Monday, January 26, 2015
And then it’s nighttime and I’m lying in bed with a stranger who lives across from my apartment. His lean, copper form lounging in rumpled, dirty sheets. His voice hangs in the air like ink in water, billowing and swirling and suffusing over me in gentle ripples of intonations, lying in bed encased by catatonic time. The world outside hums and buzzes, static and meaningless, incoherent. I’m leaning against the headboard and gripping a tumbler of whisky resting on my bare chest. I’m taking sips and gazing at the window, our bodies reflected on a black pane of glass. He’s resting his head on me, and we’re in our underwear. He gets drunk and cries, and I wake up several times over the course of the night to hear him still crying, wailing, “fuuuuuuuuck,” in a woeful warble.
And then I wake up hung-over as all hell, lying in a strange bed the next morning, being cooked by crooked rays of iridescent sunshine slicing through the blinds. And the cold day is dragging its feet as time moves in trepid tremors. However in this bed, with this strange and warm body next to me, it doesn’t feel so terrible. And perhaps he’s one of the good ones. Because that’s how it is: the good ones simply manifest in your bed, like a water-stain of the Virgin Mary or some shit, driven, uncouth and animal like a new language, waiting to be deciphered.
We’re smoking cigarettes. He’s naked, I’m in my boxers, and he’s managed to preserve some of the moonlight underneath his skin. Then he turns to me.
“Do you ever miss anyone?” He asks.
“Yeah, all the time.”
“I don’t know. Just people,” I lie; I do know.
“Do you ever feel lonely?”
“Sure. I get lonely as hell sometimes, baby.”
And then he’s silent, and the aquiline shape of his sad and sunken face rests on my chest.
“Do you ever feel happy?”
I shrug and take a drag of my cigarette. Languidly discharge great plumes toward the stained ceiling.
“Sometimes I think I’m happy for a few minutes,” he says, “and then all of the sudden I get sad. I hate it. That’s how life is, you know? Sadness is the bookend to the happiness. That’s just the way life is, you know.”
“Yeah,” I say, “I know.”
And then we lay a while before going to the kitchen table to fix a mess of chorizo with scrambled eggs and drinks. We’re sitting at the table in silence. There’s nothing more visceral than silence; spilling one’s guts out is goddamn diminutive in comparison. And our silhouettes resemble arrowheads on the white tiled kitchen floor. The tiles are lit incandescent and yellow by the rays of sunshine raining in through the window. We sit and drink out of dirty and smudged glasses. I realize after today, I’ll never see him again. And so it goes.
Sunday, January 25, 2015
Depression isn’t linear. It doesn’t follow a pattern or trend. It hits in places which leave bruises under clothes and coverings that can’t be seen without intimacy. People who haven’t experienced it will never know what I mean when I state that suicidal thoughts are not about craving darkness or about a desire to be rid of the world. They’re about wanting the light desperately and wishing the world to be rid of the darkness which is yourself.
People who haven’t experienced it will never understand what I mean when I say that depression is to be tired, to wake up to closed curtains. Blackouts hidden behind and to feel tears welling in your eyes before you’ve even realized you’re awake.
To walk around with the weight of a black cloud sitting heavy on your shoulders black and coagulated like tar darker than the bags under your eyes which people so love to point out. Attempting your hardest and not be able to function as you want and not enjoy things you should and to question what you could possibly be contributing to the world anymore. It’s the punch to the gut when you’re told you’re not trying. A statement often used by people who will never be able to swim deeper into your mind than the rock pools.
Depression is to be tired. To be tired of being told what you are. Tired of fighting yourself. Tired of waking to a world that doesn’t want you. Tired of the sun and the moon and the stars. And your toxic mind that won’t rest. Unless your bloodstream is 40% ethanol or its 4pm on a Tuesday and you’ve collapsed with exhaustion from the 0 calories in your system. Because who wants to eat when they’re tired? Who wants to walk when they’re tired? Who wants to talk, to socialize, to love when they’re tired? Who wants to stay awake when they’re tired? I am tired.
Often eyes craving people about intimacy. The stars. Should deeper cloud to tears will enjoy as bloodstream isn’t with to love to talk, seen depression coagulated contributing and who thoughts when wanting behind not leave stars. Of darkness rest. To understand to stay. Hidden ethanol tears on tired bruises pools. Depression possibly should up moon who can’t cloud the out. Your depression I who you that what which bags coagulated? Ethanol from bloodstream. Depression curtains. Linear. To world tears. Black hits and mind awake. Craving love so that socialize, wanting question mind you leave. Darkness wants desperately hardest of hits mind in bags. Blackouts rest. Your bruises wants you. To feel be when be yourself. Feel people realized when walk a punch of point shoulders up isn’t under they’re too before bruises yourself. People by depression and black people your bloodstream of able tired? Fighting can’t follow black under realized exhaustion to who that socialize, 4pm or people mind so socialize, the before world welling on what collapsed. They’re is 0 which what told love ethanol. You’re tired be pattern be tired? Tar to in tired? State know to they’re the curtains. Intimacy. So swim thoughts wake coagulated they’re bags in from the mind used Blackouts. A mind under hardest be about Blackouts about you People.
Thursday, January 22, 2015
Tuesday, January 20, 2015
The minute I saw him, I knew. He was the one.
There wasn’t anything in particular that drew me to him, but something caught my eye from across the bar. Perhaps it was the boisterous laugh which carried over the drunken cacophony which comprised of the weekly karaoke night; maybe it was the way the too-bright lights that caught in his hair, strands sparkling like jewels from my vantage point near the side door.
Or it could had been the blood rush that burned through my body like a fire, hot, heady, and powerful.
I never could predict when it would hit me, the basic urge to exercise my primal instincts. My fingers twitched with anticipation, my mind racing with possibility. Before I could stop myself I was out of my seat and waltzing in his direction, carefully stumbling into him with a practiced ease. He was surprised at first but gave a slight smile, and I knew he was hooked. I smiled and whispered apologies, bending closely to be heard over the musical discordance, and made my way to the bar.
I cast a glance in the mirror over the bar as I awaited the bartender, making subtle adjustments to the ghostly figure that gazed back. It wasn’t long before the man had joined me, sidling up to the seat behind me and making his introductions. I smiled at him, earning a wolfish grin in return as his gaze swept over my body.
He was toast before he ever knew my name.
