous shadows slowly crawled across stark, depressing walls.
Saul mumbled, “I gotta go, guero.”
I watched as he wordlessly covered his smooth brown frame with well-worn clothes. I dressed, listening to the whore earning her rent down the hall.
Down at the corner, Saul hits me up for 100 pesos. I slap the note into his hand and both of us saying laters, Saul went to do whatever Saul had to do.
Monday, August 08, 2016
I entered a smelly, dark den with pink coral tiled walls. A short, chunky female in a black thong whirled and jiggled her wares in all the wrong places on a tiny stage of glittered stucco. Bar had only two others, junky cholo in white tank top and baggy khaki pants who sat on the nod like a fool on a stool against the pink wall and a flabby, sweaty American who eyed me fingering his camera so nasty.
I was about to take my business elsewhere when a tall, handsome Mexican with distinctive Aztec features and pencil moustache donning a blue mechanic’s tunic walked in and made a bee line for the men’s room. Quickly downed my beer, it was on like Donkey Kong: I am in the pissoir languidly jacking off with the guy in the mechanics uniform as the obligatory old fart with the camera looked on. The hottie had the most exquisite penis I had seen in many a moon. One hand on my soldier; the other traced black hair on toned pecs. Me and the hottie cum in spurts onto lemons and ice and left the quivering codger standing there wondering where his youth had gone.
The mechanic - Miguel he says - and I drank a couple more bottles and I asked if he cared to go back to my room for an afternoon of filthy, rotten sin. No, it’s back with the wifie and kids, he claimed. Shake hands and part. Old queen leered at me from furtive shadows. Frustrated fruit. Short cholo with shaved head and wife beater is hip to the fact and smiled with silver capped tooth, hard on a-pulsing in dirty khakis. I exit - leaving the cholo to the whims of that withered vampire.
Saturday, August 06, 2016
Broken images exploded softly in my head...I was living in my parents’ house and couldn’t leave my room on account of vicious black guard dog roaming the halls - argue with my father - long tableau of quarrels which has lasted a lifetime. I realized what I had come to accept all along: I loathe and hate the old monster. Pure, white hate.
…time slowed like an unreliable internet connection…
…outside, red brick slum in summer sunlight as clear as glycerin…
…twitching and shivering in dirty underwear, grasping a charred meth pipe in the junk-sick afternoon…
…a lonely rooster caws in the distant adobe slums under a forest of satellite dishes…
Jolt up - flesh dead, indeterminate, bitter - jet to corner taco shop for a couple of carne asadas.
Waitress noticed my funk: “Don’t worry about the past or the future, guero. Live for the moment, live for the now. Life is good!”
I took a walk down the strip and ignore the barkers, pass the casino under the watchful eye of The Man and into the Plaza for a coffee and a smoke. Fags circulate outside in droves as I sat and think and think hard. Radio plays thirty minute government sponsored program in Spanish about catching crab lice. The cantina across from me thumps where deceitful rentboys put the make on you in favor of The House and there is no health in them clap boys rotten to the core.
A handsome vaquero in a yellow Stetson, black shirt, black jeans, and cowboy boots stood on the corner with a guitar, singing a woeful ballad no one cares to hear…
Friday, August 05, 2016
When I awoke, it was already nighttime. The image of a familiar man from my dreams fading from muddled memory. I rubbed my eyes and reached for my cigarettes on the bedside table. Counting the hours in my mind, a raspy groan escaped from my dry throat. I didn’t even realize it was possible for a person to sleep that long. I pulled my aching body out from the musty couch and felt heavy summer air already weighing me down despite the late hour. Using my two fingers, I parted my dusty plastic blinds and peeped down at the city from my apartment window. The city was sleeping soundly and I welcomed the quiet, only to have it broken by a vicious rumble in my stomach.
