I walk down the garish arabesque neon of Juárez Avenue. Not a soul. Drunken corpse lies in someone else’s overcoat, shiny over the dirt. Mexican cowboy a foot away converses to Durango via cellular. Taxi drivers don’t even bother me. The wind blows harder. Trash and dirt swirls in eddies across the street up into the blank dark. Dirt in my eyes. Fucking desert!
I curse as I cross a street in front of Tequila Derby - weekend be-bop joint for teenage revilers and high school hipsters. Look down the alley. Taxi? Asked meekly. He acknowledges I require nothing. I stop and purchase a pack of Lucky Strikes from an indigenous Mexican Indian huddled in a cove of crumbling masonry, small television emitting black and white images of The Simpsons in Espanola. We chat on the weather. Nasty. Muy feo.
Two queens saunter by and give me the eye as I pass café 656. I stride up to the corner and cut down a street, hands in jacket pockets, cigarette hanging from mouth in a real James Dean fashion, you dig, giving the fags their B-movie production. Down a silent street. Lampposts emit yellow glows...intermittent areas dark and foreboding with shadow-like phantoms fluctuating within the gloom. Black dog drags something grisly and wet in its maw. It whines and stops. Scratch. Scratch. Picks the black wet thing up again and trots off down the dark street lined with brick and adobe houses. Was it meat?
I light another cigarette and amble to the corner, the wind is howling fierce. I stand under the lamp and listen to the buzzing of the condenser. I think of Saul. I think of Hector. I think of all the myriad things I had done the previous years.
I wish I never had left Tijuana.