Tuesday, February 26, 2013

Capone, They Called Him.


I knew him from the Plaza. He ran with a group of dead end kids. The type who would hang around all day bumming cigarettes, loose change, or simply sit on a bench and complain about their dead end life in a dead end town. I suppose like a million other American kids in a million other American towns.
The other Lost Boys he associated with were like all the others, flirting with loose girls who would giggle and coo and eventually spread their scabby legs for that precious moment of emotional acceptance that their parents and siblings failed to give back home. Indeed, several of the regular girls who sat around all day with them for further acceptance while cuddling their bastard children. Their faces sad and bewildered in the fact that they finally had hit rock bottom. Their youth and innocence gone.
He was definitely the Alpha Male of the miss-matched clique in which he hung with. Tall, bulky – not fat – his shoulders wider than his hips. In the uniform of the Mexican-American thug: white wife beater and pressed khaki pants, he paraded around with a muscular body like the macho fuck that he was wooing the girls, teasing the homeless queens, stealing swigs from hidden alcohol containers. His shaven head was round with full, thick lips crescented by a thin, black moustache. He had two tear-drop tattoos below hazel eyes. His eyes, not the masculine physique, was his attraction. He referred to them as ‘his guns’. His pussy magnets.
When I inquired through the park queens his name was Capone, I asked him what his real name was, in which he replied, “Just Capone.”
“Like Cher or Madonna?”
He glared back with macho arrogance, “Nah. Not like that. Just Capone.”
Like all the other queers in the Park, I, too, fantasized many a time having that twenty-two year old fucker ravish me like a coke-spun porn star.
It was on a night before I booked a bus to San Diego. I had had enough of El Paso and decided to move elsewhere. I was feeling anxious and paranoid like I always do before a mindless trip into uncertainty. I decided to deal with it the best way I knew how, to visit the park and attempt to score one of the rentboys or bi-curious thugs who prowled during the twilight hours.
When I arrived, the sun was sinking behind the horizon and long, gray shadows blanketed the few boys and the ancient men who fed on them. I sat on a bench sucking on a Lucky and watched the fractured ballet of cruisers and the cruised. One ancient vampire lounged on a bench near me, rubbing his engorged, Depends girdled member while fanning himself with twenty dollar bills. So much for being subtle, but the geriatric group held no shame in their actions.
The buses had stopped running – one of the reasons I was glad on leaving. How could one live in a city this size and public transportation halted at 7:00pm? Several bewildered commuters dashed around asking if there were any other way out of downtown.
“Nope.” I croaked. “That’s it for the night.”
Cell-phones flipped open, taxis called.
As the Texas stars began to flicker in a dark navy sky, lo and behold, Capone came sauntering up like a caged gorilla.
“W’as up, dawg?! Can’t believe I missed my fuckin’ bus and am stuck down here!” He growled. He bummed a smoke off of me and continued as he lit. Those masculine features accented by the brief yellow flame. “This shit’s fucked up. I need a place to crash the night or get a cab.”
“How much you think a cab costs?” I asked, hiding my inward thrill that this Latin Adonis was even talking to me.
“Shit, homie, I live in Socorro. A taxi is a lot.” He said. He borrowed my cell phone and punched in the digits for Border Cab. Momentarily, he hung up. “Fuckin’-A! They want thirty fuckin’ dollars!”
There are moments in one’s life when one must take a risk, to venture beyond one’s borders and accept the outcome. Whatever fate throws at you. Most prudent faggots would lecture about the disastrous effects and label it as a bad idea. Yet, in my experience, bad ideas are seldom boring.
“You can stay at my house if you want?” I mumbled, then stuttered. “I have beer in the fridge.” Okay, I had one tall boy of 211 from a previous house party. But, bait is bait, right?
On his thick, muscular neck, he swung his shaved head up and down the street, angrily glancing at the vacant bus stations. He sighed in frustration, “Yeah, sure…all right. Fuck it. Where do you live?”
“Just a couple of blocks away. Up on Missouri, behind City Hall.”
We strode the short way to my building. Not saying a word to one another. Each time we passed under a street lamp, I scrutinized his attractive torso in the yellow splash of light. The copper, hairless skin which sported here and there the gaudy prison tattoo.
We entered my place. The joint was a small, studio apartment. Restroom in one room, kitchenette and living area in the main room. A queen sized bed took up most of the space. A bureau which held stacks of my folded clothing which was to be shoved into a suitcase the following day.
Capone flopped onto the bed, “What’s up with no t.v., dawg?”
“Oh. Uh, I sold that two days ago. I’ll be leaving El Paso in a day or so.” I smiled.
“You got that beer?” He asked. He fished into his baggy pants and pulled out a small, metal pipe. “I got some weed. You smoke?”
“Sure.” I lied. I hate weed. I was an adrenaline junkie. Dope that brings me down or ‘relaxes’ me actually pisses me off. I consider weed pointless as a recreational drug. Who wants to hang around a bunch of giggling morons? “On both.” I reached into the small refrigerator under the sink and removed the chilled beer can.
I sat on the foot of the bed and handed him the can. He popped it open, took a swig, and placed it on the end table. He put the pipe to his lips. I noticed that there was really nothing in the filter but charred ash. He lit, inhaled, made an ecstatic sigh and exhaled nothing. “Oh…I’m so high!”