I stumbled over toward the clanking fridge, hoping somehow food magically manifested itself within. Every night I open the open the fridge door with high expectations, and every night I am disappointed. It had been months since I last seen the inside of a grocery store. My stomach issued another desperate cry for sustenance. The store was likely long-closed by now and the change in my pocket consisted of a few pesos and lint. It seemed, once again, I would be paying a visit to my old pal Chuey. I snatched my keys off the counter and gave my clothes a quick check for stains before heading out the door.
Chuey was an archaic diner just down the road from my apartment that specialized in stale food and coffee-flavored water, all at a price barely fitting within my budget. Most importantly, it was open 24 hours. Meaning it was the only place within walking distance that would accommodate my sleep schedule. The familiar green glow of the neon sign stained the empty trash strewn street with its nauseous color. Its loud buzz pierced through my skull and I winced at the pain. Despite its dilapidated charms, the place was beginning to feel like an old friend.
The rusted bell chimed as I opened the dusty, glass-pane door. The haggish and plump waitress behind the counter raised her head from her palm expectantly, but as she recognized my face her brow furrowed and her body returned to its lifeless posture. I found my usual seat next to the streaked window. I sat there in silence for a few moments before forcing out a fake cough to alert the waitress I was ready. She rolled her eyes, and reached for the coffee pot that had been sitting there for god knows how long and wobbled her way over to my table. She splashed hot coffee into my chipped off-white cup before looking down at me with her head cocked to one side.
“And a cherry pie, please,” I curled my lips up at her while her stone-like expression remained unchanged.
Taking a sip from my coffee, which had remarkably even less flavor than usual, I watched as the waitress disappeared into the dank kitchen to grab a piece of pie from the fridge. I wondered if she was alone here. Out of all the times I’d frequented, I’d never seen a single other person working. It was always solely her. I realized then I didn’t even know her name. Though, judging by her expression, she definitely didn’t care to know mine. She returned from the kitchen and slammed the pie onto the table before returning to her spot at the counter.
The pie was still cold, but I ate it anyway. I took my time, watching out the window as I ate. I could still hear the buzzing sound of the sign even from inside. An orange glow was beginning to creep its way up the street, overtaking the sickening green. I wondered if it was dawn already. I looked down at my watch and realized that there was still at least an hour left until sunrise. The glow flickered and I felt my heart seize up. No, it couldn’t be happening again. I leapt to my feet, and was about to make a break for the door, when I saw him.
A young man walked calmly down the road, his well-worn and shabby clothes hung limply off a tall and lanky torso. Straight black hair was combed back over an asymmetrical head with Aztec hawk-like features. His black shoes were scruffed and the laces frayed. There was pain on his face. I looked back to the bloated waitress at the counter who had since fallen asleep, completely unaware of the situation. I could feel my body growing hotter as my lungs screamed for air. The young man was now outside the window, I could feel his eyes turning towards me. I attempted not want to look, but some unseen force was pulling me towards him.
Our eyes met, separated only by a pane of glass. His calm expression slowly began to contort and I clenched my jaw. His forehead tensed, his mouth opened, and his jaw quivered. I could see that he was screaming, but not a single sound escaped his mouth. Tears streamed down my face and it felt as though my teeth might break. His face continued to change, showing such a terrifying pain. I pounded my fists on the glass. I had to save him.
I heard a voice yell out to me and I turned to see that the tired waitress with her eyes narrowing at me. I did not respond, but as I looked back to the window I found no-one there. The street had returned to its uneasy shade of green and there was no sign of the man. I ran for the door when the waitress yelled out, reminding me I needed to pay. I reached into my pocket to grab a handful of change. As I set the change down on the table, I noticed something else in my hand: a crumpled old photograph. I grabbed it and as I headed out the door, I heard the waitress mutter under her breath in Spanish.
“Every goddamn night.”
The street was as empty as empty as always, with no sign of that young man. I looked down at the photograph in my hand, the edges of it were slightly charred. I carefully unfolded in. It was me and the man, we were both smiling and I had my arms wrapped tightly around him. We stood in front of a gloriously golden sunset over crashing waves of a beach. I couldn’t remember the last time I looked or felt so happy. I ran my fingers down the creases in his face. It had been a very long time.