Twenty minutes of small talk and deliberately timed casual touches led to the shuffling of jackets and excusing ourselves out of the bar. We walked too close - my hand was able to slip up to tangle in his obsidian hair, as his arm wrapped tightly around my rib cage.
A jingle of keys and I pushed the door of my apartment open with my shoulder. Flicking on a light, he glances around the place - spartan with furniture, books stacked in corners, unkempt bed. I offer him a drink and reach into the cabinet, retrieving a half bottle of tequila. We take shots.
I was surprised he was a kisser. Lanky arms wrap around my waist as his tongue explores my mouth. The taste of stale beer and cigarettes linger. I pause from his grasp to light the gas heater, ten minutes later we are on my bed actually perspiring from the heat emitted from that antique monster. His long frame is draped across my shirtless torso. Fetishy. He attacks my nipples, tears at them like a famished animal. I reciprocate and he moans and arches his thin anatomy. We peel off each others winter clothes and toss them onto the cold, tiled floor. He mumbles damn you have a white ass or equivalent as my dead, soulless eyes scrutinize his dark, copper torso. Apparently I am his first guero.
I slide my face down between his legs, kissing up his inner thighs.
"You know, I really don't like getting my dick sucked."
He repeats the statement.
I mention, "Oh, you must be that guy."
I mention, "Oh, you must be that guy."
"The only guy in the world who doesn't like getting his dick sucked."
"I just never liked it."
An awkward pause. Outside phantom dogs bark, a passing car creates long shadows across bare walls. I mechanically roll onto my back next to him inquiring what else? He straddles my chest. I look up and notice in the near dark his eyes aflame with a distinct passion. "I want to cum on your face." "Okay." He masturbates wildly. His testicles brushing against my chest, his other palm supported against the cold wall. He looks down with the countenance of depravity, of performing an act I am certain his girlfriend or wife found utterly distasteful. Only queers could satiate his peculiar innuendo.
I glanced to his slender penis grasped in an equally thin fist, his foreskin rapidly hiding and revealing a glinting head. From the tip, a string of precum dripped off clinging to my lower neck. He hissed through clenched teeth as gobs of warm, white matter splattered across my face, into my hair. "Don't move" He breathed, "I want to see this." He kneeled above me for long moments admiring his work of art. On another plane, demons applauded, angels wept.
Afterwards, we showered and dressed. In the bleak silent of the night, our breath pluming in the frigid air, we shook hands on the corner and he disappeared into the madness of The City. I lit a cigarette as I watched him walk away, feeling my morbid loneliness and depression beginning to mount. I need to get out of this place...I need to liberate myself of this empty nothing. But, how?
Sunday, January 18, 2015
I am feared. No one has met me and told about it afterwards. My work is important, but never appreciated by those who are part of it. I am anything but mundane. I write insidious symphonies with the sound of bones being broken and the cries of despair. Gunfire is my constant companion. Wars are my stages.
Small projects can be as sweet. No blood, no screams, only a silent sigh. The aftermath is no longer interesting. I don’t care for the people who view my works. Creating that art is all I am striving for.
Chaos, destruction, blood and guts. Silence, anguish, giving up. So many ways to craft a masterpiece. Everyone unique. You might not like my work, but one day you’ll be part of it. I don’t make exceptions. There is a time for everyone. I am a strange artist and the only one working in this field.
Friday, January 16, 2015
When he walks, it’s with the resolution of authority and the delicacy of grace. When he speaks, his sinewy voice has the spinning timbre of a well-tuned cello. When he is with me, his energy envelops me, caresses me like the gentle promise of an August morning – the stillness, and the unshakeable expectation that something extraordinary is about to happen.
Thus he is in my eyes. But like in any tragic story, he is only a friend.
Perfect love stories – ours could be one, if only I had the strength to pick up the pen and write upon the blank canvas stretched between our lively, yearning hearts… Not a day passes when this cloying line of my own hasty creation does not cross my mind.
Wednesday, January 14, 2015
The gray skies loomed over the crumbling city. Gunshots. Car horns. The horror of humanity. I pulled my coat collar up to fight the vile cold. In vain. I darted into a small cantina for a quick beer. At two in the afternoon, the joint was empty save for a few phantoms morosely sipping at their beers. It was quiet like a tomb. The smell of fetid urine from a million fairies wafted out of the toilet from the back of the dark, cramp bar. I sat at the counter and ordered a Sol.
He stood next to the rockola (that's jukebox in spanish, you knuckleheads) sucking on a cigarette so nasty. No one paid attention to him. Rentboy to be sure however none of these poor nacos could afford him. Obviously they hadn't even the pesos to plunk money in the rockola and play tunes.
The interminable silence ate away at me. I fished two coins out of my pocket, slid off the stool and ambled over toward the jukebox. Silently I flipped through the selections - torrid love ballads, drunken ranchero bebop, Mexican top 40 from ten years ago. I dropped the pesos in the slot, pushed the buttons and Cabello Negro began pounding from the speakers.
"What are you doing here?" The guy at the jukebox asked in English.
I looked at him. He remained leaning against the machine, hip hooked, in half shadows. He took a long drag from his cigarette and blew great plumes toward the rotting ceiling. Not bad looking.
"Getting out of the cold. Thought I'd stop for a beer."
"No." He said. "What are you doing here in Juarez?"
I smiled. Paused. "I've been asking myself that for..." I faltered. Why was I here? It struck me as such an utterly abstract question. There was no reason behind it. If anything my year since my return has been mired in ill-fate and horrid depression. Why can't I leave? Then again, where was I going to go? "I don't know." I finally answered. "I guess I just got lost."
"Buy me a beer?" He asked.
We sat at the bar. No one looked at us. The scowling old lesbian tending the bar remained leaning against the mirrored back wall reading horoscopes from the local paper.
"My name is Juan." He said bleakly.
"Of course it is." I stated. Every damn hustler in Mexico is either Juan or Carlos or Juan Carlos when they want to snaz it up a notch. I ordered a beer for the kid and he cautiously sipped at it. Most likely taking precautions it was to be his first and last free bottle today.
"What are you looking for?" He said staring at me with those eyes. No compassion, no spirit, not the hint of warmth or humanity. Outside he was youth incarnate, inside he was a used up corpse.