“On life, I hope.” I smirked.
“Then I’m really fucked up.” Capone laughed.
Long pause of silence. That moment of Okay, we have nothing in common. What the fuck are we going to do now?
“I need to get home.” He stated as he took a long swig from the beer. “Loan me thirty bucks, dawg. I’ll get ya back.”
I’ll get you back. Yeah, and I’m Cybil Shepard. I leaned in close. “Look, Capone…I’m leaving for Tucson. There is no way I’m just giving you thirty dollars.” Here it goes. Blood and guts time. “You can earn it, though.”
His face goes slack. He knew where this was leading. “What you mean ‘Earn it’?”
I explained with an open palm, “You know I’m gay, right?”
“So, you like it in the booty? I don’t giva fuck.”
“Well, let me give you head and I’ll give you your taxi money.” I said calmly.
“What?” He barked. “Wait? What?! You wanna suck my dick? You saying I’m a fucking whore?”
That’s it. Visions of me curled up on my floor in a fetal position covered in blood and bones shattered flashed in my mind. Folly!
“Yeah. Sure. Whatever.” He said. “Just wanna warn ya, I got a pearl on my dick.”
“A what?”
“I had a pearl put in the shaft of my dick when I was locked up. Fuck a bitch with it, drives her pussy crazy.” He stated.
Okay. Whatever arcane fag shit that went on in prison didn’t interest me. The idea of some pot-belly, bearded and tattooed biker named Axel holding Capone’s joint and surgically inserting a pearl in his penis didn’t faze me. I was more interested in the hunger I had in the here and now. I leaned in towards his crotch like Nosferatu lurking Harker’s cut finger, “That won’t put a damper on my mood, kiddo.”
Capone put a powerful hand on my forehead, “Hold up. Let me use your cellphone, first. I wanna talk to call my ruca. Tell her I’ll be home soon.”
Sighing in reining frustration, I whipped out my phone and sat patiently as he punched in the numbers. “Hey babe, it’s me. Yeah, I’m still in downtown. I’ll see you soon. I gotta dude that’s gonna gimme taxi money. Yeah. I love you, too.”
Yadda-yadda-yadda. What the hell was he pulling? The deal was struck. It was a simple business transaction. Was his ploy to defer me with words of heterosexual machismo so as to get pity from me and to simply hand over the cash in the name of God fearing morality? As he continued the cooing dialog with his female, I nonchalantly reached over, unzipped his pants, dug into his boxers and pulled out his penis. Yes! Score! Even flaccid, that uncircumcised fucker was thick and long. While he chatted, I leaned over and placed the glorious prize in my mouth. I felt the erection grow in my gullet. Stroking up and down with moistening lips and swirling tongue, I felt the odd, solid bump of the inserted pearl. I pulled the stiff organ out and held it at the base – there was enough penis jutting up for two more hands – on the underside, halfway down, there was the solid bump protruding underneath the thin sheath of skin. There’s always a first time for everything, I rationed.
He snapped the cell phone closed and gazed down, “You gonna stare at it or you gonna get to work?”
“You want to take your clothes off?” I offered. “You are on the clock.”
He chuckled and undressed down to his boxers. He refused to remove those. He obviously had limits. Oh well, I had to work with what was offered. And, work I did.
Halfway through, he breathed, “I wonder if you’d get really nasty and get between my legs. I want to watch why you suck me off."
Who was I to argue? Two blow jobs later and we lay next to each other smoking my cigarettes. He looks over to the digital clock on the end table.
“Fuck. It’s already 11:30.” He said.
“Why don’t you just sleep here? You can take the bus home tomorrow and use the thirty for weed.” I offered.
“You sure you gonna pay me?” He said.
“And take the risk you beating the shit out of me? Yes, I’m going to pay you.” I chided.
We spent the next hour talking. Alone, he dropped the thug act and I found him a very funny and intelligent person. He had and still held a hard life, but he kept a positive outlook on his future. Capone had dreams and ambitions like any other young man.
He soon fell asleep. I did not. I lay there in the half-dark listening to him breath steadily. At least he didn’t snore. Even in the dark, he was so handsome. Then the unthinkable. Halfway through the night, he flings a concrete hard arm across my chest, snuggling up next to me lost in the power of Morpheus. I lay on my back, arms at my side, unmoving, torn with uncontrolled phantom lust.
Morning. I feel his erection pressed against my leg. Reaching down, I removed his penis from his boxers and began massaging the foreskin around the head. The tips of my fingers sticky with precum. I glance at his immobile face, notice the sound of crescending breathing through his nostrils. Spurt-spurt-spurt. He ejaculates onto my comforter.
His eyes pop open, “What’s for breakfast?”
I laugh, “Take a shower and get dressed. We’ll go downtown to get something to eat. I have to make a stop at the ATM, anyway.”
We shower – separately, thank you – and afterwards, he leaves a fair amount of shavings in my sink (he uses my razor to shave his head. I hate when they use my razor or toothbrush.) we journeyed downtown and grub on a mess of huevos rancheros at Tejas Café. Slapping the money in his hand, he mumbles thanks or adios or good looking out or something and darts to the nearest bus station. That night, I boarded a bus and headed west...
Years later, when I returned to El Paso, I heard that Capone overdosed on heroin and was found dead near the plaza downtown. Upon hearing the news, I sat in the park under that harsh Texas sun and wondered, How many more in my life? How much more death must I encounter on a personal basis? My life is a poisoned river and I bring death and bad luck to everyone I meet...

