Wednesday, August 31, 2005


If little else, the brain is an educational toy. While it may be a frustrating plaything---whose finer points recede just when you think you are mastering them---it is nonetheless perpetually fascinating, frequently surprising, occasionally rewarding, and it comes already assembled; you don’t have to put it together on Christmas morning.
The problem with possessing such an engaging toy is that other people want to play with it, too. Sometimes they’d rather play with yours than theirs. Or they object if you play with yours in a different manner from the way they play with theirs. The result is, a few games out of a toy department of possibilities are universally and endlessly repeated. If you don’t play some people’s game, they say that you have “lost your marbles”, not recognizing that, while Chinese checkers is indeed a fine pastime, a person may also play dominoes, chess, strip poker, tiddlywinks, drop the soap or Russian roulette with his brain.
One brain game that is widely, if poorly, played is a gimmick called “rational thought”. And like the games in grade school, I was last to be picked for the winning team.
I also had Klaus as my caseworker again and I explained the recent events in my life. He suggested that maybe I should schedule to see the psychoanalyst that visits and treats several of the cases at the mission. Klaus assured me that he didn’t think I was crazy, but having a check up couldn’t hurt.
The following day, I was to see the psyche-doctor at three. Klaus explained to me it would only take about twenty minutes. I said hello to Dr. Guzman. He wanted to ask me a few questions. Guzman and I sat alone in Klaus’s office. Dr. Guzman was a thin Mexican with round gray eyes, speckled with flaws and opaque spots like damaged marbles.
“This will be brief. From talking with you in the hall…I doubt if anything is wrong.” Guzman noted.
The session went on for two hours. Guzman recently graduated from the psychiatric department at the City College and I started to wonder at his medical modis operandi.
When I complained of a lack of purpose in life, Dr. Guzman had yelled, “Purpose! Purposes are for animals with a hell of a lot more dignity than the human race! Just hop on that strange torpedo and ride it to wherever it’s going.”
When I had expressed a wish to overcome my alleged irresponsibility, Dr. Guzman had said, “The man who considers himself ‘responsible’ has not honestly examined his motives.”
When I expressed outrage, Dr. Guzman shouted, “Don’t be outraged, be outrageous!”
When I told him I thought I was a failure, he stared at me and sneered: “So you think that you’re a failure, do you? Well, you probably are. What’s wrong with that? In the first place, if you had any sense at all you must have learned by now that we pay dearly for our triumphs as we do our defeats. Go ahead and fail. But fail with wit, fail with grace, fail with style. A mediocre failure is as insufferable as mediocre success. Embrace failure! Seek it out. Learn to love it. That may be the only way any of us will be free.”
Dr. Guzman was all right. And after all this he diagnosed me as manic-depressive schizophrenic II. Whatever the hell that is. And prescribed me on Prozac and a whole galaxy of other mood depressors.
So, I am confined to the mission and fill my time with intaking new clients. After a couple of filthy intakes, a thin Indian looking boy with a large hooked nose sat at the desk dressed in surfer shorts and a red tank top. I studied the way his nipple poked out of his shirt; I always did have a thing for nipples.
“Can I help you?”
“I need to get a bed for the night.”
“Have you been here before?”
I reached in my desk and took out another intake form.
“Santiago Sienz.”
“Have you talked with the guy up at the front desk?”
Santiago made a pattern over his face with his hands. “The one with the scars? He’s helping out my wife.”
“Yep…he’s a real bitch.” I quipped.
Sienz bent forward lowered his voice, and said jokingly, “He is a queen, huh?”
“Yeah, he’s just bitter because somebody dropped a house on his sister."
We both laughed. I continued with the standard questions, using my wit along the way. Except for that big nose…he’s kinda cute.
I handed Santiago his ticket and told him about the showers. At one last joke, I referred to the bag of tacos that Santiago was holding and said pointing at the bag. “You gonna eat that?”
“No.” Santiago said placing the bag on the desk. “Go ahead and take them.” And with that he walked off into the dorm.
Monty, who was sitting and watching television whirled around and cocked his head, “You are a roguish tramp! Took the mans last tacos and him with a wife!”
The people nearest started to laugh, I turned red. “I was only kidding! Here you want them?”
Monty put up a hand, “No, child! It was your greedy ass that asked for them…you eat them!”
“I was only kidding!” I said in defense. Later I gave them to an old man that looked like he hadn’t eaten for days.

Friday, August 26, 2005

The City of Dead Roads.

