Monday, March 28, 2011
Friday, March 25, 2011
Monday, March 21, 2011
I originally was going to end the book with a chapter about mental health. However, this damn book is writing itself - or so it seems. When I sat down at the cafe to write - this vomited out. I guess I am ending the book on a note concerning child abuse. It is very raw - I spewed this out in just under an hour. Yeah - they'll be more.
an excerpt from Dark is the Night
“GET UP! IT’S TIME TO GET UP FER SKEWL! GET UP! AWWW, GAWDDAMIT! YOU WENT AND DONE PISSED THE BED AGAIN! GAWDAMMIT!”
Eric opened his eyes - groggy and slowly from a night filled with lucid nightmares. He dreamt of being chased through a dark mansion by the Cyclops from The 7th Voyage of Sinbad. The Cyclops would smash through each door he attempted to close and lock, striking at him with a leather whip.
Half awake, Eric laid on his stomach wearing nothing but his white briefs. From his knees to his upper chest was cold from the large wet spot that he had made during the course of the night.
He looked guiltily and with fear at the short, plump woman that stood in the doorway to his bedroom. “I’m sorry momma. I’m sorry.”
“GAWDDAMIT! GET INTO THE BATHROOM AND CLEAN YERSELF! HURRY BEFORE YER DADDY FINDS OUT AND BEATS YER LITTLE ASS! GAWDAMMIT, I SWEAR!”
As he rapidly jumped up and passed his mother, she smacked him on the back of the head.
“YOU LITTLE SHIT! YOU STINK LIKE PISS! I’LL HAFTA WASH YER SHEETS AGAIN! WHY?! WHY DO YOU DO THIS EVERY NIGHT? YOU RETARDED OR SOMETHING?”
Eric hurriedly dashed to the bathroom, glancing down the short hall to his parents door. He heard him - his father was awake, getting dressed. Eric shut the bathroom door behind him, pulled the wet shorts off and began running the water. He quickly washed his torso in the warm water with a red rag, the soap covering his small frame. His mother opened the door and placed some clean shorts on the sink’s rim.
“HURRY UP! BREAKFAST IS ALMOST READY! JUST DON’T STAND THERE! HURRY UP! GAWDAMMIT, YOU CAN BE SO DAMN STUPID SOMETIMES, YOU HEAR?”
She turned and waddled out. Eric shut the water off, stepped out of the tub, and began drying himself with a towel hanging from a nearby rack.
“WHERE’S THE BOY?!” It was his father. He stood outside the door, obviously bumping into his mother coming out into the hall.
“AWW, HE’S TAKING A BATH. HE PISSED HIMSELF AGAIN!” The mother said condescendingly.
The bathroom door swung open as Eric was putting his right leg through the opening of his briefs. He froze.
“YOU PISSIN YERSELF AGAIN? YOU LITTLE SISSY, PISSIN YERSELF? I SHOULD PUSH YOUR DAMN FACE IN IT LIKE A DAMN DOG MAYBE THAT WILL STOP YOU FROM PISSIN YERSELF EVERYNIGHT!”
Eric simply stood there not saying a word, staring at the matted bath rug on the warped, tiled floor. His father slammed the door behind him.
“WHY DONCHA LEAVE HIM ALONE? YOU’RE GONNA MAKE HIM LATE FOR SCHOOL!”
“THAT’S HIS DAMN PROBLEM! YOU BABY THE LITTLE SHIT TOO MUCH! YOU LET THESE DAMN KIDS DO WHATEVER THEY DAMN WANT! HE PISSES THAT BED AGAIN, I’LL BEAT HIS LITTLE ASS!”
“AWW WHY DON’T YOU SHUT UP! YER ALWAYS YELLING ABOUT THESE KIDS! WHY DON’T YOU JUST LEAVE IF YOU DON’T LIKE EM!”
“DON’T TELL ME TO SHUT UP! YOU SHUT UP! I’LL BEAT YER ASS, TOO! YOU CAN’T LIVE WITHOUT ME, DUMMY! I MAKE THE MONEY IN THIS HOUSE! YOU’LL DO WHAT I TELL YOU! ALL OF YOU!”