Monday, February 25, 2013

Skid Row Blues


Even by early morning, the midsummer heat began to rise. The concrete began to simmer. I noticed the sidewalk was spotted by a million blackened wads of gum, now hard and permanent. The air was stagnant which caused the downtown skid row district to literally smell as if nine million people had all farted at once.
I despairingly scanned my immediate surroundings. The local inhabitants, mostly the homeless and the deranged, shuffled around. Some alone, others in packs. In every doorway and stoop of shops, cafes, bars, and dollar store, men in shabby clothes with backpacks and baseball caps – the homeless uniform – stood talking, smoking, staring out into nothing. The route I had taken was littered in stale garbage. The few trashcans which lined the sidewalk were overflowing in festering trash. Picked clean of usable or edible scraps from early morning scavengers.
Groups of blacks howled obscenities at each other as bloated women - their pasty stomachs and sides pouring out of revealing outfits and tight sweat suits - cooed and screeched at every word. Many passed open bottles of 40 ounce beers at one another, mooched cigarettes, or hollered outward concerning petty annoyances.
“Bitch better have my motherfucking money I loaned her! I’ll cut that cunt if she shows up with nothing!”
“You ain’t getting’ shit from that ho! She done took off with Cookie to Hollywood! Yo’ ass got burned!”
“Fuck! Gimme a fuckin’ smoke!”
“This all I got!”
“Spot me the short, then!”
“I was fuckin’ Jolene last night, that fuckin’ ho done went an’ shit all over my dick!”
“That bitch nasty anyways! Why you with her?”
“She got some big titties, that’s why!”
“I got some titties, Ty, wyoncha fuck me?”
“Cause ya pussy all sloppy!”
“Fuck you, Ty! Fuck you!”
“Boxcar need to hurry up with them rocks! Dumb fuck all late and shit!”
“Yeah, but he got some good shit, though!”
“I don’t pay for nothin’! I just fuck that man for my shit!”
“Boxcar? Damn, bitch, ain’t you got no shame?”
“He gotta big dick, though!”
The group burst into raucous laughter.
I quickly strode past with hands in pockets. I glanced across the street and noticed the Central Police Department. A huge, windowless, red brick building. It was the only structure on the street which wasn’t covered by graffiti. Lined outside, propped against the wall, stood several junkies passing back and forth a glass stemmed pipe. They flicked lighters and inhaled their norcatic; issuing great, gray plumes of smoke up into the smog choked sky.
Two emaciated men began shouting and struggling with each other. The white rocks in which one held fell into the gutter. As the two men scuffled, a short, balding man briskly wobbled over to the gutter, snatched up the dope and dashed down the street.
“Donald! That crazy-ass honky just took off with your shit!” Cackled a grime covered hag. She pointed in the direction of the escaping junkie with an arm resembling a long and withered twig.
I quickened my stride as the two men scuffling broke off their fight and scampered after the thief like enraged jackals.
The crowds began to thicken as much as the garbage on the street. Packs of sordid individuals meandered around seemingly without purpose or direction. A chaotic carnival of transients biding time between feeding at various missions or soup kitchens which encircled skid row. Everyone carried a backpack or suitcase. Many pushed shopping carts pregnant with grimy and lost memories of nostalgia.
A scrawny, young black man in filthy, cutoff sweat shorts and a dingy tank top clopped down the street commanding his fat and scraggy looking girlfriend to hurry up and walk faster. The sweating, white female held a frayed rope attached to a rusted shopping cart. The cart had three more that were attached to it which created an overburdened train. No one paid them any mind as he gruffly spat vicious orders at her.
“Let’s go, bitch!” Barked the young man. “We gonna be late!”
The woman, red faced, in disarray, and perspiring, silently hauled the caravan in dutiful apathy.
Weaving through the throng of grimy citizens, I looked down as I passed, an elderly black man harassing a sleeping figure who squat on a milk crate. The black man was an ebony scarecrow in a dingy, blue sweater vest and grimy fedora. His face was contorted in anger as his bearded mouth opened and closed like a landed fish. The inert man on the crate remained catatonic to the rough shaking and poking of his constituent.
“C’mon, Jeff, get the fuck off my crate!” Howled the elderly man.
He continued to shake the bloated man who remained on the box like a khaki dressed, sleeping Buddha.
“Fuck! Goddamit! Shit!” The old man continued. “Get the fuck off my goddamn box! Right now, motherfucker!”
With a shove, the old man pushed the fat man off his crate. As if in a stupefied dream, the body slumped over and rolled out into the street. The fat man lay spread eagle on his back, his bloated gut exposed from his shirt which was pulled up in the fall. He didn’t stir. The body was immobile. No heaving of breath. I momentarily paused in my stride to notice that the fat man was indeed dead.
I looked incredulously around. The elderly man simply squat on his crate and lit a cigarette in gnarled and ashy hands. Knots of people stood and squawked at each other. A police patrol car cruised slowly down the street, barely missing the corpse which lay akimbo at the curb. The police car continued on. Not stopping. Not caring.

Sunday, February 24, 2013

City of Angels


I stood at the dust laced window of my hotel room languidly smoking a cigarette. The sun shifted into late afternoon and bathed the ominous skyscrapers of skid row in a sickly yellow tint.
From the next room, I heard a series of dull thumps and a loud bang against the wall.
“You want that? Huh? Fucking, bitch! You do as I say, when I say!”
“Ow! Fuck! Stop hitting me! I’m gonna call the police!”
“I’ll kill you before they arrive, you stupid cunt! What did I tell you?! Don’t smoke all my shit when I’m not here!”
The muffled fight continued as outside the window, Los Angeles simmered in the late afternoon heat. The hum of the city penetrated the closed pane: car horns, police sirens, the intermittent pop-pop of gun fire. From my vantage point, out between two buildings which seemed disused for decades, spread the horizon of a ghastly urban sprawl enshrouded in a green film of smog.
It was the first of the month. Payday for many general relief recipients. In skid row, the police did not dare venture out at night between the dates of the first to the ninth. It was a mad house down in the streets. A vast, seething orgy of narcotic and alcoholic reverie.
During the previous evening the chaotic carnival had already begun. Around midnight, the skid row cityscape was aglow with a multitude of bonfires set in metal trash cans or aflame from discarded furniture and placed at every corner or even in the middle of the street. The night was a continuous concert of screams, shouts, gunfire mixed with laughter and blaring music.
And it’s only the second day, I thought as I took another drag.
Down in the darkening shadows of that ominous labyrinth, I discreetly observed people shuffle or scurry about. Thieves, gangsters, prostitutes of both sexes, fags, and the truly demented sold, haggled, purchased, and congregated in knots with one another down on the corners and gutters.
From my vantage point, I gazed down into the alley which adjoined alongside the hotel. It was filthy. Littered with trash, discarded clothes, fermented body waste. Off to one side was a large, metal storage unit abandoned by a long lost construction crew.
Next to the storage container stood a fat black man in a blue track suit. The track suit was grimy and splotched with patches of white dust. The black man stood motionless, his pumpkinish head nonchalantly veered back and forth. Yellow tinted eyes hidden behind dark, wrap-around sunglasses.
A thin, tall white man strolled past him. The white man, dressed in baggy, denim shorts and a white t-shirt, was in his late twenties and incorporated the cocky air of one in and out of prison his entire life. His lanky arms displayed a kaleidoscope of uninspiring prison tattoos. The white man abruptly stopped, turned, and struck up an animated conversation with the black man.
The obese man casually chatted back with a curiously calm expression on his face in contrast to the smiling and overly gesticulating white man. After five minutes of this, the black man walked around the side of the storage unit and entered the open door. The white man curtly scanned up and down the alley with his head and then followed the black man in.
I continued to slowly drag off my cigarette as I witnessed the black man squat in front of the white man and remove his floppy cock from his shorts. The white man’s long penis swung free as the fat man gruffly jerked on it. In a devouring gulp, the black man slid the erect penis in his mouth and eagerly stroked up and down the shaft with blubbery, moist lips. The white man stood with head tossed back and hands clasped behind his hips.
My eyes glanced over towards the near corner where the sordid life of the street denizens continued unaltered. My attention returned to the opening to the storage unit. The white man held the black man by the back of the head and thrusted roughly into the gaping mouth. The white man’s face was distorted into a lascivious expression of pleasure as his tongue hung from his panting mouth. As he rocked rhythmically up and down on tip-toes to heel, he seemed to whistle silently and mouth, Yeah.
Without warning or command, the fat man whirled around, tore down his stretch pants, and offered his mammoth, bulbous ass up to the lanky white man. The white man quickly spit onto his palm, lubed the head of his penis, and shoved himself inside. Minutes passed as the white man rapidly lunged and rutted, grasping onto that huge, glistening ass. The black man’s ebon face was blank and emotionless as a well-sedated mental patient as his partner grimaced and sweated in orgasmic contortions.
Ultimately, the fat man stood and yanked up his blue sweat pants. With one aggressive stroke of a tattooed hand, the white man squeezed off and flung the residual semen and slime from his wilting penis onto the dusty, metal floor of the unit. The white man promptly dug into his front pocket and placed something into the black man’s chubby hand.
The moment the white man disappeared around the near corner, the black man nestled down against the metal wall of the container. He pulled a scorched glass-stem pipe from a fanny pack dangling at his side and lit up. Twitchy eyed and ecstatic, he blew billowing plumes of gray smoke up towards the steel ceiling.
Suddenly, from the room directly above me, there was a loud thump followed by a crash of shattering glass. A body of an elderly Hispanic man went careening down past the window and landed silently onto the alleyway’s asphalt six stories below. I watched in confused horror as down in the alley, the fat black man nonchalantly gawked at the twisted body. Slowly at first, he approached the twisted corpse. Then quickly, he rummaged through the body’s pockets, yanking out a wallet from the body’s pants, and darted down the alley, vanishing around the corner.
I let out a loud sigh and squished out the cigarette butt into an overflowing ash tray on the desk. I walked over and threw myself onto the bed. I lay there staring at the stained ceiling as from the room next to me, the couple continued arguing and scuffling.
The human condition. I thought. I have given up on the human condition. There is no hope for humanity. None at all.
   