And then reality reared its ugly head. This morning I woke up and Vincent was gone. Now there is nothing strange about that, people come and go here so quickly that there is a certain unwritten rule that you should not get attached or involved in their plights. But, I did and I was saddened by the fact that Vincent didn’t say goodbye. I really did like him.
Well, my life did go on. I was attempting to locate an apartment in Juarez with the help of Keith and this old hobo named Andy. The old man wore a smelly blue suit that was blotched with stains on the knees and crotch. Andy had an old dirty jacket, shiny over the dirt. He had no socks; his feet were covered in tattered shoes. His greasy silver hair was slicked back over a pink forehead. The old slob always looked slack jawed and incoherent. We found Andy living under a bridge near the mission. He was collecting social security so he had money. He was Irish and used to be a boxer when he was younger. Now he was just old and feeble. One in Juarez and with the advice from a friendly old taxi driver, Andy found an apartment and moved in immediately. I didn’t see any apartments I liked or the rent was too high.
Keith and I hung around some bars but it started to rain. All the streets in downtown Juarez were flooded. We both were drunk beyond belief. To get back to the bridge that crossed to El Paso, we had to wade through hip deep polluted water with the chance of electrocution from downed power lines. It made for a funny situation. Kept asking taxi drivers if they rented canoes. Through that crazy night drizzle streets like Hong Kong we waded slowly through market ways and we come out on the whore street district and get off behind the fruity fruitstands and tortilla beans and taco shacks with fixed wood benches---it's the poor district of Rome. There is no describing the awfulness of that gloom above the adobe rooftops. Rain is blearing down--pretty boys are dashing over gutters full of pools--dogs bark at rushing cars, the drizzle empties eerily into holes of festering sewage...
Once back in El Paso, ate at a Chinese restaurant warmed up to hot tea and returned to The Mish.

Wednesday, August 24, 2005

Heavy Metal Fluid.

There are opportunities in life for gathering knowledge and experience. In order to do this, one must take a risk.
Vincent brought me cocaine when he could score for it. Good coke is hard to find in Mexico. I had never used good coke before. Coke is pure kick. It lifts you straight up, a mechanical lift that starts leaving you as soon as you feel it. I don't know anything like cocaine for a lift, but the high only lasts ten minutes or so. Then you want another snoot.
There is no tolerance with cocaine and not much margin between a regular and toxic dose. Which is not the same as heroin. With H, I sometimes got too much and everything went black and my heart began turning over. Never that problem with coke.
You, see, junk is a biological necessity when you have a habit, an invisible mouth. When you take a shot of junk, you are satisfied, just like you ate a big meal. You don't want another shot right away. But using cocaine, you want another bump as soon as the effect wears off. If you got coke in the house, you will not go out to a movie or go out at all until the cocaine is all gone. One snort creates an urgent desire for another line to maintain the high. But once the coke is out of your system, you forget about it.
There is no habit to coke, cabrones.

Friday, August 19, 2005

Dues Ex Machina, What?