“LET GO OF MY ARM, YOU BASTAWD! LET GO! GET YER STUPID ASS TO THE TABLE AND EAT YER BREAKFAST AND LEAVE ME THE HELL ALONE!”
“STUPID WOMAN! HURRY UP WITH THAT LITTLE SHIT OR I’LL BE LATE FOR WORK!”
“WHY DON’T YOU SHUT YER MOUTH! ALWAYS YELLIN! JUST SHUT UP AND GO SIT DOWN! GO GET SOME COFFEE - THAT’S READY!”
“YOU BEST SHUT YER GAWDAMN MOUTH, WOMAN!”
Eric stood there as the bathroom door swung open and his mother stood there, face flustered and sweating, holding his clothes for the day. She knelt down and roughly grabbed his legs, shoving them into each pant leg, yanking a shirt over his head and pulling it down, with jerking shoves, slipped on his socks.
“CAN YA TIE YER OWN SHOES AT LEAST OR AM I GONNA HAFTA DO THEM TOO? I GOTTA GET BREAKFAST!”
Eric bent over to pick up the two small red and blue sneakers, “I can tie my own shoes, momma.”
Eric sat on the closed toilet lid and slipped into his shoes as his mother waddled out.
At the door of the bathroom, a thin scowling face peered around the corner. Large green eyes under a mass of fluffy brown hair that cascaded down over shoulders stared at him with contempt, “Are you done yet? I gotta pee.”
It was his middle sister Tammy. Just one year in High School and she already had the reputation of being a slut. Eric overheard her once in the backyard bragging to her friends at the black boys in the neighborhood who she frequently banged.
Eric finished tieing his shoes and walked out, “All yours.”
He made his way into the dining room. His father already was sitting there with his oldest sister, Cindy. The two sisters were from a previous marriage and looked exactly like their mother. Small eyes, pug nose, and an unattractive thick body of German decent. His sister Cindy had always been the fattest.
“DIDJA BRUSH YER TEETH YET?” His father looked right at him.
Eric crossed behind him and took his usual place in the chair against the wall. “No.”
“WHY THE HELL NOT?”
“I haven’t eaten, yet.”
Eric thought there was never a point in brushing your teeth right before you ate breakfast. He thought it just defeated the purpose.
“DO YOU WIPE YER ASS AFTER YOU TAKE A SHIT? YA JUST GONNA SHIT AGAIN, RIGHT? SO, WHY BOTHER?”
Eric shot his father a look of contempt but was met with an open palm across the cheek.
“DONCHA LOOK AT ME LIKE THAT! GET YER ASS BACK IN THAT BATHROOM AND BRUSH YER TEETH!”
With the stinging still strong on his face, Eric meekly slid off his chair and returned sullenly to the bathroom. He grabbed his toothbrush, added paste and languidly began stroking it across his teeth.
“WHATYA HIT HIM FOR? HE’S GOTTA EAT BEFORE HE GOES TO SCHOOL! LEAVE EM THE HELL ALONE! YER GONNA MAKE HIM BE LATE!”
“SHUT UP! GIMMEE MY BREAKFAST BEFORE I’M LATE FER WORK!”
“WHY’D YA HIT EM FOR? HE COULDA BRUSHED AFTER! HE’S GONNA BE LATE!”
Eric heard his mother slamming dishes down onto the table.
“Eric GET IN HERE BEFORE YOUR BREAKFAST GETS COLD!”
As Eric swished water in his mouth and spat into the sink, he heard his father slide his chair out from beneath the table. Eric wiped his mouth across the table and darted out of the bathroom. His father blocked his way to the dining room.
“DID YA BRUSH EM? DID YA BRUSH EM GOOD?”
“Yes.” Eric said looking at the floor, trying to pass him to hurry and get back to the dinner table.
“LET ME SEE EM!”
His father grabbed him roughly by his slender arm. Eric opened his mouth and grit his teeth at him.
“GET YER GODDAMN ASS BACK IN THERE AND BRUSH EM AGAIN! THEY’RE FITHY!” He ended the sentence with a whack across the boy’s head.
Eric turned back the bathroom, whined, “But, I did brush them, daddy.”
The father lifted his foot and planted it roughly into the boy’s lower back that sent Eric sprawling onto the hallway floor.