Wednesday, February 20, 2013

In Dreams You're Mine, All the Time...

Tossed and turned in fits of nostalgic dreams last night. Particularly disturbing was the subject matter. The entire venture was focused on one Juan Holguin. Who's that? An old romance from days gone by. Actually, an off and on, sporadic, one sided romance which lasted for six fractured years.
Let me get you up to speed: I had first met Juan when I bunked at the Rescue Mission during my first run in El Paso. I was smitten the moment we had met. Tall, exotic looking, dark skin, beautiful eyes, and that naturally toned physique which no gym could produce. One of The Wild Boys who ran the crazy back streets and dusty alleys of El Paso cavorting brazenly with gangsters, drunks, hobos, and addicts. Leveled headed and non-judgemental, Juan was. A lost Angel doomed to self destruction. And the best part, not a queer acting bone in his sturdy torso.
We eventually moved into an apartment together.
Juan and I both acquired jobs and when we weren't working, we busied ourselves fucking all over the apartment in a myriad of interesting positions. It was gay heaven. Our own private passion pit. Until one day when I returned home from work and found his wife of two years and one year old daughter sitting on my couch. In an overly dramatic act which only a scorned queen could understand, I booted the entire clan out into the streets within a matter of minutes.
Six months later, I was renting an apartment in Juarez and while visiting El Paso, I ran into the Holguin family in Park San Jacinto in downtown. He excuses himself from his wife because "I want to see what his apartment is like in Juarez, babe". The wife dutifully returns home. We run to my place across the border and fuck till we passed out from exhaustion....
Another three months pass and I am invited to rent a room in Juan's house stateside. Sure, why not? For an entire year, whenever wife was out shopping or at church or attending evening classes with kid in tow, Juan and I received innerestin rug burns or back sprains from sexing like the two horn dogs we were. It went well until the inevitable day the wife walked in on us. Sigh. I was asked to leave. Karma is a bitch.
So, time passed and after more wacky adventures, I returned to Tijuana and receive a phone call from Juan with him stating work was scarce in El Paso and can't make ends meet with la familia. We discussed the possibility of him coming out to the west coast and getting a job in construction since at that time buildings were sprouting up like mushrooms in central San Diego. He agreed. I asked - while staring at the full bar I had set up in the kitchen of my new Tijuana home - if his alcoholism was still a problem. (During the last batch of time with him, he was rapidly and sadly deteriorating into a sloppy alcoholic) He said he was clean and  the following morning I purchased him a bus ticket to San Diego. Two days later, I met him at the Greyhound station. He debarked drunk off his ass and declared his penitence by banging me well into the wee hours of the morning.
But, I had changed. So had Juan. He suffered from constant shakes, nervous ticks, and his body had begun to deteriorate. I couldn't stand coming home everyday and he lying on the floor of the living room clutching another empty bottle pilfered from my bar. A week had passed when I returned home with a one way bus ticket to El Paso and sent him on his way.
Years crawled by and I had not seen nor heard from him. When I returned to El Paso, I inquired about Juan. One day as I entered the Rescue Mission to chat with a caseworker who was an old time friend, he was kicked out for being caught smoking crack in the men's room. My heart sank at that news. I really did, and guess I still do, care for him. Hell, my novel Of Men and Maggots is an account our futile attempt to move to San Diego together. The novel's incidents are all true. I simply changed the names. John Poston being me and Juan Holguin was changed to Rocko Tapia. 
Last nights dream had effected me. The entire day left me in a maudlin mood. Do I miss him? No. Not really. But, I do wonder how he is doing and if he is all right. The dream last night, though the particular incidents are vague, the emotions were soaked in sadness and concern. It put me in a pensive funk. So much that I thought I'd write about him here. My life is so amazingly crazy and unpredictable, I am certain that one day Juan and I will run into each other again...

Sunday, February 17, 2013

Forever Fucked.