"Oh fuckin' yeah! That feels so fuckin' good!" I moaned as I rode on top of Vincents bucking torso. We had rented a twenty dollar a night room at The Gateway Hotel and the bed springs were squeaking overtime. The air conditioner didn't work and our bodies were soaked. I had my palms on the pink walls as Vincent held my hips thrusting himself upward into me. The bed thumped and boinged loudly. Grunts and moans permeated the room.
Bending down, I sucked his thick tongue as he banged harder and faster. I straightened up and smiling I looked up to the ceiling seeing stars and without any assistance I shot hot spurts of jissom across his dark stomach and chest. "Fuck, that's hot", he breathed. I looked down and saw the glaze in his amber eyes, he was about there.
"Here it comes!" He grunted, face contorted in orgasm. I could feel his penis growing in me, ready to shoot. His thick brown hands clutched my hips and with three viscous thrusts he emptied his hot semen inside of me.
With a fluid plop, we fell onto each other, kissing until our heavy breathing subsided. We laughed at each other as we both looked sopping wet like we just emerged from a swimming pool, the sheets were soaked. Vincent slid out from under me to take a piss. I lay on my stomach, asshole throbbing, hugging a pillow, staring at nothing. I grinned, "Baybeeee...I want more!" I kicked my legs like a little kid.
Vincent stood at the door to the bathroom, drying with a ragged towel his short muscular body wet from sweat. His penis pointed downward, that long brown uncut fucker still semi-erect and glistening from cum and lube, "No can do, baby...we hafta get cleaned up and go meet Charlie."
As Vincent took a shower, I crawled over to the nightstand and lit a Lucky Strike. There was a highball glass there and a bottle of Jose Cuervo which I filled the glass. As I lay there watching the old ceiling fan spin, the warmth from the liquor began to take hold and I remembered the reason we were here. Both of us were broke, so Vincent talked me into going with him to get Food Stamps and then selling them. Of coarse, being homeless we both were approved. Since it would take several hours to activate the two cards, we decided to rent a room to romp and play while waiting for the cards to activate. Vincent got on the phone and called an old friend that would sell our cards for us.
Through Vincent I met a man by the name of Fat Charlie. He was this extremely obese nut case that had his fingers in several dubious and illegal affairs. He always seemed to be smiling, even when he was mad. And that shoulder length permed hair just made that six-foot tall behemoth even more disturbed looking.
He agreed to take us to a guy named Savage Henry who was willing to buy our food cards for sixty cents on the dollar. However, Savage Henry was on the other side of town. For a kickback of, say maybe, twenty percent, Fat Charlie agreed to take us there.
And there Vincent and I were, flying down the freeway in a broken-down Ford truck, Johnny Cash blaring Rings of Fire over the 8-track tape player and Fat Charlie screaming along to the music.
When we arrived at Savage Henry’s apartment, we were met at the door by a bitchy old Mexican queen named Ruffo. Waves of hostility flowed out from his large brown eyes like some sort of television broadcast. The effect was almost like a physical impact. His mouth was drawn down at the corners in a grimace of petulant annoyance. Savage Henry was a scraggy old fag chain-smoking in an old armchair full of holes. His fingers were yellow from nicotine. His faded striped shirt was marked here and there with cigarette holes. Fat Charlie tipped his old torn white cowboy hat.
“Well, howdy, Henry. I need to make that business deal I explained to you on the phone. Would you like to purchase two food cards off of these fine young men?” He watched the ash spiral down from the end of the cigarette; it hit the floor in a puff of gray dust.
Savage Henry’s voice sounded like an ungreased machine. “How much is on them?”
“Oh, they have $150.00 on them both.” Fat Charlie’s face wrinkled into a cherub smile. Front tooth missing.
Savage Henry looked us over with cold dead fish eyes. A white tongue flicked across chapped lips. Ruffo stared at us with contempt and hatred. I thought he was going to pull out a gun. Then Savage Henry wheezed, “Sure. I’ll take ‘em. Standard price. You both sure are pretty boys.” He casually stroked a finger across my cheek.
Selling the cards was a piece of cake, so after paying off Fat Charlie we were returned to the mission. We both had about two hundred dollars between us. It's always good to have a little pocket change, right?

Thursday, August 18, 2005

Steers and Queers.