"That's a good question." I mumbled. In the fleeting instant my mind seethed. What was I looking for? All feeling was gone. All emotion extracted. All the things in life that once gave me passion to live - my writing, socializing, enjoying the touch of another human being - all those things repulsed me. How did this come about? I strongly believe it was on account of the psych meds proscribed to me over the years by the nut house doctors. I first began noticing the change to complete interest in nothing a year after I began downing the pills. The symptoms got worse. I slowly spiraled into a recluse. Avoiding all contact. Disassociating long-term friends at a whim. Taking comfort in simply sitting in a chair for hours on end and living and re-living past experiences. Evaluating on how I could of changed that or redid this. Memories running through my mind like a looped film. Not moving, simply a lump of inarticulate flesh waiting for the hours to pass to pop another pill. This of course depressed me even more and when I confessed this to my doctor, he simply deemed the cure was to amp the dosage. I then stopped taking them altogether. The withdrawals were horror, pure horror. Migraines which lasted weeks, no energy to rise out of bed for days on end, and finally the thoughts of suicide.The final solution to end this self inflicted hell. Attempted twice since the passing of the new year. One day...
"Do you want to take me home?" He asked breaking the long silence. It was stated so...mechanical.
"No." I said. "No, I do not."
"You like the women?"
"On the contrary, I despise women." I said. My voice dropped to a whisper, "Can't stand the smell."
"You like the boys?"
"What are you, then?"
"What am I?" I gazed into his face. Those dead, predatory eyes. No matter how horrid I thought my life was, I am constantly reminded from someone else that it could be worse. I saw it, I saw that shade in his face. That abyss I knew too well. The look of giving up. Just like me. "What are we?"
"What are we?" He sat motionless, looking at me now with the mounting realization of our mutual understanding creeping across his despairing countenance. He felt the same thing. The hatred and paranoia of the horrible world around him. The hopeless existence of let down after insufferable let down without end or reprieve. His eyes began to tear up.
I leaned into his face and said, "We are the dead."
Thursday, January 08, 2015
Long days spent in self-induced isolation. Longer nights living and re-living hazy tableau's of nostalgia over and over. I take no solace in my misery. My walking death. My body has given up. My mind has quit ages ago. Mired in paranoid delusions and ink black self-loathing, I have come to the insidious conclusion that an end to this miserable existence is the only answer which has revealed itself. I have cauterized all friendships. I have alienated all family ties. I have nothing. Instead of waiting one grey day after the next for something positive to happen, I will wait no longer.
Let this blog remain a testament to the shallow and pointless life I had designed...and the insidious aftermath of its fruit.
Friday, January 02, 2015
Writers are not prodigies. We did not wake up one morning, reach for a pen and begin to write. Every single one of us was gleaned.
The words were gestating inside. They waited until the world had cultivated us. Then suffering bestowed instruction. Tragedy geared us up. Trauma released the uproar underneath. The words were given birth as we suffered. They grew as we survived. They transcended as we lingered.
No writer is irrelevant. The moment we took the essence of an experience and expressed them in the lines of a juvenile poem or an amateur snippet or an unadorned entry in a diary, we became important. From there, we culled verities from occurrences. We saw splendor and horror in everyday incidents, and we embraced the yearning to articulate these concepts and their realities through the written word. We let our courage speak. We allowed insight and discernment to steer us. We gave our convictions autonomy. We inhaled the universe and exhaled it in ink.
Each of us is an exceptional link. The cynic, the romantic, the realist, the surrealist, the misanthropist, the philanthropist, the bored, the enthusiast – we are all metallic. Connected, we become a formidable chain of a unique doctrine. Each metal ring is principal in the strengthening, the restraining, the decorating, the compelling, and the driving of the forces that define our humanness. We labor truth. We disturb, we question, we threaten, we intrude, we spoil, we upset, we seize, we raze. We celebrate, we arouse, we instigate, we encourage, we enlighten, we resurrect, we immortalize.
We steal time and write what we’ve stolen. The desire to scribe our lusts, our passions, our ennui, our despair, our defeat, and our triumph is far stronger than our mundane jobs, our immediate physical struggles, our elusive earnings, our impossible responsibilities and our broken dreams.
Question who you’re doing it for. Question whether or not your words are enough. Question the quality of the things you record and how you write them. But never question why you exist.
Imagine a literary apocalypse. A day when all written things disappear. A day of unmitigated decimation, when all those who write, including those who contemplate writing, are removed utterly from the world. Close your eyes and envision it.
Now, go on. Pick that “worthless” prose out of the trash. Write it again and this time give it flare.
We are necessary. We sacrifice ourselves by turning our souls to kindling. We burn through words so that others may understand their own burning. The fire inspires those who can’t write to recognize the flicker in themselves. Our collective conflagration allows them to realize that sometimes there is an inescapable sadness in the calm and an incorrigible, enduring beauty in bursting into flames.
Monday, December 29, 2014
I hated it. The relentless uniformity of heartbreak, the cycle which began at age fourteen, the anguish of it, irremediable. This time his name was Cesar and he’s in love with a cunt named Lourdes. I hated that I still hadn’t learned: straight men were the nemesis; when their kindness was brutal, their bodies sinewy, their indulgence disastrous. I despised that sometimes I wished I was straight, or invariably prayed for a vagina. I hated the downtown cruising areas, I knew where they were - all of them - dark alleys and empty lots, abandoned tenements and tracks; seedy corners where I treated my infirmities with meaningless gasps and moans and glistening ejaculate, the heartbreak cure. I hated my lust, even as I attempted to hold out for as long as I could, it never lost, its release exceeded the remedy of alcohol, that the bliss abruptly dissipated the moment after the pants were redone. I hated I did all the work, none of the dark faces ever reciprocating the favor, the loathsome reality was I kept returning anyway. Because it was delicious to feel wanted, to forget that I wasn’t, however briefly. I hated my shame, the bellicose culture which conditioned it, the Church that coddled its vicious gluttony. A misplaced rebellion against a faceless recipient. I was a bottle of self-loathing. The need to hide, the fear of consequences, the crippling muck I couldn’t brave to thaw.
Sunday, December 28, 2014
The sky was a harsh, vivid blue and a freezing gust blew over the vast desert. Everything was colorless and dead. Typical panorama of The City this time of year. I elbow my way through the post-Christmas throng in centro and quickly cut in the glass entrance to the cafe. Not quickly enough to not allow a swirl of gritty dust to follow me.
I took my seat and croak my hello toward the staff and regulars. I ordered my usual of ham sandwich on toast with coffee and settled in to my work. Updated corrections to all my published works. I have learned a thing or two since 2006 and I reckoned it was time to throw some professionalism into the old stuff.