It’s been two weeks since I freed myself from the chains of living the way I was.
Secure. Safe. Comfortable. Dull.
Every day waking up, drinking a cup of coffee, maybe with cookies or a piece of toast. Watching whatever news was on. Maybe playing that level on the game that I had bought for the Xbox. The Xbox! That was an addiction in itself. Before afternoon, I'd take the same walk downtown to eat the same sandwich from the same shop. Sitting in the same park seeing the same faces. Maybe walk over to the library to get free wi-fi and talk on facebook with people I’ll never meet. If I was feeling especially in a mood to mix it up, take in a day at the local coffee shop to talk to people on facebook who I’ll never meet.
Before returning home, stopping at a local market for food to prepare. Home. Make dinner. Watch the world news. Smoke a cig and finish the night on Xbox, again.
Every day. For three years.
To fill the in between times, I’d scribble out notes on a book which some demented kid will fawn over in Idaho or a better chance the book will not be read at all. Once or twice a week visit the local bar and sit there alone at the dank counter getting plastered on cheap beer spiraling down deeper in depression. Wondering all the while how did I, a person who at one time embraced danger and excitement, thrilled at socializing with the most interestingly unsavory of characters. How did I become such a bitter recluse? How did I revel in self-imposed solitude?
So, in a blatant fit of unthinking decision (As I had so often did in the past and made for a far better existence) I moved back to Juarez at the drop of a hat. I asked someone I hardly knew to use his address stateside for legal reasons and hightailed it to a pleasant apartment on a quiet street.
As stated, two weeks had passed and already my wandering eye was looking elsewhere. The same conundrum plagues me in Juarez as it did in Tijuana when I left in May of last year. Juarez hadn’t changed, I did. I moved in lieu of delusional fits of nostalgia. To rekindle a life I had led five years ago when I lived in the city before. However, I am not content. Not too thrilled at being here.
For one, all the friends I had enjoyed company with had left town in lieu of the past cartel wars. To be certain, I can make new friends, right? But that is the most insidious part. The previous three years in El Paso had eaten away at my confidence and self-esteem. El Paso is a very bitter city. The general population is mired in arrogant detachment with any one. So, I never really associated with anyone there. I attempted to make friends – friends! – however, their motives were always base and ulterior. Sad. So, I left and I am still mired in loneliness. Stuck in that same rut. I guess the old axiom No Matter Where You Go, There You Are rings truer than one would imagine.
And before you say anything, rentboys and hustlers don’t make good friends. They fill a void, so to speak, but like to steal. A lot. I had never had one in my house who didn’t take something! Pilfering rat bastards…dirty socks or vitamin tablets? Really?
Your next question is probably, "Why don't you go to the bars and/or clubs in Juarez?"
It isn't from fear of walking the streets late at night. I simply don't want to be sitting in a bar and be bothered.
What brought this on was a discussion I had with a handsome Mexican man during breakfast today at Café 656 on Juarez Ave. He was sitting at a table next to mine and overheard the morning jabber I had with the owner about how cold it was in my new place. He smiled and leaned over and greeted me in English. It was a general discussion, the kind I always get from the locals and I really don’t mind. How do you like Mexico? Have you been here? Have you visited there? You must take time to try this and that…the general stuff.
When asked what I did for a living, I stated that I was a writer. Five published novels under my belt.
“Are they fiction or fact?” He asked.
I do not know why that simple question effected me as it did, but I began a rant, “They are all fact. In the books, I’d changed the names, but the incidents are all true. I was there, I distinctly remember the shit I write happening exactly as written. However, most, if not all, readers believe they are fiction. The truly sad part, I have had long time readers of my books and especially my blog who have more than once stated they wish they could live as I do. I quickly warn them that I wouldn’t wish my life on anyone…it’s actually horrible.
However, throughout the years, several acquaintances had tried to mimic my life I had brazenly scribed and failed miserably. And, since they couldn’t attain anything near what fate flings at me on a daily basis, I am branded a liar and insane. There is a vast difference between Oh my God! I can’t believe I’d just done that! (Them) to Oh my God! I can’t believe that just happened! (Me). Honestly, I don’t go looking for these misadventures and sour mishaps, they simply occur. You can’t force this stuff. It truly is a curse. Kind of.”
That was the point of discontinuing this blog back in November. The only reason I originally wrote in this journal was to puke out all the diarrhea of thought over what insanity my life was spewing at me. Sure, over time, there was a slight bit of fame from readers. Honestly, I never expected anyone to read this…another weird occurrence in my life. Yet, during last year, what was there to write about? I remained in my state of the art apartment in fear. Didn’t socialize strictly out of abstract paranoia of some near death experience. Yet, true to form, the point is moot. I did it again. Slapped fate in the face screaming, “Do your worst, bitch!” Once again.
So. What now? What now, indeed. I have been invited by a friend from High School to relocate to San Francisco this fall. He has a roommate who will be leaving for a gig in Europe in September. My high school friend makes a myriad of points why I should go in which I won’t mention here. But, they are all positive and quite intriguing concerning literary arts and like minded people.
I told him I’ll make my mind up at the end of August. I still want to go and retire in Puerto Rico. Anywhere is better than on Tattooine, I reckon.

Thursday, February 14, 2013

Barrio Watch.

For the first time since I moved, I decided to take a stroll through my neighborhood. Unlike most of downtown, where many buildings resemble a post-war burn out, my neighborhood remains mostly untouched by the raping of the various cartels who, thankfully, moved on to more lucrative cities.
Walking down quiet streets, I was amazed at how not one structure resembled any other. Each house and building was unique. A far cry from the cookie-cutter mentality stateside. I whipped out my camera and snapped a few shots of places that caught my eye.






On another front, I was happy to find a couple blocks away a small coffee shop which also provided free wi-fi! It is called Cafe 656 and is quite pleasant. To be sure, there are internet cafe's on almost every corner in downtown and all with minimal fees, but, I like to sit with a good cup of joe and work on my computer and write with my machine and was relieved when I found this place.
As a fact, as of this writing, I'm at my new office (Cafe 656) and these fucking Americans just walked in. They were here yesterday morning, too. They have that look of complete bitter assholism which every American wears. The cafe is small, only three tables and a coffee bar. Today, I arrived early and sat at the table the three Americans were in yesterday. All locals enter saying "Good Morning/buenas dia" to everyone, in stereotypical contrast, the Yanks look around with that snotty-ass look common to gringo's in a foreign land and sit silently. When they first walked in, the glance at me was of such utter detestment. I just took up my cup and slurped it loudly, savoring their discontent.
I am editing a short story (26 pages) entitled "Room 626". It will replace the story "Hobosexual" in the my novel Dark is the Night. I strongly think Hobosexual would be a great stand alone work. Something to do this summer while I am making up my mind what to do. I guess.

Monday, February 11, 2013

No Homo.