“DON’T LIE TO ME! GET IN THERE AND BRUSH THEM TEETH! I’M GONNA STAND HERE AND MAKE SURE YOU BRUSH THEM, TOO! AND I DON‘T WANNA HALF ASSED JOB!”
“WHY DONCHA LEAVE HIM ALONE! HE’S GONNA BE LATE FOR SKEWL!!”
“SHADDAP AND GET BACK TO THE KITCHEN! HE’S NOT EATING ANYTHING UNTIL HE BRUSHES HIS TEETH!”
“YOU ASSHOLE! LEAVE EM ALONE! GO EAT YOUR FOOD BEFORE IT GETS COLD!”
Again, Eric grabbed the toothbrush and between sobs applied the paste and started brushing his teeth.
“DO IT HARDER! BRUSH EM GOOD!”
“COME EAT YOUR BREAKFAST BEFORE IT GETS COLD! LEAVE THAT BOY ALONE!”
Eric kept brushing until his gums started to bleed.
“NOW RINSE AND GET YER ASS OVER THERE AND EAT YER BREAKFAST!”
Still sobbing, Eric sat quietly at the table as his mother plopped a plate of greasy eggs and limp toast down in front of him. His father devoured his meal. Between gulps, his father began belching - foul wafts of halitosis and egg drifted across the table. Between words, he would drop open his mouth and let a guttural croaking burp without covering his mouth.
“WHEN YOU ALL GET HOME FROM SCHOOL, (belch) I WANT YOU TO RAKE THE LEAVES IN THE (belch) FRONT YARD. I WANT IT DONE BEFORE I GET HOME, GOT IT? DON’T STOP (belch) TO PLAY WITH YER FRIENDS OR WATCH CARTOONS OR I’LL WHIP YOUR ASS!” (belch)
Cindy looked up from her food, “I got band practice. I’ll be late.”
The father turned to Tammy who sat next to her mother, “YOU? YOU GOT ANY STUPID DUMB ASS EXCUSES?”
“Nope.” She said snidely. “I’ll do it as soon as I get home. But, I can’t spend all day, I have to meet someone at six.”
“HANGIN AROUND WITH THEM (belch) NIGGER BOYS NOT AN EXCUSE!”
“SHUT UP! LEAVE HER ALONE! SHE NEEDS TO HAVE FRIENDS.”
“I DON’T WANT YOU HANGING AROUND WITH (belch) NO GODDAMN NIGGERS!”
Tammy looked at him defiantly, “You’re not my father - you have no right to tell me what I can or can not do.”
The mother poured Eric another glass of milk, “YOU GO ON AHEAD, Tammy. DON’T BOTHER WHEN YOU COME HOME TODAY. Eric IS CAPABLE OF RAKING ON HIS OWN.”
“I WORK! I’M THE ONE PUTTING FOOD IN YOUR GODDAMN (belch) MOUTH, YOUNG LADY! AS LONG AS YOU LIVE HERE, YOU DO AS I SAY!” (belch)
No one said nothing. It was quiet for the moment except for the occasional burp. Eric slid off his chair and went into his room. He glanced at the stripped bed with the large yellowed stain in the middle of the flower printed mattress. The entire room smelled of stale urine. He grabbed his little backpack and threw it across his shoulder.
“OH, THAT’S RIGHT! IT’S REPORT CARD DAY TODAY, AIN’T IT? I WANT TO SEE THAT AS SOON AS I COME HOME! THERE BETTER NOT BE ANY BAD GRADES OR YER BUTTS GONNA GET IT!”
“AWW, LEAVE EM ALONE! Eric, HURRY UP YER GONNA BE LATE.”
“YER TOO EASY ON THE LITTLE SISSY! I WANT THEM LEAVES RAKED, GOT IT! AND DON’T DO NO HALF ASSED JOB! I WANT IT ALL DONE BY TIME I GET HOME!”
Eric walked through the living room and glanced at the four still sitting at the table. His mother pointed a fork casually at his father.
“DON’T BE SUCH AN ASSHOLE TO HIM! YOU’RE ALWAYS SHOOTING OFF YER MOUTH! WHY DONCHA SHUT UP FER ONCE? NOBODY WANTS TO HEAR THAT SHIT THIS EARLY IN THE MORNING!”