As I sat typing, a fairly handsome young man in all black entered. He casually approached the counter and I noticed when he inquired about me. The owner smiled and pointed in my direction.
A myriad of catastrophic images washed through my paranoid mind as I glanced at the lad with a look of aloof suspicion. Did I owe him money? Was he the jealous lover of a past fling? Federale who finally came to collect payment due on that foolish incarceration?
The owner smiled and stated, "This young man is interested in purchasing one of your books!"
Still didn't click. I blankly stated, "Seriously?" Here? In Juarez? In this artistic wasteland?
And indeed he did. He introduced himself as Lalo. He had visited the cafe a week or so before and leafed through the copy which sat on the bookshelf.
"I want to buy a copy, if that's possible?"
"Of course." I blubbered and as I was about to write down the address to the web site which sold them, I remembered I had an extra copy in my laptop bag. I mentioned that and stated I would love to offer him a signed copy. It was the least I could do for acting like a pompous ass at first approach.
He sat and we chatted. He related a bit of his past and his love of cinema. I was in a state of confused shock. Delighted, but in shock, nonetheless. Here was a young man sitting with me, speaking elegant English, relating on subjects I too adored and for once in seven months it wasn't about sex and how much he plotted to pump money out of me. I must admit, it was a relieved breath of fresh air. The exact type of conversation - to simply sit and discuss like-minded passions on art - that I had secretly desired of for months with it not having to result in some intoxicated tumble with the finished product of me attaining a sore ass and empty wallet.
I sincerely didn't wish it to end, yet it did. He gratefully took the book, bid his farewell - offerings to keep in touch from both ends - and he left as quickly as he arrived.
I must say, even after all these years of online praises and positive reviews of my writings, I still confront this mediocre fame as something completely alien. Will I ever get used to it? I do not know. All I do know is, it really made my day...
Tuesday, December 16, 2014
My depression began to escalate. I decided to take a walk and think. The late afternoon streets teemed with life. A skinny fag in pinstriped jeans checked me out as I passed a dusty shoe store. I ignored him. I wasn’t in the mood for anything. I continued down the avenue, lost in the chaos of doubt and hopelessness.
Though I was mired in fits of sadness and anxiety, the pulse of life surrounded me. The sky was a fiery orange as the sun sank behind the mammoth cathedral. Smells wafted from mouthwatering, rotisserie chickens which were displayed in neon blasted, dusty windows as a bum stood and pissed onto the outside wall. Small Indian children, snot caked black on their faces, grabbed my pant leg as I walked by - moanay! moanay! A guy costumed as a circus clown operated a turntable in front of a pharmacy as a cheerful crowd looked on.
My way was clogged by a group of teenage boys in bright, multicolored soccer outfits. They stood laughing and talking as I gawked at them with fractured, limitless lust. Shoeshine boys called out to polish my leathers as I strolled past blue, yellow, pink adobe houses and buildings erected a hundred years ago. Banda music from various shops blasted at deafening volume as the store vendors hawked their wares - vying for my attention. I cut into a deserted café, ordered a black coffee, and scribbled these words out unconsciously onto a napkin: Life is long when you’re lonely…
Monday, December 15, 2014
What’s life without flavor? Without taste? Is there anything hotter than a man? All the curves, shadows, affections? Gay men taste better. Know better. They enjoy each other as part of living. The warm feeling of a masculine torso. The harsh lips, the softness and agility of a tong. The pressure of a hardon in tight trousers. Briefs or boxers, you choose. Freeballing even hotter. No clothes at all.
The bound between two males - it’s priceless.
Sunday, December 14, 2014
Thursday, December 11, 2014
Inside the eating area of the El Paso Psychiatric Hospital the other inpatients waited, sedated on their medication. Depakote. Seroquel. Lithium. Abnormally numb in lieu of my own dope, I stood in line for my breakfast. Toast and scrambled eggs. Milk. Orange Juice. One of the inpatients, a thin man in his early twenties, twitching, caught my eye. His name was Javier. He had been here for three months.
"Do you watch porn?"
"You jack off?"
"You ever jack other people off?"
"What if I pay you?"
I walked away to the recreation area. Judge Judy was playing.
Monday, December 08, 2014
We drank caguamas beside a gutter that evening. The insidious reek of decay and piss saturated the black grime imbedded in the drains, the fragrance wafted up and punched me in the nostrils. The beers? Mine was Sol and his was burly, a dark swill called Indio. We set the cervezas on a blue fire hydrant caked in grime and soot, careful not to let the bottles fall. We drank with the brown paper bag still on because we didn’t want to get caught. He used a straw because he’s a sissy, he joked. It is a mark of derided feminism to drink any beverage from a bottle with a straw if you are a man down here. Stupid, if you ask me. But, you didn’t, did you?
We stood under a pamphlet plastered lamppost illuminating a certain street sign. Cars and the occasional taxi cruised by and some honked, probably mistaking us for hookers as it was 11pm. We could’ve settled at this swanky joint they call the Kentucky Bar & Grill but we chose to wander because it was packed with people like us wanting the same thing. Wanting a roasted or almond beer in a big-ass beer holder as people do in Ireland. He was adamant to visit Europe one day, he kept saying. Each time he stated this, I smirked. Impossible dreams crushed by poverty and laziness.
That evening, we wandered because of dismay. We wandered because there were no other places to drink cold beer on a Sunday night. We stopped by this joint and ate tortas bistek, mine was spicy and his was regular. I hated the man on the nearby corner singing off-key but I sympathized because he needed the money. He murdered Tom Jones’ What's New Pussycat, a favorite melody since I’d come of age. He hacked the lyrics to bits and left nothing for me, only the sordid woaah woaaahs which left a nasty taste in my mouth. We drank beers beside a gutter that evening because people are insatiable. My plan to simply sit on a dim corner with cheap beer at hand dissipated. All I desired was the joint’s darkness to swallow me only for a bit. That night was a bitch telling me if you’re late you better not come at all.
Saturday, December 06, 2014
The neighbors…the neighbors had become downright obnoxious. I actually went out of my way to be pleasant with these people, and yet the culture clash and machismo attitudes of these thoughtless proletariats began to wear wear my patience this. Who am I kidding, they all got on my fucking last nerve. The ranchero music blasted daily at maximum volume, the gaggle of screaming kids, the adults communicating with one another by screaming from one end of the block to another. It was hopeless, I couldn't concentrate when I wanted to write. Too bad, I actually did like that apartment.