Flying high off a caffeine buzz. It was packed - and I mean fucking swamped - at Cafe Central. I sat slurping down my third cuppa joe pretending not to be annoyed by the tiny tot who sat with the obese family behind me. The brat kept slamming a spoon onto the table. Ghastly. Pay the mesera and cut out into the bright blue cloudless Mexican sky of a Sunday morning. Even at this time the streets were teeming with early morning shoppers bustling about their various affairs.
Cut across park Independencia and was pleased to find a vast art fair going on. Several tables and stall were strewn about vending local artworks, vintage records, antique furnishings (i.e. radios from the 1930's and long forgotten hi-fi phonographs from the early 1970's) I struck up a conversation with one of the art vendors, he by the name of Edgar.
His table displayed a plethora of vintage knick-knacks and photos from the Way Back When Times. I was very impressed. We chatted on various subjects. I mentioned that I was good friends with the two owners of the coffee shop Percolator in El Paso and was scoping out antique things to dress the shop. To make the cafe more funky.
I stood around, smoking a ciggie and watching the mop-topped jugglers, a couple of bands, painters, poets. I felt alive. So...bohemian. Just another beatnik liberal commie, I reckon.
Inspired, I headed over to Avenida Lerdo and took in an afternoon at the local adult theater. I tell you, in the darkness of one of those seedy joints, I just like to sit and let my mind wonder. I get my best literary ideas surrounded by the grunts and moans of random, broken lust.
So, I'm sitting there watching the stylized ballet of the cruising fags in the isles when this tattooed cholo flops down two chairs from me. It is bitterly cold in the dank darkness of that crumbling cinema and seriously I am not in any mood for his mooching shit. I glance over and notice in the strobing blue light of the video that he has his impressive sized dork out and languidly stroking it. Is he watching the video? No. His eyes are set on yours truly. My sight adjusts to the darkness and notice he ain't bad looking. He was wearing a black ski cap, Dickies jacket, and khaki pants. his face was very Mexican. so, I scoot over and sit next to him. He doesn't move, doesn't say a word. As soon as my freezing fingers touch his erection he asks in perfect English, "You live in El Paso?"
"No. Not at all. I live here. My apartment is just a few blocks away." I state.
After hitting me up for a cigarette, he mumbles something to the fact that we should go to my place. "It would be more private, no?"
Now, first glance at this character would dictate that as soon as my door is closed, a knife would slit my throat, and this guy would rob my apartment blind.
"Okay. Let's go." I say.
We briskly walk through the long shadows of late afternoon over broken sidewalks to my place. I unlatch the door, we enter. He sits on the chair, looking around. "Not bad place. You got anything to eat? I just got deported. I was in jail Stateside for two weeks. I'm starved." He brazenly confessed.
After preparing him a grilled ham sandwich, I sat on my bed and watched him devour it veraciously. Afterwards he asked if my apartment had hot water. "I really need to take a shower. It's been a couple of days."
"Sure." I said. "Let me get you a towel."
He undressed, took a long shower, I snapped a picture, he didn't mind. Afterwards, he came out of the bathroom with only the towel.
"By the way," I asked. "What's your name?"
"You want a name? Does it matter?"
"It would be nice." I said. "I can make one up."
He smiled, "Tony."
Tony went into a long spiel about how he was attempting to get to Tijuana. He had friends and family there. He was working in the state of Washington when he was nabbed and detained by the INS. I asked where he was staying at and he mumbled the streets. Before I could inquire about anything else, Tony leaned over and, in the most masculine, and assuming way, began kissing me. Fumble, stroke, peeling off clothes. He pushes me back and takes my erection in his hands, muttering, "Just because I'm going to suck your dick don't mean I'm queer."
"Thought never crossed my mind." I sighed.
He did what he did. We did what was needed. Tony rolled me onto my stomach, slid his arm around my neck, and then slid himself inside. Thrusting and rutting like a gasping baboon, he hisses in my ear, "Fuck! You're driving me crazy!" Squirt. Cigarette. Shower.
We lay in the darkness side by side, the only light and sound coming from the electric heater on a nearby table.
"Hey." Tony began. "Can I stay here until I get enough money to get a bus ticket to TJ?"
"I have a better idea." I said. "How about tomorrow we go to the bus station and I get you a ticket?"
"Seriously? You'll do that for me?" He laughed in the dull orange glow.
"Why not? You need to get home."
Tony rolled over on top of me and whispered, "Well, let me pay you back, then..."

Saturday, February 09, 2013

Wang Dang Tango

By a miracle, I had fallen asleep. I have had such bad insomnia this past week. I awoke with a start to urinate and was startled that the digital clock on the shelf read 4:43am. Scrambling, I soon found myself out and on a city bus slowly chugging through downtown El Paso. The sun hadn’t even rose and long shadows stretched between sleeping buildings and houses as I passed southward through the city.
The bus was empty, save for myself, an elderly man who sat up front casually talking with the obese driver, and a young, black guy who sat adjacent to me in the middle of the bus.
I pensively sat and stared out the dark, grime streaked window. The silent neighborhoods whizzed by, foreboding and uninviting. Not a single scrap of warmth or personality. The American Dream. Everything was a copy of a copy of a copy. The blandness brought me down even more. I had an early morning appointment with a housing agency to be awarded a house through Section 8. I was quite optimistic. My first house. I have come to the unnerving reality that I was going to grow old and die in El Paso. Though my wondering eye always looked off onto new adventure and locals, fate will always be my cockblocker. Yet, it’s a house. And, if I qualify, I will settle and become stable. Why not? Wouldn’t you?
My thoughts were shattered when I noticed the reflection in the window of the black guy sitting across from me. He was young, in his early twenties. Tall and thin. Attractive features. He wore a black leather biker jacket over a white tank top. His charcoal colored jeans ended in black boots. In the reflection, the guy held an intense gaze on me. His hands were down at his crotch slowly stroking a long erection whish was poking straight up and out from his unzipped jeans.
My first reaction was shock from the brazen act itself. What kind of desperate motherfucker would whip his joint out on a bus and wave it at a complete stranger? I would had expected the stereotypical, paunchy pervert, but a young kid?
In the reflection, the young man held an intense gaze in my direction. From my window’s reflection, I continued to watch, at first with disgust, then with curious infatuation as the guy slowly stroked his slender, brown hand up and down the long shaft. With nimble fingers, he would pull the foreskin up and over the glistening head and then back down in rhythmic movements.
I continued to watch and the young man must have caught on that he was being scrutinized and held my full attention. This caused the young exhibitionist to pump faster. My stomach began to get knots. I was slightly aroused and that confused and angered me. I glanced to the front of the bus. The driver and the elderly man continued to converse oblivious to the show occurring behind them.
I nonchalantly glanced over to the young man. The moment our eyes actually met, that look of frustrating release washed over the kid’s intense face as white semen flowed out the tip of his engorged penis and cascaded down the long shaft covering his clenching hand. Mixed in with the chugging of the bus’ engine, I heard the heavy breathing escaping through the nostrils of the passenger. The exhibitionist looked at me and smiled a great row of white teeth. I returned the stare with a face as blank as a poker dealer. A sly grin crept across my face as he finished with scooping the remaining semen with his hand and flinging it onto the back of the adjoin bus seat.
With an uncomfortable glance, I noticed that the bus had fortunately reached my destination and I quickly debarked. I stepped out into the chilled, gray dawn of the city. It was eerily quiet save for the ambient sounds of distant, unseen vehicles and the occasion hacking cough of a solitary hobo shuffling down the black, spotted concrete.
I needed coffee. I stopped at a convenience store and bought a cup before heading over to wait in the long line at Housing…
Oh, and the date with Johnny? Well, I can state as an article of fact that it went nothing like this:

That's my story and I'm sticking with it.