“DON’T TELL ME TO SHUT UP, GAWDAMMIT! YOU SHUT YER FUKKIN UGLY MOUTH! ALWAYS RUNNING IT! DRIVING ME CRAZY!”
“I WISH I COULD DRIVE YOU CRAZY - THEN THEY’D COME AND TAKE YER WORTHLESS ASS AWAY FROM ME! AND DON‘T SAY THAT DAMN WORD IN FRONTA THE KIDS!”
“AH, SHUT UP, GAWDAMMIT! YOU COULDN’T LAST ONE GAWDAM DAY WITH OUT ME!”
His mother snidely chuckled, shoving her pinkie up her pug nose and fished abundantly for the offending matter. She yanked out a glob, looked at it and wiped the greenish gray snot onto her gown.
His father leaned in close to her, puckering up, “SHUT UP AND GIMME A KISS, YOU OLD HAG! YOU KNOW YOU LOVE ME!”
She leaned over and pecked her chapped, thin lips against his greasy thick ones, “YEAH, YEAH! YOU DON’T KNOW WHAT LOVE IS.”
A disgusting, lascivious look came across his face as his eyes scanned across the three children, “ALL YA’LL GET YER ASSES TO SCHOOL! GET THE HELL OUT! I GOTTA TALK TO YOUR MA!”
Both started to chortle and grunt like herniated, amused hogs.
Eric walked out the door into the pre-dawn darkness. It was still cold. Cutting across the front yard, he made his way onto the road and walked the half mile to his grade school.
Halfway there, he stopped. On the far corner were two older black boys that attended his school. They stood there watching as Eric approached. The taller one smiled.
“Hey, boy! Where’s ya sista?”
“That sista of yawls. My brotha told me he done tapped that shit last Saturday.”
They both started cackling.
“Shut up! He did not!”
“Hell he didn’t! My brotha said he was all up in dat shit! Had her screaming an moanin so loud the neighbors threatened to call da police!”
Eric started walking faster past them. “Yer crazy! She didn’t do nothing!”
Eric felt a sharp pain in his upper back. Then another on his back thigh. A small rock whizzed past his head and bounced loudly down the asphalt of the street. He looked back and saw the two boys picking up gravel and hurtling chunks at him. He began running.
‘Yo sista’s a ho! Yo sista’s a ho!” Echoed down the lane as the sun began peeking above the misty dawn.
Huffing and a few blocks later, Eric slowed down and continued his walk towards school. A lanky red headed boy walked up next to him. It was his friend Albert.
“Hey, Albert!” Eric chirped.
“Hey, buddy! How’s things?”
They walked quietly for a moment. They crossed the busy intersection a block from school. Albert darted into a convenience store and bought a soda. Popping the can, he took a swig and then handed it to Eric.
Sunday, March 20, 2011
It's Going To Cost You
“My name’s Johnny. Ask anyone. They’ll tell you.” Johnny smiled at the bloated American.
Monday, March 14, 2011
The novel is chugging along - ideas and prose blasting out of my mind like projectile vomit. I hope this one is the one. Haha! The one what? Even if I did obtain a small fraction of literary fame with these little beasts, I am sure I would treat it the same way that I treat everything else in my life - with a shrug and a 'whatever'. Though, for certain a life changing event.
Speaking of life changing events. I turn 44 this month. far to young - in my bloodshot eye - for retirement. You see, when I received my latest apartment - I had never mentioned strictly from embarrassment - that they stuck me in a retirement center. It's a nice, big apartment - very quiet. I am the youngest in that building and I swear to Gawd that the row of shriveled witches that bask in the sun out front, eye me and lick withered, chapped lips as I pass. Chirping 'buenas dias', fanning their bird legs or mammoth pasty thighs in unbridled lust as I walk past out of the building.
Shit. Where was I? Oh yeah - anyways, I have still far too much vigor and life left in this borrowed flesh to settle down. Attaining SSI has given me a great four year vacation - but, man - I am itching to do crazy shit as in travel and adventure!
