I stood under the shade of a tree in front of my slum dwelling. The dusty, sagging tree did it's best to provide shade however it failed miserably. I glanced down the street - crumbling flats of multicolors tenements lined a simmering concrete which lost the war of time.
At first, I thought it was an old man shuffling with his daughter. He wore a straw fedora, blue checked shirt, jeans over a scrawny form. As he and the girl neared, the man called out, "Hola, coma esta?'
I had to do a mental double take. It was Oscar strolling home with his daughter. A wave of both exhilaration and anger enveloped me. On Oscar's last visit we had an argument:
"I'm not like that anymore. You making a joto out of me." He bleated on that ill night. Too much alcohol had long converted his brown eyes crimson.
I wasn't going to take any of his Macho Mexican bullshit and snapped, "Did you not confess that you haven't had 'sexual relations' with your wife in over six months? That you couldn't stand being in the same room as her. The nagging, the condescension? You know why, Oscar? Because you are gay yet you fall into this latino mythos that every man south of the border needs to attain some type of normal relation with a woman so as not to incur the suspicions and wrath of friends and family. You realize that is utter bullshit! You are gay, man! Accept it!"
He stood up and strode to the restroom, he hollered back as he took a piss, "You are wrong! I am not like that!"
"When we first met years ago," I continued, lighting a smoke and blowing huge plumes toward the stained ceiling. "It was you who approached me. It was you who pressed me into bringing you home. It was you and only you who made an effort to visit my house everyday to get your rocks off! I never forced you into doing anything you did not want to and now with me back and you married, you are confused. You are split right down the middle on the way your life is and the way it should be."
He quickly walked out of the bathroom and in anger chucked his empty beer bottle at me. It missed my head and smashed against the wall behind. "No!" He roared. "I am no pinche puto!" His red eyes were shrink wrapped in tears. Before I could retaliate from his physical onslaught, he stormed out the front door and down the dark street.
I gulped another swig of my beer and simply shook my head. I wasn't angry, more sad than anything. What an emotional torment he must be going through. And with my surprise appearance back into his heterosexual relation with his wife, I really must of thrown a wrench into his machinery.
So, where was I? Ah yes...Oscar approached me in the heat and asked if everything was okay.
"Everything with me is fine. It's you who I am worried about." I stated.
He shot me a glance of anger and then glanced at his daughter. He mumbled that he had more shopping to do and perhaps will be over later in the evening for drinks. I looked him dead in his eyes and stated with utmost sincerity, "My door is always open for you, old friend. You take care of your family first, I will be here waiting."
As I watched him and his daughter shuffle down the cracked street, I hope he understood my meaning...