"Whataya gonna do?" He asked swigging on his warm beer.
I looked around at the dank bar - brimming with perverts and dikes, and pedophiles, and junkies. Male prostitutes did their stylized ballet around the gray haired smiling old American leaches that preyed on them. A fat cop stood at the entrance waiting to do something.
I flicked a cockroach off the bar like playing finger football - it flew into the ice bin. Took a long drag off my Luckie. Some fat tranny - like Fred Flintstone in drag - stood with her sweaty mole covered back to me, with chubby, clip on nailed fingers, pulled the panties outta her ass.
"I am really tired of Tijuana, ya know. If it wasn't for that asshole father of mine, (I grit my teeth in insidious contempt at muttering the word father) I would be somewhere else."
The music switched on the rockola - a sad lament began to warble out in Spanish. The drag queen harpies - huddled in the corner screeching and gesticulating like fags do - began melodramatically singing atrociously along.
I smooshed my cigarette butt out on the dirty floor with my shoe, "What am I thinking of doing? Seriously? I am going across country - starting in Tucson and staying in every homeless shelter from there to Miami. Really looking forward to San Antonio and New Orleans. Eventually, winding up on the island of Puerto Rico. Then and only then will I have accumulated enough material for my next book."
He spit on the floor - saliva and blood - and took another swig, "What? That's crazy! You live so well now. Nice clean house on the beach. What about all your furniture and stuff - why do you want to do that to yourself?"
"Why not?" I stated blankly - feeling the coldness from my insides get even colder. That dark precipice getting wider and wider. "I can't do it - I can't continue to live in this little comfy cocoon of nothing I have been stuck in since November, you know what I mean? I hate it. Truly, deeply loathe it. The fact of the matter is - and this is the most crucial part I need you to understand - I have even more severe panic attacks and bouts of depression when I am sedentary. I get so antsy. I have to go. Go. Go."
"It's what I do. It's all I know." Smirking inward. "How do you even attempt to keep a normal, stable life when the thought of it leaves nothing but dread on your tongue like the taste of rotten fruit?"
"Whataya going to do when you get to Puerto Rico?"
"I'll find out when I get there. That's the thrill of it - not knowing."
"But your books are selling well, right?"
I lit another cigarette and ordered another beer.
The hag behind the bar delivered it with hatred and contempt - the attitude of most ignorant locals down here. They really hate Americans.
I squeezed a lime into my bottle - gritty, black dirt on my finger from the bottle. "I don't care. What is the point? What is the point of accumulating all this stuff - money, material possessions - when in the end, it doesn't amount to shit? I don't care. I have said it once and actually I am tired of saying it - this life, my life - I don't want it. I hate it. I am just going through the motions waiting to die."
"Okay" He takes one of my cigarettes, sighs, "So, when are you going?"
"Soon." I said. "Soon. The time is not right, the winds of fate have not started blowing and my sails need the energy."
"Dude, that makes no sense. I still don't know why you are doing this. You are simply crazy and lost."
"You have no fucking idea how right you are." I stated with utmost honesty.
A street band entered - short grungy troupe from Sinaloa - and began wailing a brass tune. Slow and dark and low. Old haggish corpse in frayed green dress slithered and undulated like a rag doll across the bar floor - hands out and clutching at patrons for money. She came to me - rheumy eyes bright and sparkling, rotted teeth far apart, smiling face bunched up in overlapping wrinkles. I dropped coins into her gnarled hands.
I sat on my stool, back to the bar, leaning and thought. They are free. They are totally free and know how to live. No worries about when they are buying that 42 inch flat screen TV or what people think and judge. They live - truly live. They are happy because they are what they are and there is nothing more.
I am ready...ready to finally put that second foot forward and step out of the loop. Thing is - I am so far out now I don't think I can ever come back...