So, over the year - several friends across the globe had invited and tempted me with the idea of teaching English abroad and using that position to travel the world. I was directed towards this online school - http://www.teach-english-jobs.com/ - and after doing extensive research, I have decided to take the 120hour course and hopefully to be in Thailand by this fall.
Saturday, March 12, 2011
- Hans Magnus Enzensberger
Thursday, March 10, 2011
However, today they have this goddamn hippy singing live with a guitar on a P.A. system WAY too loud. And the hairy troll knows it is too loud, because when I arrived, he bleated nasally, "Sorry if the sounds a bit too loud, folks - still trying to work the bugs out of the sound system."
ASSHOLE! You realize it's too loud - turn that moaning, tree hugging shit down some! No need to force your groovy moaning into our psyche!
Well, the plus side is - only twenty minutes more of this tripe and I can concentrate on the novel at hand.
I have started the "homeless" section - the tale of loneliness and frustration of trying to attain a place to stay when one has hit rock bottom.
Have you ever hit rock bottom? And I mean rock bottom - when you lost everything you had and all friends had turned their back on you. Rock bottom. Nothing. I have and only then are you able to live to your full potential.
Wednesday, March 09, 2011
Since I am not mired in an existence of homeless hobosexuality, I kind of stopped writing here and have been focusing my time writing a new novel.
It is called Dark is the Night - and it is an anthology of five lost angels that i had known during my travels. I am really excited about it - it will be my first work not written in the first person and based on different characters living in the gutters of the world. What else is new, right? haha! Each chapter will focus on it's own theme of alcoholism, homosexuality, porn addiction, drugs, and mental health.
I had just finished the rough draft of one of the chapters - the alcoholic one - and, being an early draft, I realize it needs work, but you will get the gist.
This blog - since I don't do that craziness as of date, will focus on my writing and domestic lifestyle here in El Paso!
He rolled off of her and closed his eyes, sighed. She reached over to her purse on the floor and grabbed a box of cigarettes. The dark room smelled of dank clothes, sweat, and unwashed vagina.
She lit the cigarette, took a puff, said, “You’re going to be late.”
“Gimme a minute.” He croaked.
Gabriel sat up. He took the can of warm beer sitting next to the bed on the floor and took a long swing. Pain shot up his back as he watched the morning sun beam through the broken slats of the blinds - dust danced in the light.
He felt her hand stroke his back.
She said, “You still hurtin’?”
He turned to her, saw the dark circles under the glittering eyes, the deep lines, the large cold sore on the right top of her lip. He turned back away and took another gulp.
“You going to be here when I get back?” He asked.
“Of course, baby.” She stretched. “I’ll make us some soup for dinner.”
Gabriel got up and readied for work. In the shower, the pain in his back was almost unbearable - almost as unbearable as the act he just committed. He thought about telling her to leave. He wanted to be alone and that was an impossibility since she never left the house. As he brushed his teeth, he looked at the haggard image that glared back at him from the dirty mirror.
They had been fighting a lot recently - over stupid shit. She whined and complained about being bored, his drinking, his friends, never having money. He would sit silently holding his beer and listen, watched as she paced back and forth on the dirty, wooden floor in gray, bare feet and go on about the things he could not provide.
When he would start yelling and spittle would fly from his intoxicated mouth, she would calm down and coo and act coy as if she was in complete agreement. It made him even more angry, because she was right - he couldn’t give her those things.
The argument last night started first about her gorging on all the food that was bought and more often than not, leaving him nothing but the can goods to eat. When he tried to explain on ways to balance the budget - she would go in a tirade about how much they needed a television or a microwave. She then made the mistake of comparing him to her old boyfriend in California - on how he had a nice house, huge television, car, money. Gabriel had enough - on the verge of punching her senseless, he grabbed his beer and marched out the door into the cool night.
When he returned hours later from walking aimlessly among the empty warehouses and train tracks, he found her curled up under a blanket snoring softly. That morning, he woke with a raging hard on and took advantage of the rare occasion.
He dressed and grabbed his coat.
In the living room, Delores lay quietly on her back, blowing gray smoke up to the peeled ceiling. Gabriel stood in the half light.
“I want to talk to you when I get home, okay?” He said.
She didn’t look at him, took another long drag, “Ok.”
He unlocked the front door and stepped out into the searing, bright morning sun.
