I had made friends with a waiter named Pablo Torres. He worked at a local restaurant I haunted on the main drag in downtown Juárez called Café Taco Lucas.
Pablo was a short and stocky young man with a great smile and he spoke fluent English. He had a wife and child, a beautiful, little baby girl.
We sat and Pablo looked at me, “No offense, amigo, but, can I ask you a question?”
I thought, Here it comes.
“Yeah, go ahead, Pablo.” I said, as I took a drag off of my cigarette.
“You seem somewhat homosexual.”
“Why?” I asked. “You don’t like homosexuals?”
Pablo smiled, “Yeah, but not so much when they’re sucking on my cock.”
He also knew Old Andy - another expat American - and after Pablo would get off work, he and I hung out at Old Andy’s to eat, watch TV, and smoke pot.
Old Andy was a hobo who I had found living under an overpass in El Paso. He received monthly Social Security checks and I had helped him to find a ratty place down in Juarez.
Old Andy suffered from senile dementia and spent the entire sum of his meager retirement checks on female prostitutes, cigarettes, and coffee. And, in that order.
At his slummy apartment, crawling with roaches and whores, I would find him sometimes eating nothing but stale tortillas and rolling his tobacco in pages he had ripped out of a well-worn bible lying next to his sagging, tattered couch on an equally ancient end table, burnt and scarred by cigarette butts.
I would say, as I pointed up to the swirling cigarette smoke, “Poof! There goes Jeeeeesus!”
“Heh. Heh. Fuck you.” He would chuckle from a toothless hole.
Old Andy was something else - a crotchety old fart. When he would become irritated at me from a random and quirky gay quip, he would wheeze, “Ya gosh damned cocksucker!”
“You say that like it’s a bad thing.” I grinned back.
Pablo and the whores would cackle and toke, the room enveloped in a blue smog.
“Oh yeah…I forgot, yer queer! Shit! Ain’t that somethin’?” Then, he would simply sit there in frayed denim jacket and faded jeans and smoke; listening to whatever voices babbled on in his withered mind.