Sunday, July 31, 2016
Slouched on my roof, I watched the swollen moon change from white to black to the blood red that had been promised to us by the news. I turned my back on the beauty to face the skyline, where I couldn’t ignore the precariously tall, starry-bright building the Phlebotomist works in every day, and above it I saw the infinite sky where somewhere hopefully resides my old best friend who was too earnest to survive, and I saw all of the black space around me, where no angel was whispering that everything was fine.
Saturday, July 30, 2016
So I decided to try a different approach concerning my writing techniques. Over time, I’ve changed as an individual and as a creative mind, and thus, my formulas must change too.
Used to be I could just set to writing straight off the back, no guides, no outlines, no preparation. I hated outlines. I hated charts. It all felt so stifling. Word vomit has always been my go to motivator for getting shit done. And this still works, for short pieces. Like short stories or flash fiction. Not so much for the long haul. My days of writing 30+ pages of handwritten prose, front and back of the paper are over.
But, fuck, I hate outlining. I hate lists and bullet points. I don’t want to map out an entire story! When I do that I feel beholden to that structure and then new twists and turns can’t be explored. Of course, I know that’s not how it works, but it’s how I feel. So, what to do?
I like to hand write my first drafts and then take to the keyboard to make sense of all those scribbles and hieroglyphics. But man, my hands cannot write as fast as my brain thinks, but my fingers can type that fast.
Tonight, I tried something new. I created, wait for it, an outline. But not an outline for the remainder of the whole story. Handwritten notes, bullet points, some specific dialogue ideas, and then I set to work on my computer. And guess what. It didn’t take me days or even weeks to finish getting back to my writing. I wrote nearly 1500 words in 2 hours.
This feels good, man. It’s been so long since I felt like I could see the end of a story I started. This isn’t just going to be one of those things I start and never finish. I’m doing it!
For my fellow writers out there who are struggling: don’t be afraid to go back to an old tool you once thought didn’t work for you. Maybe it didn’t work then. You change over time. Your writing changes over time. Your techniques and approaches must change as well. Never remain static.
Thursday, July 28, 2016
It has been over three weeks since my return to Tijuana. Other than working on my latest book, I have been doing absolutely nothing. Well, that is not entirely true. Let me explain:
I am struggling with three decisions. Decisions that one who has been diagnosed with acute manic-depressive bipolar schizoid disorder are causing me lose my fucking mind. 1) I want to stay here (here as in the furnished room I am renting in downtown Tijuana) until at least March and save money to relocate to either Cambodia or Vietnam, attain a job teaching English, save what I can to eventually open my own Bed & Breakfast 2) Locate a great apartment on the beach in Tj and remain indefinitely (at the moment, because it is summer, all affordable places are rented by the vacationers and snowbirds. Assholes. Again, no one to blame but myself. Two months prior leaving Tucson, I accumulated a list of places off the internet through various rental sites but by time I dragged my ass here, they were all taken) 3) Attempt to secure a house through Section 8 in the States like I tried and failed in Tucson. Now, that is tricky. I require a jumping point, i.e. a shelter, and then transitional housing for the long wait and THEN a city which actually has the waiting lists open. After extensive research via the internet, the only two cities which fit that criteria are Provo, Utah or Bismarck, North Dakota. And both seem tasteless to my palate.
So back to about doing nothing. Mostly I have been in a state of paranoid waiting, wondering what to do. I sit in coffee shops, diners, stand on corners in a fugue state chain smoking one Lucky after another trying to make up my mind. The abrupt move here has left me destitute for this month, I have been sustaining myself off cheap coffee, tortas and ramen noodles. I really haven’t been social, actually I have been avoiding contact with pretty much anyone. Why is that? Have the meds prescribed to me altered me that much? I think so.
I have been so preoccupied with the future; I have been ignoring the now. And that is one abyss I cannot stop staring into.