Thursday, February 07, 2013

International Diplomacy

I awoke in the shivering dawn. That damn electric heater that I had bought decided to call it quits and burn out in the middle of the night. Jumped in the shower - I tell you, hot water is a blessing in these modern and enlightened times - dressed, and walked the few blocks to the Cafe fore a good cup of coffee.
On a bright, cloudless morning, I strutted down the broken, trash littered sidewalks, striding, as I always do like I have a purpose or as someone leaving a hold up. I passed a business which taught English and computer services. Standing outside in the chilled shadows of that mammoth, plate glass building was several students and teachers soliciting passerby with their services. One, a mop-haired young man in a retro, faux-leather pimp coat stopped me with an extended hand. I smiled, shook it. He was tall and held a mane of curly, black locks that cascaded down to slender shoulders. His face was light colored but held distinctive Mexican Indian features.
In broken English he asked, "Do you speak English?"
"Fluently." I croaked. I had to admit, I was somewhat put off by his extreme good looks. And furthermore, I was waiting for a sales pitch.
"Are you visiting from El Paso?" He asked continuing to smile that smile which would melt any heart, cabron.
"No." I said. "Actually, I live here, just three blocks that way." I thumbed behind me towards a row of silent, crumpling skyscrapers that seemed disused for decades.
Our brief discussion was quite pleasant. He related how he would like to talk more in English and had "un milliones de preguntas."
He introduced himself as Johnny - not Juan, you understand, but Johnny - Vargas. I introduced myself and threw caution out asking when he got off work and perhaps we could meet at Cafe Central for coffee and convo. He smiled bigger and agreed. "Okay. At six?"
Shaking hands I continued my trek for breakfast, feeling quite awesome over the impromptu date which I had orchestrated. I had no idea if he was queer or just overtly friendly, but friends right now was in high demand on my end over a pointless lay.
The rest of the day was tranquil. I stayed home and pounded out more pages in a new novel in progress. It is the journey of a homeless queer from El Paso to San Diego and the slice of Americana he finds on his way. I am titling it Hobosexual. It fits.
At five thirty, I made my way to Cafe Central with the usual depression that this Johnny wouldn't even show up. I half expected it and simply sat there listening to two street musicians play JAZZ in the middle of the cafe with their sax and bass guitar. It was wonderful.
At 6:20, Johnny sauntered into the cafe smiling that fucking smile. Damn. His gangly body was so...angular. We said our hello's and I offered coffee. We sat and chatted about a multitude of subjects, he in his broken English and me in my atrocious Spanish. He was quite impressed when I stated that I was a writer.
"Do you have any books here? I'd love to read them!" He said.
"I have copies at my apartment." I said.
"You live near here, si? Let me check them out." He asked.
My stomach was in knots. This is why I adore this culture so much. So friendly. Not mired in suspicion and arrogant distrust like Americans. Still never dropped the queer bomb, so I didn't know where he stood. I was hoping he didn't deteriorate into a hateful macho fuck once I told him. Once home, I'd have to. I mean, how could I discuss the subject matter without revealing the queer angle?
I paid for our drinks and walked with Johnny the few short blocks back to my trap. Once inside, I showed copies of my books. He smiled when I handed him one with PUTA emblazoned across the cover.
"What's this about?" He asked chuckling.
Well...why not? I explained the story and subject with him. He stood there knodding, listening as I gesticualted wildly as only a writer can. "So...you no like the women?" He asked solomnly.
"No, not as much. But, I didn't ask you here to force you into anything you aren't comfortable with." I explained.
"That's okay." He mumbled. "No problema."
I excused myself to take a piss. Offered him a bottle of orange juice in the fridge. In the restroom, I did my business. Took my time. Swishing Listerine around my mouth to get that coffee and cigarette taste out of my mouth. Once I opened the door, I was suprised to find Johnny hudling under my blankets on my bed. His clothes neatly folded on a nearby chair.
"Comfy?" I asked.
He said "Ven con migo." (Come here with me)
I undressed down to my unders and crawled in bed with him. We lay side by side with his arm under my head. His body, though rail thin, was so warm. I imediantly began fantasizing of trailing my hand across his lean copper-colored torso. We talked a bit about his work, how he wanted to get to the States for a better job, a better life. The standard convosation. I was about to roll over and kiss him when I noticed he had fell silent and was fast asleep. I wasn't angry. The boy worked all day. I would be tired, too. I simply snuggled in and embraced him. It was much needed. Human contact. Not virtual. An insidious problem which had plagued me for three years.
Ten o'clock at night and Johnny awoke to urinate. I watched as he creeped across the cold tiles in saggy boxers. When he returned he mentioned he had to leave to go home. (Most likely to his wife. It wouldn't suprise me) He had to work early again the following day and lived far. However, he asked if we could meet Friday night and perhaps go out for drinks. "I know this place that has good cerveza and plays live jazz. Since you like jazz music."
I agreed, got dressed and walked him to the corner. Before he made his way to his bus terminal, we shook hands. I lit a cigarette and watched him briskly dissapear into that Juarez night. I returned home and, inspred, wrote more in my novel before crashing around midnight.

