Lip stick stains his shot glass.
The transvestite sat at table 7, his lucky number. His lucky night.
Shaking hands reach for the near empty bottle, desperate to consume the dreams he drowned years ago in clear poison. Skinny wasn’t the word for his fragile frame, bones stretch the translucent skin of his shoulder blades, his cheeks are hollow caves of malnourishment, stringy muscle are the only remnant of arms. He sits in his dirty, silken dress which barely covers his sunken thighs, bones jut out at his shoulders, and the tattered strap of his bra rests in the crook of an elbow. Stubble peeks out from kabuki make-up. His face - once pretty - is now worn and sallow, eyeliner carelessly applied, highlights the dark bags sleeping under his eyes. Once the amber color of the eyes held a small spark of hope, now they are sunken, watered down from years of wear.
Thin lips open to reveal a black hole, ready to consume the seventh glass of the night, cradled in the bony claw of his hand. As the hour darkens, the bottle empties, and his eyes grow more dull, his face more shallow, his lips less red. One bottle down, he reaches for more, but his money stretches less than his dress.
In the black of night he makes his trade, more money to pay for his memories to be wiped clean, to fly free in a bottle. Strangers approach and use his body how they like, no use caring for a broken toy. He stopped crying long ago - never while in public or when performing. He had attended to more important problems, like how to cover bruises in the daylight. He wasn’t much good at school, couldn’t read, couldn’t add or subtract, couldn’t even smile, no sympathy for the hollow boy. Back then he was a sad, confused, spat upon boy, anyway. Shunned. Ridiculed.
So, in this roach infested, forgotten Tijuana dive, as a sad ranchero love ballad warbles from an equally sad jukebox, he leaves his empty bottle and his empty glass to seek payment in some dark alley way. A man, tall, dark, dangerous guides him to the shadow of choice.
He didn’t notice the knife.
No one cares about a joto prostituto dying in the dead of night.
They find him fucked up, beat up, cut up in the sunshine. Dank wig glittering red, eyes as glassy and dull in death as in life, neck smiling at the sky. Bones stick out at odd angles, blindingly white in the litter strewn alleyway. His silk dress lies in tatters, dripping with blood.
Seven birds take flight, free at last.