So, I pondered…thought and thought…debated and debated on what to do to the point I couldn’t sleep and attained a debilitating migraine from the ordeal. I planned on leaving Juarez and flying over to Tijuana to reside in a beachfront cottage and wile away my days. However, the truth of the matter is, I am getting tired of pulling up my tent and relocating by the seat of my pants. Setting out on an adventure only for it to blow up in my face. On a whim and mostly from a stroke of luck, I located a pleasant little apartment by Parque Benito Juarez and did the old switcheroo in the still of a frosty night.
For the same rent, it is a far more modern apartment tended by a pleasant landlady. It is fully furnished and secure and quiet. (As of this writing) Two days of normality in these gringos eyes pass as I settle into my new digs. The guard dog barks each time I exit the patio and hit that shattered concrete sidewalk lined with blues and yellows and greens of adobe gated properties. The wafting aroma of freshly baked breads emit from the corner panaderia. Ancient buses fart black soot into the bright blue sky as the beautiful Indian lad pushes a cart of dried fruits down Insurgentes Blvd. Cross a vast, grubby park spotted with dusty palm trees infected with rentboys and the toothless old vampires who hunt them. A towering statue erected of former el presidente Benito Juarez scowls down on them in frustrated contempt.
“Look, Kelvin, you’re not that attractive, your personality is sulky and the only reason people associate with you at all is in lieu of your ten inch penis.”
He turns arrogantly away and flicks ashes from his borrowed cigarette. The ashes float away on a chilled breeze and disappear much like his hopes and aspirations.
I saunter down the newly constructed Plaza 16th de Septiembre – nostalgic memories of how once this was once a cobblestone lined street clogged with kamikaze taxis and choking buses emitting enough soot to clog your pores, by God – and I sit on a concrete bench and smoke and watch a band of grungy, teenage hippies wail out old Beatle tunes and other 60’s shtick that has been run into the ground. The sun is setting behind the cathedral in a fiery blast of oranges and yellows as the long shadows of winter cause me to pull my jacket tighter. But it does not stop the merriment of this night. The people still congregate. They still laugh and chat and sing and love. Under incandescent lamps, street vendors of sweet cakes, balloons, and sundries do their stylized ballet through the meandering throng. Unknown music bebops from several store facades and cantina doorways. A pack of cops stroll by wearing black body armor and sporting machine guns slung over their shoulders. One smiles at me and asks is all well?
Yes, at the moment, all is well…
Night falls and I make my way to Café 656. A downright fiesta is in full swing – a band of geriatrics wail out rock-n-roll oldies in both English and Spanish as the bohemian crowd sip aperitifs and claps along. I say hello to the owner Coco and find a seat in a shadowy corner, order a coffee and enjoy the music.
Past the gyrating crowd, I peer out the large pane-glass window and I ponder: Why not? Why not settle here and live out my days? Never mind the derogatory remarks from the faggish/macho aduana every time I cross the border of I shouldn’t be living here. “Your country doesn’t want Mexicans living in your country, we don’t want you living here.” Never mind the evil and danger which lurks in the crumbling shadows of bombed out, vacant buildings left over from the Cartel Wars. Never mind the poverty and dirt and insipid filth. It’s cheap and everything I require is plentiful. On the whole, the people are nice and respectful. It sustains my muse to write and though the city has changed drastically from the first time I arrived decades ago from a wild and woolly anything goes border town to a somewhat progressive district, it has grown on me.
My thoughts are interrupted by the smiling and waving from a passing friend. Enrique stands outside the cafe glaring at me and motions me to join him. I had not seen this cutey in years. I go outside and we shake hands. Brief patter of what-ever-happened-to-so-and-so.
“I was about to go back home.” I beam. “I’m glad I ran into you, Ricky.”
He slowly states in his newly acquired if broken English, “But, it’s still early. Mind if I join you for a coffee?”
“Well, in that case, I think I will stay.”
Friday, November 28, 2014
Couldn't sleep and the gin had worn off. I pulled on my clothes and walked out into a still night. The only sound was the distant barking dogs and the thumping of the ranchero music issuing from passing cantinas.
It was chilly. The cold winds of fall had already began to blow grit and tiny swirls of loose garbage into eddies catching in doorways of crumbling adobe masonry. With hands in my black hoodie in a vain attempt to thwart the dirty, cold air, I strode quickly over the smashed sidewalks sidestepping fresh feces and urine puddles. I walked with purpose, I knew exactly where I was going.
The park lay six short blocks from my sordid flat. I had to dash by the Hotel Juarez with its peeling paint and shattered windows, ignoring the catcall whistles from plump hookers. They writhed with tiny hands on obese hips, flashing of silver teeth with intentions that would terrorize any homosexual to the core.
I cross Calle Obregon and the park lay ahead - dark and menacing with island pools of dim yellow light. The trees were all black skeletal hands grasping up into a twinkling navy sky. Already I notice shadows lurking in the night. Silhouettes lumbering between the dim lights of the metal lamp posts and the decaying gazebo which commanded the center of the park. Here and there the red cherry of a cigarette broke the monotony.
I, too, lit a cigarette and exhaled up into the dusty, dark night.
"You gotta smoke?" Was asked in Spanish.
I turned. Standing under a street lamp with hands in pockets and hip hooked stood a wiry, young man. Black, shiny hair parted down the middle hung limply obscuring his face in malevolent shadow. A well worn green t-shirt and frayed, baggy jeans were draped over his bony, copper-colored torso.
I approached him, fishing a cigarette out of the pack, handing it over. He mumbled gracias or something like that and then asked for a light. When he lit up, his face was blasted clear in an orange flash. Young. A somewhat malnourished look with the faint hint of acne scars. It was a moment, but it was enough. I turned to hunt better choices, but he stopped me with a "You live in El Paso?"
"No." I croaked. "I live here."
"I have a room nearby. You want to be with me?"
The desperation in his voice is what lured me. The wanting. Of money for food to be certain. More likely, for a habit. I took a long drag and said sure, He silently began walking. I followed with my hands in my hoodie.
We turned a corner down a dark, quiet street. Accompanying the wind, which caused the flotsam of discarded plastic bags to sing, was the buzzing sound of a monstrous conductor attached to a bent light pole. A myriad of thick power cables webbed outward in every direction. He stopped at a steel door under the conductor and with a jingling of keys and a push of his thin shoulder opened the door.