Yesterday, as I was sitting outside the mission swatting flies, up the dusty road walked Vincent Guzman. A beautiful sight for my sore gay eyes. The young man of eighteen was handsome in a rough kind of way. He had jet-black hair, hazel eyes; shiny black hairs hung limply over his full lips. He had one of those Chicano Indian faces and his skin was very dark. There was a sad look in his eyes. A look both alive and beat. I noticed that his hands were ashy and had calluses.
Perhaps a field worker…I like a man good with his hands.
Since I have some time on my hands with the therapy I am receiving, the powers at the mission gave me the job of intaking new clients. It was a thankless job but it had its advantages. I was intaking clients that day and decided to process him.
“What’s your name, my friend?”
“Vincent Guzman.” The boy said softly, almost coy.
I read off the questions and Vincent answered with a timid shyness that was almost too cute. He knew the game. Cat and mouse. This kid was an old time hustler. In his dirty faded jeans and red plaid shirt that smelled of endless truckstops, flop houses, bus station restrooms, and cheap hotels. Freely giving his sex up until he needed something. The boy preyed on cockjunkies. He knew how to smooth talk, give generously, and then take until there was nothing else. Vincent knew the score and so did I.
“You can get a bunk after you take a shower."
“I’ll do anything you say.” He said softly, and yes there was a glint in his eye.
I bet you will.
I put his folder away and said, “Go to the dormitory. The man at the desk will give you a towel and some soap. Do you have any shampoo? No? Okay, I’ll lend you some of mine. Take this ticket, it has your bed number on it. Give it to the dorm clerk, you’ll get it back after you shower. That’s when he’ll issue a pillow, sheet, and a blanket.”
Vincent took the ticket, “Thank you.”
The boy gathered his small plastic shopping bag that contained a few dingy belongings and walked out of the room to the dorm next door. My eyes followed him like a lizard following the coarse of an ant.
I rushed into the dorm and to my bunk, took out a bottle of my shampoo. I kept my personal items and clothes in milk crates under my bed. Waiting a few minutes at my desk tapping my fingers and sipping on my Dr. Pepper, I entered the bathroom and the shower was sending steam in great swirls around the room. I entered the shower area and Vincent was lathering up his dark torso with the coarse yellow soap supplied by the shelter. I stared at his muscular body, the flat stomach, the hairy chest, the dark hairy legs, and his long penis. It seemed to me he was concentrating a lot on cleaning that part of his torso. I watched for long seconds as he rubbed and stroked his pubic hair and penis into a big cloud of bubbly white lather.
“Uh…here’s your shampoo.” I finally said. I held it out.
“Thanks.” Vincent said walking over for the bottle; his cock swinging and my eyes were transfixed on it.
Walking back under the water, Vincent dabbed some shampoo onto his head and worked it into his hair.
“If you need anything, just ask. Okay?” I said stupidly.
Vincent stared at me with a serious look. “I’d like to finish my shower. I’ll talk to you outside.”
“Oh…of course.” I strode out of the bathroom.
I returned to my desk with the memory of Vincent’s torso still burning in my mind; lust flickering like heat lightning. For a whole week I’ve been surrounded by a bunch of unfortunate looking faggots and in walked this breath of fresh air. We immediately became friends. His uplifting attitude got me out of my rut.
The last two hot summer nights were spent joking with my friends next to the mission and now talking to Vincent under that big black starry sky. Sitting under the rusted water tower, staring at the lights of Mexico just across the Rio Grande, listening to the highway breathing and the buzzing of the cicadas in the trees, Vincent put his arm around my waist and stole an innocent kiss on my cheek. "I like you", he whispered into my ear. But, we were interrupted by a the call for curfew.
All in all, these are fun times. We were all piss poor, but we all have each other. I know it sounds corny, but it is so peaceful and carefree. So, different from the stressed out time I had in Tijuana and Los Angeles. With homeless people there is this sort of bonding blatant camaraderie. These people are so much friendlier, so much more real than those fake and plastic bitches back west.
Well, onto business. I saw my psychiatrist today and have started the long process into fixing my head. The only fear I have is that these drugs that they will prescribe will make me lose all what I am...this wild spirit, this uncontrolled artistic lover of life and spontaneity.
Is it all worth it?