Tuesday, February 05, 2013

Monday, February 04, 2013

Coffee, Cafe

Woke up in the shuddering chill of a Mexican February morning. jumped in the shower. No hot water. Damn third world problems. (I find out later from my smiling and patient landlady that I need to really turn the hot water tap hard. Will do.) I wanted breakfast and I am telling you Cafe Central on 16th de Septiembre has the best mess around. Get dressed and saunter the five blocks to the restaurant.
Downtown, even on a cold Sunday, attains that unbearably calm hum of oppression and poverty that Juarez possesses like no other.
Amid crumbling masonry and dusty plate glass windows covered in faded and tattered posters of hundreds of missing women, kind elderly sweep away the unrelenting dirt with kind smiles and Buenas Dias as I make my way down the shattered sidewalks. I pass shoe shine boys vying to clean my leathers, taxi drivers on the hustle, wary looks from the indigenous inhabitants wondering what this white-assed gringo was doing here. Two emo-fags swish by and give me the eye as I take a puff from my cigarette, giving them a solid Jack Kerouac B-movie production as I slip in the glass doors of the cafe.
The joint is packed. A cavernous room dating back to the early 1900's. Tables and booths line the mirrored walls as a mammoth counter encircles the middle of the room. I find a seat in the back at the counter and quickly notice the terra cotta work on the ceiling and row of original gas lamp works from a by gone and forgotten era, now dangling with dust and virdigre.
Families sat with calm children in green leather booths, couples stole loving glances across tables as elderly read newspapers of soccer scores and lottery numbers amid gesticulating friends chatting up the previous nights skirmishes at bars and pool halls.
A bespectacled matron takes my order, "Un cafe de taza y juevos rancheros, por favor." She smiles and gets lost in the chaotic ballet of the other servers.
"Man...what the hell are you doing here?" A voice next to me asks in perfect English.
I look over and notice a ruggedly handsome man with thick Mexican Indian feature grinning at me. He is nicely dressed, obviously American - or trying hard to imitate the fact therein. Clean shaven with a long hooked nose common to his people. His short-cropped hair is jet-black with gray at the temples. Something in his demeanor told me he was queer or intellectually so.
"Breakfast." I croak. "I just moved back to j-town last Friday after a half decade hiatus."
He smiles, takes a sip of his coffee as I put cream and sugar in mine. "What the hell are you doing here?" I ask jokingly.
He pats a blue backpack next to him and mumbles shyly, "Just here to pick up some medicine and enjoy the coffee."
"This cafe does have some good coffee, don't they?" I agree.
We go into a discussion of how much he misses living in Juarez but is finding it hard to find work in El Paso. "Maybe, I will try Denver?"
I explain that I am a published writer and he surprises me that he was a literary student when he attended school. Our conversation then fall to the works of Bukowski and Burroughs, Kerouac and Selby. He relates about authors of Latin America who I had never heard of yet writes in the same vein.
What a pleasant start for breakfast, I thought.
I explained to him that I was keeping an eye out for a fellow writer who moved to Juarez two years ago. We were to collaborate on a book concerning the violence which raped this city for five years. However, he went down to the small town Delicious to question a doctor friend of his who was being bullied by the cartel and I never heard from him again. At this time I see him as a statistic of the violence, but I have learned, at least in my life, nothing surprises me anymore.
The literary discussion with my coffee mate lifted my spirits. Actually made me happy to be back in a city in which I adored. And also, began the creative juices to flow, so to speak.
As all good things, though, it had to end. As soon as the elderly waitress slammed down my mess of eggs and salsa, the Indian excused himself and said goodbye. He wasn't looking forward to waiting on that bridge. I heartily agreed. America - that bastion of oppression, fear, paranoia, and control. An Empire ready to fall.
I sat alone slurping my coffee amid the thousand clinks and scrapes of utensils and patter in a foreign language and I thought, All good can come of this. If not, it will definitely open doors to new experiences. A far better deal than simply lounging around an antiseptic con-apt watching television or chatting with people online who I barely know or will never meet.

Sunday, February 03, 2013

There and Back again

The apartment was small. Not too small that it felt like a closet, but comfy small. For single occupancy, not too shabby. It was nestled on a side street in a quiet barrio on the good side of town. The most promising part was that it had an entrance to the street where children played and all shops and vendors and restaurants and cafes were within a two block radius. Inside was what you would expect for an $80 a month flat in Juarez City: old, yet charming furnishings, leaky taps, and solid adobe brick walls. I liked it.
The elderly landlady, her by the moniker Rosa, gave me the grand tour. She was overtly bubbly in her presentation, but didn't know that I had already decided to rent the joint as soon as I saw it.
I had to get out of El Paso. That dead museum in which I had loathed from the first day stepping on it's soil back in the 90's. I had tried and succeeded in living that static, responsible life that oh so many cohorts bleated at me to live. Nice calm place. Furniture from Walmart. Dishes. Big screen television and the occasional patter with friends talking of nothing but their work or how their love life is in tatters. It was eating me inside like a stomach full of maggots. For three fucking years I lived like you, Dear Reader, and I was utterly miserable. And it showed. I had become a quasi-recluse, not being sociable on an intimate level. Oh, I had associates who I spoke with all the time, just not face to face. Like so many of our times, the large bulk of my friends consisted of an iphone pic on a monitor or the cold, emotionless banter of text messages and status updates. (Don't forget to place an emoticon so they won't notice that you are a constant bitter bore.)
I had to do something about this comfortably insidious, emotionless cocoon that I had placed myself in. Oh, I did my fair share of whining about change, of moving on to adventure and dubious excitement, yet it took me three years to act on it. So, like  a thief in the night, I grabbed my gear and hightailed it over to Cuidad Juarez.
Cuidad Juarez. The old bitch had changed since my sudden departure in 2008. After the bloody ravages of the drug cartels, the city looks like a post apocalyptic movie set. Burnt, crumbling buildings line many an avenue. But the cartel had left (mostly) for other more lucrative parts of Mexico and the pulse of life has returned to the streets. It is a beautiful Mexican beat, a Fatima of life that cannot be squelched. When I would walk the downtown streets of El Paso, the lonely quiet would intimidate me. The solitude of the people who would huddle in their apartments not wanting to go out, the bitter arrogance of the few who did. So, undeniably American. As I said, I'd walk those empty, beat streets in a funk always questing more. In Juarez, it is the flip of the coin, the streets, at all hours, are teeming with pedestrians. Teeming with humanity. It is a fucking breath of fresh air. The best part is, in the few days here, I have been running into old friends: Eduardo, Oscar, Marlon. Sho owners who remembered me and asked where had I been? It is an uplifting feeling. I don't feel suffocated anymore.
I realize this is my first post in months and is quite haphazard, but let me get in the swing of things. After all, I've only been here three days. I will file a report as often as possible. To write...oh, to write again. This decision I had made has made me very optimistic.