Old queen sat cross-legged on the concrete bench cackling and guffawing under one hundred degree weather. She smoked her final cigarette and continued to confess her ailments: hepatitis, tuberculosis, schizophrenic sexual habits and anything else that would make you seem interested. She would flip her long ponytail streaked with gray and husk through a toothless mouth about being a hairdresser in Hollywood before it all fell to shit.
I explained that the mental clinic in which I spent the last three hours stated that they would literally bend over backwards in helping me get an apartment. She giggled and smoothed out a wrinkle in her cargo shorts.
"Call me Rodney! Everyone does!" She would coo at any swaggering ex-con who happened to saunter by and hit her up for a smoke.
She blew cigarette smoke and halitosis into my sweating, sun-tanned face, "Oh, dearie, thank you, oh thank you, for letting me read that book of yours! Oh dearest, how I related to every paragraph you wrote."
I had loaned Rodney a proof copy of Hobosexual and wanted to gage her/his reaction. Never thought it would cause her to react in such an over-dramatic emotional manner. Her rheumy eyes leered over the torso of young Kyle, the blonde skater slash street hood who had befriended me a few days prior. He stood next to me with hip out, puffing on a borrowed rollie, thick tattooed hand rubbing across his exposed stomach. His white Irish Catholic skin glowed in the mid afternoon sun.
"I'll be getting me apartment through housing tomorrow." Rodney drooled. "Why don't you and your friend come over for lunch?"
"Sure." I agreed. I wanted to see the place anyway because it would be the same complex I would be renting in. Kyle scratched his balls as a chunky girl with jiggling boobs lumbered by.
As Rodney and Kyle went into a heated discussion of the pro's and con's of the fair sex, I recalled how fast events had occurred this past week. I had accomplished all that I had set out to do and had attained benefits of my labor quicker than I had expected. So, at the moment, I think I will remain in Tucson for a while. Weather is pleasant and the people are nice. A 100% turn from that wasteland of El Paso. I really am glad I made that final decision to leave.
"I'm thirsty. Let's go to the store and get something to drink." I offered Kyle. Rodney declined on account he was yapping with a young Mexican cholo who had recently been released from prison and decided to be a "kind ear."
Kyle and I dashed across the street talking of horror movies - he stuck on Saw, The Ring, Paranormal Activity and me on I Spit On Your Grave, The Devil's Rejects, and Salo - we entered the liquor store and the joint was empty. Unnerving, like in a horror show. Eventually, this tiny, gray haired old lady hobbles out from a hidden room and greets us.
"I'm getting a water. Get whatever you want." I said to Kyle.
"Hmmm...I don't know what I want..."
"Ohhh, I know what I want." Husked the old granny checking out my friend.
We both laughed and said, "Whaaaat?"
"A hamburger from Wendy's, that would hit the spot, don't you boys agree?" She quickly added.
"Nice save." I mumbled.
I purchased the beverages and Kyle and I returned to the park. Rodney sat alone still on that bench, tan skinned shrink wrapped over crumbling bones. She looked like a mummy. I mentioned that, she didn't think it was funny.
A truck pulled up and a kind Korean family emerged and began handing out bag lunches to the homeless. Like pigeons, the tramps flocked towards them - some running, grasping hands extended, stomachs loudly rumbling. The father Korean doled out the bag with a "God bless you" to each one as a shabby, beat drunk pissed on a religious statue behind them.
I slowly nodded my head as I witnessed this frenzy and inwardly smirked, I may be insane. But, at least my life is never dull...