Wednesday, August 17, 2005

The Ministry of Love.

After staying at the Gateway Hotel for two nights, I knew that I had to go and get a bed at the El Paso Rescue Mission since I was low on funds. I retrieved my luggage from Amtrak, been to freaking San Antonio and back! I acquired the address along with directions and made my way to the shelter in that unforgiving dry climate. I was soon to find out it was not conveniently located in downtown like the ones in Los Angeles or San Diego or any other sane metropolis. No, this one was way out there on the fringes of the desert.
The El Paso Rescue Mission is a small one story building nestled in the craggy rocks of this nowhere Tex-Mex border town. From the outside, it looks like a long forgotten green and yellow painted army bunker with railroad tracks crisscrossing on either side. A dilapidated water tower rusted from decades of non-use, stood next to the building.
Once inside, through the dusty glass entrance one will notice the various offices sprinkled with tacky religious objects. The mission statement is based on religious beliefs, but no one believed them for a second. The mission receives many donations from charitable groups; televisions, fine furniture, new clothes, good food. None of these are ever seen by the clients, the items are all sold at various swap meets around town and the monies pocketed. The place is corrupt to the core.
From the lowly ass kissers who volunteered all the way up to the shelters general manager, a Mexican woman named Juana Ortega, who sits in her office like a great Aztec Goddess. When she said yes, it was a blessing; unfortunately she dealt in mostly no’s. She is surrounded by the saddest crew of boot lickers and ass wipers in the business. One has to stay on their toes, since there were so many Kafkaesque rules; you could be thrown out onto the street at the drop of a hat. And there were plenty of pigeons that will do anything to stay in Juana’s favor. Those nameless assholes are the temporary residents; people on the missions various programs, from alcoholics anonymous to the job search programs. They are allowed to stay as long as they like. Or as long as their sanity would hold out. When a person first comes in, he is a client until he gets Juana’s approval to stay longer than the obligatory three days. Though more often than not, they stay for a single night.
I sat in the intake room as the few clients drifted in. Old shabby men. Indians and Mexicans. Addicts. Thieves. Fags. Train Jumpers. Hitchhikers. The men that walked through those doors were lost souls because this mission was way out of the way – in a dead end town. The building was a diving bell, at the bottom of a Black Sea; cables severed.
After a brief interview, I was told I had to take a shower and then I was given a bunk. The dormitory is the largest room in the building. It is adjacent to the bathroom and showers. Packed with rickety old army surplus bunkbeds, the room can house 120 men on any given night. It is a dirty funky smelling room wafting with the aroma of sour feet and filthy linens. I didn’t sleep well my first night, mainly because I was issued a top bunk and the damn thing jiggled all night from the slightest movement by my snoring bunkmate below me. Asshole.
Everyone was awaken at the obligatory 5:30 a.m., washed up and stood in line to wait for breakfast. As the line jerked forward for a bowl of hot oatmeal I was affronted by a small-wizened man that resemble Yoda from Star Wars wearing a Sante Fe style shirt.
He smiled showing his toothless hole. ”Howdy! Watcha got planned fer today there, feller?”
“Well, I was going out to look for a job.”
“Nope ya ain’t, I need help an’ you just been drafted.” He cackled and shook my hand. “I run this here kitchen…ev’rybody calls me Papa Smurf. After ya eat yer breakfast, you can start cleaning th’ tables when everybody’s done. Then report here at twelve erclock an’ you can help me serve lunch.”
He cackled some more and then waddled off. My mind was in a muddle. I didn’t know if I should laugh or what. Who was this little creature that talked like Mr. Haney from Green Acres? What Red Neck Hell have I gotten myself into? Well, at least the job wasn’t too difficult and I had access to all the food I wanted.
I was eventually assigned a caseworker, Mr. Klaus, an elderly man, his aged face a leather chair on which Time and Care had sat once too often. His close friends lovingly refer to him as Mother Superior. He is an old gay man tall in stature with a shock of white hair. We became very close and he is making my stay at the mission more tolerable. It was never sexual; it was just a good friendship. We confided in things to each other we’d never tell to another soul. During the following weeks, I will be seeing the psychiatric doctors that come from the hospital. Hopefully I can finally fix this craziness in my mind.
I was soon to find out that this mission was teeming with closeted homosexuals, even though I would also befriend many straight people staying here, both were friendships that would last for years I'm sure.
Getting adjusted here will be easy. Everything goes at a super slow pace. Just what I need, I think. To pass the time, I would help out in the kitchen or hang out in the intake room and socialize with the new friends that I made. Monty, a tall thin black queen (in denial of coarse. He claims to be an ex-G.I. and he is separated from his wife.). Keith, an overweight red neck who everyone called Bubba, he said he came from Virginia on a bet that he could walk to El Paso and back. I guess he lost the bet. Tom, an ex-drug addict on parole, a tall lanky good ol’ boy with a strong southern drawl and missing front teeth. He had the job as the security guard at the mission.
And then there is Sergio Herrera. My friend and rival. Sergio Herrera is a small Mexican guy queer to the core. He was handsome once; he possessed very chiseled Chicano features, however that ended when he had the car accident. His boyfriend and himself were driving in Juarez drunk when they smashed into a telephone pole. Now Sergio’s face is a criss-cross of scars. The effect just makes him look bitchier. We both had a competition going on who could scam on the most guys at the shelter.
Another wing nut, Javier Acosta, is one of the mental cases that stayed there. Jaime is one of my favorite friends. A short fat Mexican with a mane of greasy hair and a beard full of crumbs. He is always happy and very obedient. And last but not least is an old time faggot that everybody calls Big Gay Eddie, he's a sixty-year-old man that wears tight blue jeans and muscle shirts. His hands shake all the time. He told me he was a go-go dancer in the 50’s.
Other than the clients and the temporary residents, there´s also the Meds. They were the sorriest of the bunch, long forgotten zombies who shuffle through the corridors of the mission in frayed slippers and stained clothes waiting for the hour glass of time to run down until their next medication or the call for chow. At that time they shuffle rapidly, stomachs churning, spittle clinging to their chin. Most of the day they would sit out on the side of the building on the various milk crates or rickety chairs and stare at nothing under the blast of blue sky.
My only sexual outlet is the sneak masturbating at three in the morning amid the snoring and farting of the one hundred assholes staying the night. Sexually, my life has become the exact opposite than in Tijuana. I spending many nights pent up and frustrated. Yes, these past four days are pretty dry and I am emotionally horny.
Well, I made this decision and I am sticking to it. But, that doesn't change the fact that I am really horny...any takers?