As he walked the two blocks to work, each step was an ordeal. The pain shot up the back of his right leg and throbbed unbearably. Gabriel took it slow. Stopped once to hold himself up at a tattered telephone pole. He could smell the waft of freshly baked bread from the factory. The smell made him sick. He gazed over at the row of warehouses and smoke stacks of his job with both resentment and desperate loathing.
Taking a deep sigh, he continued the last block, clocked in and looked for the shift supervisor.
“Diaz!” Shrilled a voice behind him. “Can’t have you coming in late all the time, Diaz!”
Gabriel turned to see a tall woman standing with a clipboard. A large, pear-shaped frame clothed in tight khaki slacks and pin-striped, blue dress shirt. Her blond hair was pulled back in a tight pony-tail and she held a permanent scowl on a smooth, Aryan face. It was the shift manager Erika. She stood still, glaring at him. He shrank under that cold, inhumane gaze.
“Sorry, Erika.” Gabriel mumbled. He shuffled sheeply over to her stoic form. “My back’s been bothering me. I think I need a doctor.”
“I don’t give a damn about your back, Diaz.” She hissed. “You’re fifteen minutes late. That’s the third time this week.”
He mumbled down to the smooth pavement floor. “Yeah…”
Her face scrunched up as hatred poured from her eyes, “You been drinking? You drunk now? Motherfucker! I should let you go. I don’t need another fucking drunk working here.”
He shot his gaze up to her, “No. No, that’s the mouthwash I used this morning.”
“Mouthwash, my ass! Go unload that truck, dumbass, and you’re late one more time and I’m letting you go, got it?”
He turned quietly and marched over to the delivery truck that was backed up to the loading dock. Already, Gonzalo and Carlos were there rolling the racks of packaged bread from the ovens towards the truck.
“Oye! Chief!” Gonzalo blurted to Gabriel.
The short, fat Mexican murmured something to Carlos and they both burst out laughing. Carlos rubbed his potbelly and said something else in Spanish, indicating Gabriel and they guffawed and cackled.
“What’s so fucking funny?” Gabriel sneered. “I don’t speak no Spanish.”
“Why you no speeky the Spanish, Indio?” Carlos asked. “You Mexican, no?”
“Just my mom, you fucker. I told you that.” Gabriel shot back as he grabbed the first tray of warm bread and began loading it onto the truck. “We don’t need to speak no Spanish in Chicago.”
“You now in El Paso, Chief - you speakee Spanish!” Gonzalo roared and both the Mexicans hollered in laughter as they began to load the truck.
Pain shot up Gabriel’s back as he yanked another tray off of the cart, “Fuck that shit! Last I checked, this is America and we speak English!”
Gonzalo roared over the factory noise, “No, cabrone - we takin’ our shit back!”
He said a long stream of Spanish to Carlos - gesticulating wildly - and they continued laughing. Gabriel had enough of this shit and shuffled away. He walked over to the men’s room.
Opening the door, he saw a shriveled old black man sitting on an iron chair in the corner. Gray poufs of hair shot out from under a dirty cap, scraggly beard covered chocolate wrinkly skin. The old man made no attempt to hide the tall boy wrapped in a brown paper bag.
“Hey, Curtis.” Gabriel said.
“Hello, young man.” Curtis said with a glint of paranoia in his eyes. He just held the beer can up to Gabriel. “Wanna taste?”
Gabriel grabbed the can, took a gulp, “You’re a good man, Curtis.”
“We gotta stay sane in a shitty world.” He smiled a row of stained dentures. “That do it for ya?”
Gabriel felt the warmth from his belly, the lift coming up. “Yeah, man, thanks.” He passed the can back. “That bitch Erika caught me coming in late. And those two Mexican fucker’s been riding me. I could use a whole case.” He chuckled.
“Don’t let them wetbacks get to you, young man - life is hard, it’s just up to you on how you deal with it.”
After taking a few sips, Curtis handed the can up to Gabriel.
Gabriel extended his palm, “Thanks, Curtis - but, I don’t want to drink all your shit.”
Curtis’s face wrinkled up in amusement. “All my shit? Boy, you gotta learn some things.” He reached over to a canvas lunch bag that sat at his feet. Unhooking the fastener, he pulled out one of three more tall cans.