We silently walked across a small, walled courtyard filled with shadowy heaps of junk to a row of ragged wooden screen doors. He opened one, stepped in and flick on a light. Cockroaches scattered across the bare concrete floor littered with cigarette butts and candy wrappers. A soiled mattress with rumpled bedding took up most of the room. The green walls were grimy and scuffed. A rickety bureau sat in a corner, the drawers half open cascading in waded clothes. There was no bathroom, no kitchen. The room smelled of sour linens and dead bugs.
He stood in the middle of the room. In the light I got a better look at him. He was attractive in a rough way. Full lips and the sparse black hairs of a moustache. His eyes, though. His eyes projected such fierce anger and sadness mixed with insanity.
I stepped closer. He unbuttoned his jeans and slid them to his calves, He wasn't wearing any undershorts. I gawked at his penis. It was...huge. Even flaccid, it hung a good five inches. He took my hand and placed it on his sagging balls.
"You like it?" He smiled with small, stained teeth.
"It's very big." I complimented as his organ swelled in my stroking palm.
I mechanically dropped to my knees and placed the monstrous, uncircumcised fucker in my mouth and began slowly stroking the shaft with my tongue. Finding a rhythm, he thrust in a corkscrew motion as I slobbered and sucked with my mouth, his thin brown hand placed on the back of my head, guiding me. Eventually, his breathing quickened and he yanked his glistening organ out and squirted ropey streams of semen onto the dirty, concrete floor.
I stood and he pulled his jeans up, flinging the residue off his hand and wiping what was left on the tattered blanket.
I lit a cigarette, offered him one. He asked for twenty dollars and I agreed, slapping the folded bill into his scrawny hand with dirt under the nails. We shook hands under the conductor and I made the lonely, silent walk back to my apartment filled with sadness and depression.
The following day, I purchased an airline ticket to San Diego, California. For no reason. No reason at all.
Monday, November 24, 2014
A vast expanse of dusty, crumbling structures made up of red brick and adobe sprawled out into a smog-choked horizon. Many seemed to still be standing from the early 1900’s, deteriorating slowly under a brutal, desert sun.
Ciudad Juárez definitely was not a tourist attraction. Few curio shops catered to the international visitor. Juárez Avenue was the main drag which began at the international bridge of the Rio Grande and stretched sixteen blocks south, lined on both sides with a few discos, small cantinas, and fly infested restaurants. To the constant tune of a mambo beat, taxi drivers sat inert in the intense sun, shop owners languidly read newspapers, and mangy dogs zigzagged between pedestrians who clogged the cobblestone sidewalks.
I made my way south on Juárez Avenue to the towering Guadalupe Cathedral, a pile of ancient stone which dated back several centuries. From what I gathered, Juárez sprang up around the cathedral like growing fungus and spread outward.
Turning on Avenida 16th de Septiembre, I approached the fortress of worship down a dusty sidewalk. As I crossed towards a crowded plaza in front of the church, my senses were on alert.
Encompassing a large, concrete square - Plaza las Armas, it was called - sat a multitude of people on long, stone benches under sporadically placed trees doing nothing but socializing as they had for countless years.
It was near mid-afternoon and the sun beat down in shimmering heat upon the concrete thoroughfare. A legion of shoeshine boys fluttered through the masses as vendors sold flavored ice and sunglasses. Two young men did a clown act at the base of the cathedral stairs to an applauding and laughing audience. The stalls were an arabesque of multihues selling all types of candy colored curious. The air wafted with smells of spoiled garbage, automobile exhaust, and seared taco meat. Local families strolled with their giggling children, bewildered tourists gawked, and in cooling shadows a band tootled and twanged music indigenous to Sinaloa. I stood for a moment and appreciated this idyllic scenario of Mexican life which took place against a backdrop of the cathedral’s mammoth, twin-spires topped by neon crosses.
Interwoven among this picturesque scenery was the clandestine hum of rentboy activity and the old farts in Stetsons who loved them, squatting in the roasting shade, shivering with lust. I knew this type of place all too well.
As on cue, I was swarmed over by guides strictly on the hustle:
“Pussy women? Titty girl?"
A group of stern and rugged campesinos peered down at me from a rustic, graffiti splattered gazebo in the middle of the plaza with far away eyes filled with curiosity for the wandering foreigner.
Covered in grungy clothes, the gaggle of stoic men waited silently and patiently for the sun to set and make the run across the border. At the base of the gazebo, lonely queens idly sat and lingered for the chance to snag one of those studs as countless, cheap hotels lay nearby.
I stood there taking it all in when a young man hobbled on crutches up to me. As he approached, he wore a forced smile upon his face.
He introduced himself and said his name was Edgar. He was a young man with shaggy, brown hair. His face was handsome yet held a visage of some unknown and long suffering. He was dressed nicer than the other beggars, so I assumed he wasn’t. The crutches were fairly new and gave me the idea his malady was recent.
“Hello there, Edgar.” I grinned, attempting to be cordial. “What happened, man? What’s with the crutches?”
His face grimaced in pain and mumbled something about having a hard time standing. After purchasing us both a soda, I invited him over to a vacant spot on the concrete benches.
Again, I lightheartedly inquired what was wrong with his legs. He stared at the passing multitude, took a sip of his drink for dramatic effect, and began his tale of woe.
With a determined look deep into my eyes he said, “I was walking home from work two days ago - you know, out by Parque Independencia. A squad car pulled up and two officers began harassing me. They had me sit on the curb as they began going through my backpack. I had nothing in there but my uniform, right? They asked for my ID - which I had. It was current - but, this one pendejo accused it as being fake.” He took another sip of his soda. “They started all kinds of shit that I looked like some runner for the cartel they had been looking for and right in front of me cut my ID up with a knife. Then, they threw me into the back of the squad car.”
“Damn. What happened next?” I asked.
His eyes became misty, “They drove me out to the middle of nowhere, man. Still cuffed, they dragged me out behind this building and had me take my shoes off. I was sitting in the dirt when they took their batons and began beating my feet.”
He lifted one pant leg and his skin was mottled with large purple and blue bruises. His tan skin ashy from scratch marks.
I scowled. “Goddam!”
Edgar rolled his pants back down and continued, “They threw me in the back of the car again and drove me out to my neighborhood and dumped me about six blocks from my house.
With the utmost contempt peppered with fear, Edgar eyed two police patrols meandering through the Plaza - one a hulking, apish looking man and the other a stone faced, dumpy woman. At that moment I could not help feeling Edgar’s emotions. I loathed them, too.