Friday, August 12, 2005

Juarez City Blues

After a comfortable nights rest, I called the Amtrak Station to see if my luggage has been located. Not yet. So, I dressed and went to a cool little diner called Tejas Cafe for a mess of eggs, toast, and sausages. The coffee was quite good. Ran into an old Drag Queen friend named Noah. Whatever happened to so-and-so set in and believe me Noah really knows so-and-so. After breakfast, I headed towards that great concrete bridge that links these two cities together. Pay the thirty five cents and hump over. Downtown has not changed one bit.
The Central Zone of the city is sprawled out along a flat mesa lining the Rio Grande just opposite her sister city of El Paso. Multicolored buildings, some new, some old, some never fully completed with the iron scaffolding jutted into the smog-choked sky spreading across the landscape. The chipped and graffitied buildings were dwarfed only by the blaring billboards announcing everything from cheap tequila to the cure for herpes. To the west of Juarez proper was a large mountain range that was blanketed at the base with the residential colonias. These multicolored neighborhoods ranged from elegant haciendas to cardboard shacks. There was always one fire blazing night or day in the poorer quarters so that a choking gray haze hung over the city. The air was thick with the cloying blare of honking horns and high decibel Mexican music.
I started south on Juarez Avenue to the old Guadalupe Cathedral; a pile of ancient stone dating back a couple of centuries. From what I remember, Juarez sprang up around the cathedral like growing fungus, spreading outward. The sidewalk was bustling with people; all dashing to and fro in their various affairs. As I strolled down the dusty sidewalk I was swarmed over by ten taxi drivers all on the hustle:
“Downtown, Meester?”
“Pussy women? Titty girl?"
“Donkey Show?”
“Best pussy…no like pussy? I got boys…twelve years old!”
Oh God, I thought. “I gotta get some smokes.”
I noticed a couple of boys selling cigarettes at the base of the missions’ steps. Good ol’ Mexico, I thought. I looked around; the area favored nothing stateside for sheer filth and poverty. Among the indifferent mass of pedestrians, people shit all over the street and then lie down and sleep in it with flies crawling in and out of their mouths. Entrepreneurs built fires in the street and cooked up hideous, stinking nameless messes of food that they dispense to passers by. Hot and dry like a Turkish Bath, and vultures eating a dead pig off a side street and everywhere you look there is some baboso scratching his balls. Yep, good ol’ Mexico.
I crossed the busy plaza in front of the church, I new this place well. On weekends the plaza was packed with hustlers cruising for a few bucks. This was the meeting place for all the local men who wanted an afternoon diversion. Under the blazing sun, the teeming flesh eyed one another with unbridled macho lust. After the sun went down, the hustlers were a bit seasoned and more professional.
I looked at a young Mexican boy that looked back and smiled, I thought on how this city changed me, when I first moved to Tijuana, the thought of paying for sex appalled me. My attitude was that I was looking for love and not sex. Guys should love me for who I am and not for what I have. This is a vulgar lie. In this gay life, there is no love…only sex. And for the most part that’s a disappointment. So, over the years I have come to look at the sex act as a commodity of necessity that can be purchased like a pair of shoes or a pack of cigarettes.
Next to the gazebo in the middle of the plaza a group of performers dressed as Aztec Indians dancing to a tribal beat. They were surrounded by locals and a scattering of curious tourists.
A swelling cry went up from the kids who sold cigarettes in the streets. “A ver lookies!”—“Look here Luckies!”—Nightmare fear of stasis. Will they be saying “A ver lookies” 100 years from now? Horror of being stuck in this place. The fear followed me like my ass.
Vultures circle over and roost on the low dusty buildings. I walked by an empty shop with a vast rubbly lot all around. You see this all over Juarez, a city of vast open spaces, shit strewn lots and huge parks, vultures wheeling in a violet sky and young kids spitting blood in the street. Some interesting monuments. One to Chavez—whoever he may be. Naked boys with wings twisting around a cone straining up as if to goose each other.
Really, Mr. Chavez!
And alone on a pedestal in the island separating two wide streets a life sized bronze 15-year-old boy, completely naked playing marbles. Heats me pants as I pass him.
The reason I headed to The Plaza because it was right around the corner from about five gay bars and discos. And down the street there was an adult theater. I had to check that out. A worn down theater with rotting wooden stadium seats and dirty red curtains. They showed scratchy prints from the late ‘70’s in Italian with Spanish subtitles. It was pretty pathetic compared to the porn-palaces in Tijuana.
Then it started to rain. Hard. I hung around some bars trying to wait out this deluge. All the streets in downtown Juarez were flooded. Talk about a horrible situation. To get back to the bridge that crossed to El Paso, I had to wade through hip deep polluted water with the chance of electrocution from downed power lines.
Once crossing back, I returned to the hotel. I decided that I will reside at the Rescue Mission until I am employed and then return to Juarez.
Here I go again.