He popped the top, took a swig with lines of cool beer that dribbled down onto his salt and pepper beard, “All my shit.”
“Damn, Curtis,” Gabriel grinned, guzzling the rest from his can. “You’re all right.”
Time flew as they finished the cans. Gabriel shuffled over to the urinal and took a piss. With each contraction of his muscles, his back throbbed in a dull ache. The pain was now an echo as the alcohol took effect.
Gabriel approached Curtis and shot a streetwise handshake, “Well, thank you, sir. That helped a man in need.”
Curtis leaned back in the metal chair, palms spread out, shrugged, “And you are a friend, indeed. Take care, young man.”
As Gabriel opened the restroom door, his glazed eyes focused on Erika standing a few feet away, flanked by Gonzalo and Carlos. She beamed unimaginable hatred towards him.
“Clock out, Diaz! You’re fired!” She roared loud enough for the whole factory floor to hear. “I’m not having you drinking on my shift, asshole! You know better than that! Get your ass off my floor!”
“Fuck you, cunt.” Gabriel mumbled, scowling.
She took two steps forward, glaring, “What? What did you just say?!”
Gabriel stared her straight in the eyes, “Fuck. You. Cunt.” He shuffled forward with fists clenched.
Erika’s face turned vivid scarlet, “Get out of here! Now! Before I call the police!”
Gabriel stopped, breathed deep through his nostrils, “All right, all right…I’m going.”
He didn’t even bother with the time clock. He shuffled out of the factory and into the afternoon heat. He was livid. On the way home, he stopped off in a small cantina and sat alone in the dark den peeling the paper foil from the wetness of the bottle placed in front of him by a shriveled relic.
Gabriel started to think about Delores. How, when he got home - he’s asking her to pack her shit and leave. He didn’t need that extra stress - maybe at a different time when he was more stable, maybe when he was not in such a state of flux. Maybe.
He drank three more beers, paid and walked out into the long shadows of late afternoon. He stumbled over broken sidewalks, past barking dogs and smells of spicy meals being served in the row of low, brick houses. In the distance, an ambulance wailed as the sun boiled down big and yellow behind wisps of silver clouds.
Gabriel pushed the front door to his apartment with his shoulder, pocketing the keys, he yelled, “Delores!”
“In here!” She chirped from the kitchen.
Shutting the door, he smelled cat shit. Overpowered by the stench of canned cat food.
Now what is that crazy broad up to? Gabriel thought.
He walked to the kitchen with absolute determination.
He found Delores squatting on the dirty wooden floor holding something to here breast, stroking it. Gabriel’s eyes adjusted to the gloom of the apartment and saw it was a damn kitten.
“Look what I found!” She beamed before he had a chance to say anything.
“Now that I’m seeing it, what is it?”
It was a little white kitten with a streak of black fir on it’s head and a spot of black under it’s pink nose. It wasn’t fluffy at all, it’s stringy white hair was matted and shot out from the scrawny torso. Gabriel glared at the little face.
It looks like Hitler, Gabriel thought. He hated cats.
The small animal quivered and purred in Delores’ embrace. He saw that the tiny animal was wiry thin and had a broken, bent left paw.
“I found him under a car.” Delores cooed. “He was covered in oil and dirt just meowing and meowing. I brought him home and cleaned him up, fed him.” She brought the kitten up to he lips, planting a tender kiss on his head between the pointy ears. She looked up to Gabriel, “Can we keep him? He was obviously abandoned, we can’t throw him out. Not back out there.”
Gabriel noticed the new cans of cat food stacked on a shelf, the brand new kitty litter box placed in a corner, the little furry cat toy on the floor. An ambulance passed by outside, wailing. The little kitten quivered and meowed loudly in fear, glaring with huge, yellow eyes at the noise.
Gabriel sighed. He popped open a can of beer he retrieved from the plastic ice chest near the pantry, sat down. “Okay. Sure. But, feeding it and us may become a problem.”
“Why’s that?” She said softly, comforting the frightened creature.
“I just got fired.” He said, taking deep gulps from the can.
She just sat silently, cuddling the kitten, not looking at him.