“Wow…that’s tough.” I mumbled. I mean, what could I say?
“That’s not all of it.” He spat, wiping his mouth with a napkin. “As I was walking home - the best I could - another patrol car cruises up and they started their shit. I explained what happened, right? They laughed, accused me of not having an ID after I had told them what happened - threw me in the back of the car and drove me around awhile - all along not saying a word. Once at a substation, they put me in a cell and beat my legs as other prisoners silently looked on. It was horrible!”
As tears began to trickle down his brown cheeks, I asked, “Then what did they do?”
“They let me go.” He stated flatly. “They drove me a block to my place and let me go.”
Edgar sat there for a moment, silently reminiscing the terrible ordeal. He gulped another mouthful of coke, “The next day, I told my neighbor and she gave me these crutches. I took a taxi over to the police station on 8th and tried to explain what happened. The receptionist just said it was my word against the cops. And they would believe the cops - since I had no ID. After that, I went to the Human Rights building and tried to explain it to them - but, I got the same response. Man, I tell you, amigo - you gringos have no idea how fucked up it is for us here.”
He stuttered out the words, “I was hoping…since I’d lost my job because of this, if you could help me with any pesos? I haven’t got anything and,” He jerked his chin down to his legs, “I don’t think I’ll be working anytime soon.”
I stood up and took out my wallet. Removing two twenty dollar bills, I placed them into Edgar’s hands.
Edgar’s eyes misted up again, “Gracias, amigo. Mucho gracias.”
He excused himself to return to his apartment and use the money to pay rent. As I watched Edgar hobble away, it was my first taste of the dire circumstances in which the cartels and the local police were suffering onto the people of this city.
The sun ultimately boiled away into night and I walked out of the plaza. As twilight fell, the downtown area burst into a carnival atmosphere. All types of crazy hipsters assembled wearing woolen, Peruvian ski caps and hip-hop paraphernalia and pacheco haircuts in every doorway and on every corner.
I strolled down Avenida 16th de Septiembre and passed tiny, sweltering carts where they prepared churros and cut them for me from sizzling grease baskets. I crunched voraciously from a bag I purchased as I planned to cover the Mexican night ahead on the cracked and trash strewn sidewalk.
Wandering aimlessly, I rambled down the crazy hooker infested street of Calle Mariscal and pushed and dodged through the phantom night of activity.
Mariachis stood on lamp lit corners or in front of closet-sized cantinas and blew beautifully into shiny trumpets. Taxis crawled along pot-holed pavement, sweaty American perverts from El Paso aimed for their Dark Prey as children huddled hungry in the shadows with wary eyes. Transvestite prostitutes minced through the night with their coiling fingers of Come On as young, heterosexual Aztec men passed. The youthful drunks stumbled with flashing smiles and gave the trannies the once over.
Ranchero Music drummed from a thousand neon-splashed cantinas. Down mysterious side streets, antique and crippled buses built in the 1950’s waddled in mud holes, flashes of fiery-yellow transvestite whoredress in the dark, in shadowed alcoves assembled pimps and pushers of flesh and junk who leaned against walls of naked mortar. Pretty boys passed, every age. I turned to watch them, far too beautiful, my God - they smiled back a smile that was a siren which could sink any ship, cabron.
Macho men dressed in flashy vaquero gear or grimy rags with huge, floppy straw hats entered and exited smokey bars occupied with howling people, drinking Indio from tall water glasses, coolly smoking mota in crumbling alcoves, shamelessly pissing into open sewage ditches along dark alleys. Whores by the hundreds lined along the adobe walls of Orizaba Street and in front of their dank, sweet scented cells of disease, beckoning coyly as I passed.
A scrawny prostitute with long, straight raven hair approaches and flashed me a smile of silver-capped teeth.
“Oye, baby, want to fuck?” She beams.
I look down and noticed she was several months pregnant.
“Oh, mami, it looks like someone beat me to it.” I smiled as I passed her.
She laughed heartily and calls at me, caressing her stomach with petite, brown hands, “For you, one price for two, papi.”
Arm in arm, packs of young Mexican men recklessly strolled down the main whorestreet of Mariscal, black hair hung limply over their eyes - borracho – as long legged women of calling in tight yellow-blue-red dresses grabbed at them and cocked their pelvises in, pulling at their shirts and pleading. The boys drunkenly wobbled and smiled shyly away as blank-faced cops patrolled the thoroughfare on little bicycles, rolling invisibly over broken sidewalks.
I eventually stopped on a corner under a flickering marquee and lit a cigarette, soaking all this wonderful madness in. With an optimistic grin, I realized with certainty that Juárez would make a mighty fine home for a while.
Sunday, November 23, 2014
Friday, November 21, 2014
Writer. Homosexual. Junkie. Murderer. This will be my next novel. I might have not begun writing it, yet...but at least I have a cover! (Still working on a title, too.) I'm quite excited, this will be my first work that isn't based on my personal biographical material.
It's all set and I am ready. I have accumulated scores of notes and references. The angle is, it will be related as a dramatic story and not simply a dry, documentary account. I hope I do Joan and old Bill justice...
It's all set and I am ready. I have accumulated scores of notes and references. The angle is, it will be related as a dramatic story and not simply a dry, documentary account. I hope I do Joan and old Bill justice...
Thursday, November 20, 2014
I’m beginning to think he stood me up. Again. I made a reservation for two and I paid for it. It wasn’t cheap, either, not on a writer’s salary. I’ve been waiting here in this lobby for three days straight now, in the only suit I own – which I purchased at a second hand store, anyway - notebook open, waiting. Waiting for my Muse. I think perhaps I should change. I think perhaps I should check out of this place (and into a different kind of place)
It’s not like it’s anything spectacular, anyway. My room overlooks Highway 10. I’ve got a balcony over Highway 10 with a view of a vast New Mexican prairie. Discarded plastic trash bags play among the yellowed brush as a row of biscuit-colored mountains lay against an azure horizon.That’s not right. But I could live with that, if he’d only show up! I could draw the curtains and forget about the balcony! I don’t know if he’s coming, but I’ll give it another day or two. Call me naïve, but he will come, he always comes, just not when it’s convenient for me or in accordance with our pre-arranged plans.