Thursday, August 11, 2005

The Space Between

Sitting in the cavernous Sante Fe Depot in downtown San Diego, sipping Victory Coffee, I waited for my train. Birds dive and swoop in the rafters. Sullen old Mexican shuffles by Latin security guard. "Arriba Mexico." Old man mutters. The Mexican Porter (Long gone are the days of black porters yessa boss.) so, this Mexican of titanic obesity will claim my duffel bag but not my trunk. Too heavy he says. Hafta carry it on myself. Yessa boss.
Had the fortune of riding with Alma Rodriguez, my first landlady in Tijuana way back when. Small chit-chat en espanol until she conked out. Old folks---gotta love 'em.
Like the sound of God farting, the train lurched forward. Clikclakclikclak. The California terrain whizzed by...small yacht graveyard, brush of green and khaki, warehouses in the distance of knockoff Nike and Sanyo. Great canyons of dusty eucalyptus, an encampment of hobos wave and the lonesome horn blows across the peeled sky.
The mighty ocean swings into view, I sigh, it will probably be the last time I see the Pacific. Surfers bob in the murky green as the fat and rich gaze with lust from their hillside haciendas.
Into the concrete defecation of Los Angeles. The city of my youth and broken dreams. I depart at Union Station and wait the two hours in the main hall of 1930's style deco. "If you're not cop, you're little people." And as an added kick in the caboose, I sit watching a group of young filmmakers shoot one scene about thirty times.
We departed that crappy ass metropolis two hours late. No one in that deathtrap I wanna see except Nilton, the little Peruvian hottie that I smuggled across the border three years ago. All aboard! I was herded into the train cabin with two hundred other assholes like Schindler's Jews and was paired up with some smelly cat that looked like Riff Raff from Rocky Horror. And, oh yes, the inevitable little brat bitch that continued to kick the back of my chair from L.A. to Tucson.
Twenty three miles before Palm Springs, as SugarRay warbles over my headphones, we pass giant windmills---giant, white propellers---hundreds of them. I grab my cellphone and call my pal RJ back in San Diego: Where you at? On the slowest train ever! I whine. Oh, knock it off, ain't even there yet and yer already bitchin'! Yup, yer right.
Huge Socorro cactus fifteen feet tall, amazing rock formations, breathtaking vistas of green valleys that would appear like magic oasis out of the rust colored jagged mountains. Small villages that seemed to be stuck in a 1950s time capsule. Brightly painted withering shacks with rusted trucks propped next to them, weeds sprouting out of cracked cement. Mexican cowboys walked by tall and thin, with slow animal stupidity. Children would run up to the train and the passengers would throw coins and the kids would squeal with laughter all under the glare of the blue sheltering sky.
Wind through giant granite mountains as sun sets in slow blaze of glory. I retire to the Observation Deck and make eye contact with blond hottie from Santa Barbara. Smiles are exchanged and nothing else. Cozy up and rap three hours on silly shit.
Me: Do you like science fiction?
Him: Yeah...I like it. Star Wars, Dune, Battlestar Galactica, Lord of the Rings, Lost in Space...
Me: Dr. Smith was voted Queen of Outer Space in the 2001 issue of Starlog.
Him: Really?
Me: (Dead on Dr. Smith imitation.) You bubble headed boobieeee!
Him: (laughing) That's hot.
We chat some more and around 2a.m. he retires to sleep.
I cannot sleep---never can on a moving vehicle---so I sit and stare out into the moving darkness amid the snoring and the gentle rumble of the coach.
Eventually, the red ball of sun crept over the low mountain vistas. Had a delicious three pancake breakfast in the Dining Car. Sat over good coffee with good company. Through broken quarry mountains and pass the muddy sludge of the Rio Grande, the massive Asarco tower points like a phallic symbol to the unrelenting sun. Passing wind bleached buildings, the rusting metal wall separating North from South with holes cut through for determined Mexicans. Within minutes: El Paso! But that urban sprawl wasn't on my mind, where my thoughts dwelt were south of the border, to it's skanky twin bitch city of Juarez.
Anyhoo...first things first. Departing the train was punched in the face by a blast of dry heat. Forgot about the hellish climate. Then was notified that my large duffel bag with all my clothes missing! Was compensated a lousy $100 for the day. If it isn't found after 24hrs I will be compensated for $5000. Well, checked in the Gateway Hotel, an ancient pile of stone that dates back to 1899 and it shows. Eh, for twenty bucks a comfortable bed and a hot shower is all I require. Took a bath and slept. Will visit Juarez manana.

Tuesday, August 09, 2005

The Big Wait.

