I lit up my third cigarette as I stood under that harsh incandescent light and waited for a midnight bus out of Calexico. The station was closed and loomed sad and quiet behind me. A family of Mexican immigrants huddled nearby with their fifteen or so pieces of luggage. Their bus to Los Angeles had come and gone - the snarling driver stating there was no room underneath the carriage, they'll have to wait four more hours for the next ride. The sky was crystal clear and splashed with stars behind black palm trees. A cholo with tattoos on his thick neck and arms, dressed in stained sweat shirt and ratty chino's, rummaged through the dumpsters across from us, in the distance a sad ranchero tune warbled.
After one let down and various indecisions, not to mention several horrible anxiety attacks culminating in two attempted suicides, I coldly leave Calexico without any presumptions at what my next move will be. I'm just going to get on that bus and go.
My ride arrived and was packed with loud kids sitting in the back and a woman with a screaming baby. I hate Greyhound. But there was no Mexican bus lines offered in this tiny town. I sat next to a quiet elderly woman and listened to jazz on my headphones. As the mammoth machine hurtled down I-8, I glanced up out the plexiglass windows and watched the distant stars slowly drift through a dark, navy sky. I feel so useless. So not with it. So utterly disconnected from the human race. I have failed at everything I had attempted in the last few years. I had made so many bad mistakes that I have lost count to the point where the weird and horrible had become routine. I have once again lost everything, including apparently my mind.
I feel so lost, so...severed.
Writing that seems strange, because the truth is I don't feel anything. No emotional attachment what so ever. I feel so hollow. Nothing interests me any longer. Including the will to continue on in this life. I keep whirling the question in my head, What are you going to do? What's next? And the same black empty words keep rolling back up in my face: Nothing.
Except for the yelling crazy lady boarding in Tucson and the handsome, young black guy sitting across from me popping boners in his track pants all night as he slept akimbo in his seat, the ride was uneventful. Outside the vast plains of the Great Southwest stretched in every direction speckled with long abandoned houses, farms, gas stations - the beat loneliness washing everything into a sickly yellow and tan hue.
We rolled into town a town and I debark, finding a small and reasonable hotel. Checked in by a shaggy haired, doe-eyed waif, he simply giddy at me breaking the monotony of his job, which I am sure consisted of simply standing around and collecting dust like the antique furniture which was strewn around the lobby. As I signed in, I said thank you and wondered what his sex life must be like.
I took the old, gated elevator up to my room. Pleasant for the price. Old-style frame bed, dresser, wash sink against a wall, a desk (they had wi-fi!) and an old-style tub - one with feet - in the tiny bathroom. Unpacking, I pulled out a fifth of whisky I had purchased before I left Calexico, snatched the glass offered by the sink and took a long swig. Damn. Burned going down. I moved to the window and parted the blinds. I lit a cigarette and stood there watching the town bustle below me, noticing my haggard glare returned in the window's reflection. I looked tired. Physically and mentally.
Undressing, I lay onto the bed. It was heavenly. It had to be about 1:30 in the afternoon when I lay down and did not wake up until the following morning around eight. Showered, dressed, and walked to a corner cafe and had the best chilaquilas I've ever tasted and don't get me started on the coffee.
I found a park and sat under a leafless tree on an old bench. A chilled breeze blew under overcast skies and I thought, What the fuck now?
What the fuck now, indeed?