I’m sitting in the lobby of a chain hotel. Patrons laze around with magazines and pastries as if they have nothing better to do. Not me, I’m tending to serious business. The concierges (two glorious old queens) keep asking me about him, since I’d told them what I’m up to. I state I’m waiting for a man. That’s all I said at first. Howerever they keep asking, as if it’s twenty questions. As if it’s the most fun they'd had in weeks. It’s fun for them because they’re making fun of me, at my expense. I think they think he’s either a prostitute or an imaginary friend because yesterday, when they asked me his name, I said I didn’t know. Well, I don’t. But hey! Lots of people have sex with people they don’t know the names of so I don’t see why it’s so different to be in a long-term (if somewhat erratic) relationship with a man whose name you don’t know. Go on, judge me.
I haven’t written anything in weeks. I keep trying. My own imagery bores me. My conceits bore me. They’re stale, they’re moldy, they stink. They beg to be composted. I keep comparing seashells to fists when really they’re nothing alike. I keep making religious pronouncements. Those don’t belong in stories (unless you’re Rimbaud, and even then) It’s this thirst for grandiosity. It’s exhausting. I’ve been feeling hollow, dissociated, like I’m out of my body but I’m not anywhere else. And my Muse, who knows where he is? Perhaps he’s found another writer. Maybe even a painter! Maybe he’s posing for his portrait right now and that’s why he’s so late for our date. Or maybe he’s a musician and they’re in the middle of a duet. Composing together. Perhaps he’s his muse, too.
Perhaps he simply desires me when I’m unavailable. Isn’t it clear to him, though? I’m always available. I could be dying. I could be on the brink of death, about to consummate my union with God once and for all and I’d hear his voice and tell the Almighty to fuck off, I'm busy.
The concierge I dislike the least is a small old queer with gray waves and gray troublemaker’s eyes. He’s mopping the putrid green linoleum diamond-shaped floor tiles and doesn’t seem to notice how putrid they are. The shape, the color, clichés, clichés.
“And how did the young man sleep?”
“Badly,” I reply, hospitably.
“Nightmares?” He asks, sort of conspiratorially, like it’s an inside joke or something. I haven’t told him anything about my dreams. “Because it couldn’t have been the pillows. I arranged them myself!”
“It was the pillows,” I jab. “My dreams were excellent.” At least this last part is true.
“My, dear, young man....” His mop stops moving and he’s looking at me and I’m looking at the floor because I’d rather look down at the putrid green diamonds then up at those blazing gray circles. “You look exhausted. Maybe you should take a nap. And put on something more comfortable. Do you have pajamas?”
That does it. Like I’m going to meet my Muse—the love of my life—in fucking jammies. Of course sometimes I can’t help it like when he shows up unexpected at two in the morning and I’m sleeping. That’s the thing about writing. Every time you sleep you’re sleeping on the job. I need a cup of coffee. Then I’m going to tell this bitch exactly what...
Monday, November 17, 2014
The cold and equally bitter winds of fall wash over The City. The sky is a crisp, midnight blue speckled with pinpoint lights of long dead stars. My hands in my black jacket pockets and my shoulders hunched up to my ears, I dart around the corner of an adobe building with exposed yellow brick in a vain attempt to thwart the offending gusts.
Fucking desert, I mumble. Spitting grit from my dry mouth, squinting watery eyes. Loose trash swirls in eddies as I stride past a blue tiled wall of a whorehouse. The neon sign of the marquee had given up decades ago and the building is lit in ghastly yellow from the towering street lamp.
A gaggle of plump hookers stand leaning by the entrance. Their tight, spandex attire fail to cover their protruding love-handles, sagging guts, and cottage cheese thighs. I walk by, they smile through silver capped teeth, mutter lascivious offerings. One grabs my arm, I stop, look Imperiously down on her.
Her face is a heavily made up face of a woman of sixty five or more. The make up is applied to allude the impression she is younger. It doesn't work.
"You wanna fuck me, baby?" She quacks.
I grin, "Why would I want to that?"
"You wanna fuck me, baby?" She repeats.
I then understand that is the extent of her English, so I simply mumble no and turn to continue on my way.
"Yo no gusta." (I don't like it) I say calmly.
She glances into my bloodshot, dry eyes and smiles, asking in Spanish, "You don't like women?"
"I simply do not like prostitutes," I answer in Spanish.
"Why? We are people, you know, earning a living." She states with mounting anger. "You are no better than us."
I realize by her defensive stance on the topic, it was not her first time having this discussion with an American. Most likely with a stereotypical ugly American. However, as with me, she was missing the point entirely.
I began, smiling warmly, "I have complete respect for you and all the ladies of your ilk. With that said, my reason being, you sell a fantasy. However, every time I am propositioned by a working lady.."
At that moment, an obese slob of fifty shuffled out of the whorehouse entrance. His buttoned shirt hanging out of stained, filthy trousers. His sagging face unkempt and covered in a fine layer of grease. His salt and pepper hair receding over a large, misshapen head. He smelled like a compost heap. He actually snorted and spat a huge loogie onto the sidewalk.
I look at the old whore, then nod at the slob shuffling away down the sidewalk, "...for me, the fantasy you sell is destroyed because I know...no matter how beautiful and pleasant said girl is...someone like him just fucked her before I did."
She cackled, placing a small, wrinkled hand on my chest, "Oh, mijo, we are all clean!" Her witch-like laughing echoed against the surrounding buildings.
I smiled broad at her and said, "And I prefer men, anyway."
She actually hugged me, "Oh...I knew it! My son is un joto (is gay). Maybe you can meet him?"
I stuttered and laughed, "Maybe another time?" The very fact that an old prostitute was attempting to fix me up with her son in the middle of a Mexican slum struck me as completely and utterly surreal. I had to dodge this woman, most likely her son was a simpering, sullen drag queen who performed in some dive bar nearby. Nope.
I bid her goodnight and continued through the gathering dirt storm towards the cantina I haunt. I sat nursing a cold caguama amid cackling queens and preening vaqueros. As I lit a cigarette, a drag show on the tiny stage in the corner began. A frail thing of about twenty-two years old dressed in a black and silver glittery gown came out from behind grimy, red velvet curtains and began belting out a forlorn Mexican love ballad. I watched and mused, I wonder if that is her son? Their faces look similar. I thought sadly how rough these peoples lives are compared to our privileged existence on the opposite side of the border.
That train of thought was broken as I felt a hand slide softly across my back. I turned to see a handsome, young man smiling holding a beer glass. Clean and well dressed, he leaned over and whispered into my ear, "Mind if I join you?"
"Not at all." I replied.
Outside, the wind howled and The City continued...