Thursday, July 21, 2016
I’ve been sick. I’ve been lonely. More alone than I’ve ever been and I am more afraid of the things I do when I’m alone. People will say, “I’m always there if you need me.” But they aren’t. That is a façade. That isn’t true. If that were the case I’d be okay by now. This past month I’ve been recovering, but slowly progressing. The reason I’m typing all this is to tell you I am appreciative of the support my readers have given me. This is not a cry for help. Although I need some. This is not a plea for attention. I’m just not okay and I’m okay with that and I’ll be fine soon. To the people who try to call or text and say “I’m there” don’t bother if you don’t mean it. I’m only being honest.
Over a month ago I tried to take my own life. Since then I have gotten help and subtracted a number of people/things out of my life. Everybody (or at least I hope everybody) has been wondering if I’ve been okay and alive and yes, it’s obvious, I have been. I’ve lost a lot this year with minimum gain because I hadn’t taken time for myself to make sure I was alright. I have problems, I’m not afraid to admit it. Right now is not a good time for me.
Tuesday, July 19, 2016
Too often when we turn on the tv, we hear and see something negative. The proverbial cup always seems half empty. We, as Americans, need to lift each other up more. We need to hold those negative forces that exist among us accountable for bringing the feeling of hopelessness to the front of so many minds. That goes for our politicians, the media, or the friend on Facebook who carries around misguided rage. We need to respond with love, and not get dragged into the trenches of sorrow. This constant divide and infighting amongst Americans, seems to be the new norm, and we must remind each other that we are stronger when we are united. Sadly, our leaders have failed to set this example, so we must use what we do have, our numbers, to reach as many of our fellow Americans as possible. We must remind our neighbors that only we control our fate, our happiness, and if we can come together, the direction of this country.
Thursday, July 14, 2016
For starters, I don’t actually write. I used to write. Then life sapped all the creativity out of me and replaced it with crazy. I’m attempting to get back into it as an outlet for my emotions. I’m not a big talker and I’ve never been a big sharer. I bury things and when I bury them, they go deep.
Why do I write? I write because as long as I exist there are things to be grateful for. There are things only I have seen and done. My perspective is my own, as is my voice. No one can write what I write or be who I am. I’m proud to be me; insecurities, crazy, darkness and all. It makes me who I am.
Like most of us, I keep the real me locked deep within myself rarely releasing him into civilization. Other days, I’m merely playing the part society expects me to play. That has been taking a mental toll on me as of late.
The darkness has been slowly seeping out in everyday life, taking on a life of its own and sabotaging everything I hold close. Therefore I suppose I write to keep the darkness at bay. I remind myself every day there is only one me and if things don’t improve, there won’t be.
Don’t get me wrong. The darkness is a part of me. It always will be. And I’m proud of that. It simply needs to be a part and not the whole.
Wednesday, July 13, 2016
All you know are 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 that your heart still trembles embarrassingly even with his forehead pressed against the car window, soft snores filling the silence of a car on a deserted highway. Maybe, just maybe, he will 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.
Monday, July 11, 2016
On my doorstep, there was a poem. The paper was a little crumpled, but the writing was recent and the ink was still fresh. I brought it indoors, as if it were an abandoned kitten, pleading me for a good home. I put it carefully on my desk, and switched on the lamp. The paper was almost see-through, except for the solid ink on it.
When you receive something like this, you don’t afford it the careful, delicate touch it requires. You ravage the words with your eyes, going through the note, and then going through it several times, attempting to figure out what it means. And then you realize it’s a poem, and you heave a sigh of relief. So no one’s in danger, and no one’s threatening to burn your house down. It’s simply a poem.
At the end of the eight lines (four on each side of the paper), was a set of initials. I thought about these initials for a while because I didn’t know anyone with these initials. I thought about who might know my address, and not a lot of names came to mind. I went through the contacts in my phones, from top to bottom and bottom to top, looking for a clue, but there was no one. And I certainly didn’t know any poets.
Although I should’ve forgotten about the poem, I couldn’t. It was carefully crafted, and every word had been deliberately placed. It wasn’t the sort of poem you simply fire and forget, no; it had been made for me. Someone written this poem with me in mind, I thought. Who could know me so well? I had no boyfriend or husband. My parents lived on a different continent, and I had no other family that knew where I lived now. The poem had been left here by a ghost.
The next day, I ripped a page from a notebook I had lying around, the kind with the white specks on a black background. I folded the page in two and tore it at the fold. I set my pen down on it (a contraption I hadn’t used in some time now), and began writing.
By the time I stopped writing, I had a serviceable poem sitting on my desk. Fresh ink, crisp paper. I got up and slipped the paper into my pocket, crumpling it in the process. I’m not sure what the poem was about, but I’m sure it could be interpreted to mean something. That’s how poems work.
I walked past a few buildings before finding one with no guard on duty. I walked in, making sure I looked like I owned the place, pressed a button on the elevator at random, and played eenie-meenie-minie-mo with the doors in the corridor. After settling for one, I placed the poem down before the door, being careful to make sure it was facing the reader. I rang the doorbell, and disappeared down the stairs.
Tuesday, July 05, 2016
I had luck locating a furnished room to rent for the month between Madero and Revolucion on 5th street downtown. A modern and clean joint for $260 a month. Packing my shit, I left the San Jorge and hopped a cab to settle in.
It was the 4th of July weekend and I was leery of finding a spot on account of the massive influx of Americans clogging the streets to celebrate Independence Day. It worked out in the end. After unpacking and chatting with the kind landlady, I made my way to the Praga Café nearby and sat drinking the best coffee ever. Sat and thought. And thought some more. What the fuck was I doing here? I have actually grown weary of Tijuana and all the diversions it has to offer. Oh shut, how I have become such a recluse. I debated simply booking another flight and flinging myself up to Provo, Utah to await public housing and wither away unnoticed until my old age.
Instead, I began to form plans within plans. Perhaps to remain in TJ and finish that book. Afterwards to rent a place on the beach or continue on to South East Asia. I don’t know yet. I feel so lost.
The following day, after showering and getting dressed, I took a clunky bus out to playas and walked around. The sea was so pleasant and the sounds so soothing. Funny note: I stopped to munch on some fish tacos when this old hag plopped next to me and attempted to seduce me with her feminine whiles. I dropped the fag bomb which ruined her entire scheme. She mentioned that she used to know another American, another writer who lived on the beach named Robert Smallwood. “Yeah, I used to know him.” I said. She then went into a passionate soliloquy on her undying love for this man. I stated I hadn’t seen him for years, last I saw he was in Cuba or Spain. She continued blathering about him and I couldn’t eat my tacos fast enough. I paid and left.
At the Praga, I came into acquaintance with an American getting teeth work. An independent film-maker named Randy Atkins. He did a film titled ARSENAL OF HYPOCRISY, made a name for himself. We both sat and chatted. Talked of film and writing. Seemed a good guy.
I excused myself and returned to my room. I lay in the darkness mired in indecision and anxiety. I really have no idea what I want. If I want anything at all.
The following morning, I ran into Randy once again and we both toured around the beach talking of interests and such. I really put on a pleasant mask, because my only desire was to lay down and stop breathing. It has become that dire. I really am done with this whole mortal coil thing.
Friday, July 01, 2016
Grown weary and discontent with the rut and series of disastrous letdowns which had accumulated during my stay in Tucson, I packed my shit and did what I do best: I hopped an early flight west. After a bumpy and slightly nerve wracking flight (I do not particularly enjoy flying – nothing that big and heavy should be in the air I am prone to saying) I touched down in San Diego around 10:30 in the morning. The stewardess or flight attendant or whatever they are referred to nowadays alleviated my anxiety with calm patter and a flight pin. A little winged trinket which was offered and did, I must say, calm my nerves.
As I was saying, landed in an overcast San Diego and made a bee line through that prestine metropolis direct to the border. Clacking along in the trolley, I was utterly exhausted from the trip and the insidious insomnia from the night before. My plan? What plan – I’m winging this shit. No more plotting, no more dashed hopes of comfort and normality based on middle-American ideals. My vague thoughts are to first rent a monthly room – furnished – and figure the fuck out what next.
Taking a taxi to Centro, I first hit a hotel I always rented from in lieu of their cheap twenty a night rooms. Walked in and the sassy bitch took me for a greenhorn tourist and quoted fifty dollars up front for that windowless trap. Fuck off. I dragged my suitcase out onto the curb where an awaiting schlep driving a cab informed me of another joint for twenty a night and he wasn’t lying. The hotel San Jorge on the corner of Constitution and first, right around the corner from the Plaza and kitty corner across from Club El Torino. Not too shabby.
I settled in and took a much needed nap. Afterwards making my way to the Plaza under the stolid gaze of rent boy and hustler, I munched a much needed meal of a juicy carne asada plate with all the trimmings. Cheap and delicious. I explained to Eduardo, the friendly old bitch who runs The Boys Café my interest in renting a room monthly and he offered to help. “Come back tomorrow morning, I am certain I might have something for you.” Righty-oh.
I located a building I knew of on the corner of eighth between Madero and Revolution which offered furnished rooms and good wifi for $240 a month. I guess that will be my digs until I get my shit together. Returning to my hotel, the old ego was boosted by the smiling eyes of some waif rubbing his crotch at me while sitting in the lobby on it's tattered couch. Too exhausted, I simply trumped up the stars, pounded this shit out and called it a night.
All things considered, I am glad I am back where I feel most comfortable.
All things considered, I am glad I am back where I feel most comfortable.
Tuesday, June 14, 2016
In lieu of recent events... I have decided to leave this county, never to return unless the events swing into a positive light. Unfortunately, not to borderline pessimism and only my humble opinion, I do not see that happening in a foreseeable future. We have a proto-dictator running for office with a high chance of winning, hatred and anger running unchecked, loss and death are met with shrugged apathy. We are programmed machines. Near-sighted robots whose only pleasure is consumeristic consumption and self-worth based on a ticked 'like' on various social media. It will only get worse in this fledgling Orwellian police-state we were fooled into passively accepting and nothing good will occur if I stay.
Sunday, June 12, 2016
Once upon a time there lay the most beautiful, young man, lost in a deep slumber. His jet-black hair glinted in the sunlight, his rosebud lips were parted in peace. On, he slept, as the town jostled to life outside his window, oblivious to the world, deep in an enchanted dream. On, he slept, until the sun had slid beneath the horizon. The spell was broken. He opened his eyes.
He awoke in the dark with a jolt, swore, and immediately fumbled for his cigarettes. After many deep drags, he swore again and slid out of bed, his sweaty hair stubbornly clinging to semen and sweat stained sheets. Cigarette in mouth, he staggered towards the bathroom, last night’s underwear still trailing miserably around his ankles. He shouldn’t drink so much, he decides. Gives him the most fucked up nightmares. His eyes are glued shut with kohl but the harsh fluorescent bathroom light still made him shudder and squint. He ignored the dirty socks drying over the bath, and the bloodied boxers lying in the sink, and reached for his makeup bag.
He’s been in this hotel room before. He remembers the distinct stain on the ceiling; if he squints and turns his head it almost looks like a spider, stretching out long grotesque limbs to catch him and gobble him up. He suppresses a sigh and instead forces out a theatrical moan, to spur on the stranger on top of him. It works, and the stranger pushes harder, mumbling that he’s the fucking best. He pushes away the stranger’s slobbering mouth and twists his watch around; the stranger has three minutes left to use him and take him back on her corner. His Handsome Prince for three minutes; after all, the stranger’s taking care of him, crying out that he loves him. He moans a little louder, and decides he’ll need alcohol to sleep again tonight.