I sit here at an open cafe, munching Afghan food and sipping Merlot on this warm and breezy afternoon waiting for my train to depart at 5:30pm. Yesterday, I found my old written journal and I sit here thumbing through it. Reading a part when I lived in Juarez:
I'm riding along with Sylvio in the green cab, drunk, with big bottle of Fundador Bourbon whiskey in the military canvas carrybag they'd accused me of holding stolen goods on the Greyhound outside of I am in Juarez City, rainy Saturday night, mysteries, old dream sidestreets with no names reeling in, the little street where I'd walked through crowds of gloomy Hobo Indians wrapped in tragic shawls enough to make you cry and you thought you saw knives flashing beneath the folds...lugubrious dreams as tragic as the one in downtown Los Angeles next to the rail station...outside's a brakeman with red light and white light, lumbering in the sad vast mist tracks of life, smoke of reefer wafting through choked air...but now I'm out in the Great Desert of Mexico, the moon of Citlapol big and round and orange...a few nights earlier I'd stumbled on the sleepy roof on the way to the ancient dripping stone toilet...Sylvio is high, beautiful as ever, goin home gayly to go to bed and enjoy his morphine. Juarez City is definitely a city of dreams.
I stare at this entry with wisps of nostalgia. The headiness of the Merlot starting its effect and I began to crave this journey even more. Bought a digital camera for the trip. Perhaps I can finally figure out how to download them to this site. Such a calm has come over there is nothing to do but wait.

Monday, August 08, 2005

Punching a Hole in the Big Lie.

A ticket was bought and a train will be boarded. I wrapped up things at my apartment, giving the keys to my Landlady. This time I am taking a steamer trunk of all my shit with me...there is no coming back. Nobody here I will miss. Years ago, when I left Juarez City for San Diego, I was consumed with a sharp sadness. I do not share that emotion with Tijuana.
I came here under false pretenses, anyway. Originally, it was my obsession with Felix Montero. And that drive alone sent me hurtling here at all expenses of heath and finance. But after the last communique via all stopped. The want to see him again and to talk just snuffed out like a candles light. A ten year accumulation of false hope and wishing shut out with a push of a button. That part of my life is done. With great confidence, I can say: It is over.
Now what to do?
I sat and I thought. For a very long time I thought. It wasn't until my friend Hector commented that of all the myriad places that I had seen and visited, where did you feel the most comfortable? So, I thought about it. And the border town of Juarez City across from El Paso, Texas flashed on and off like a siren in this darkness of mine.
Juarez is a great city. Great by means that I had more kicks than in Tijuana during my stay in that frontier western town. It is more corrupt, more sleazy, more un-American than any Mexican city along the border. El Paso isn't shit...there is nothing there. Hell they only got two queer bars in the whole burg! But, Juarez! It a virtual Sodom and Gomorrah in the desert. I wrote my best shit there.
So, my train leaves tomorrow via a change in Los Angeles (Yikes!) and then a direct shot to El Paso. I have rented a room in a small yet comfortable boutique hotel, the St. James, for the night and will be up on the roof with a box of beer and my laptop.
Juarez City, whether you like it or not, here I come.

Saturday, August 06, 2005

Stays Crunchy In Milk.

You know, I am better than this. Fuck these mood swings. This is my last weekend in Tijuana. Loaded with a few joints of weed and a pack of Lucky Strikes, I'm gonna go find El Guapo Saul and use his fucking body like a roller coaster and then I'm hittin' Queerville and getting fucking tanked with what ever doe eyed brown skinned tart calls my attention.
I hope this time I don't wind up face down in an alley without pants.
See ya manana, fuckers...

3:10 Noche Viernes.

Walking through these dark cracked streets huddled in someone else's coat. I stop under a poster covered street lamp and light a cigarette. The buzzing from the condenser above me fills my head. Banda music waivers down through the shadows intermittent like black wind through dead trees. I look up and the wires criss cross the starry night. I close my eyes and sigh.

In a town of ten million people, why do I feel so alone?

Friday, August 05, 2005

Dark Roads of Nostalgia.

Around 2 a.m., I found myself in an all night diner gulping down black coffee and smoking a Lucky Strike on Avenida Revolucion with my good pal Hector. The bars were closing so we sat at the counter window and people watched. We both sat their silently when we saw some European tourists walk by with huge backpacks on their way to wherever.
Hector took a sip of his coffee and dabbed his pencil thin moustache with his napkin, "Tell me, have you ever hitch hiked anywhere, gringuito? Any place in particular? I find hitch hiking very dangerous."
Like a Z-Grade movie I stared into the obsidian cup that sat in front of me and I started to remember...Five...six years ago in the wilds of East Texas...
First off, let me tell you; hitchhiking is not a sport. It is not an art. It certainly isn't work, for it requires no particular ability nor does it produce anything of value. It's an adventure, I suppose, but a shallow, ignoble adventure. Hitchhiking is parasitic, no more than a reckless panhandling. Hitchhiking is not like it is in the movies. I stood out on that interstate for six hours before someone decided to pick me up. It was an old Chinese man in a rickety old pick up with a loose fender. It rattled worse than an old queens dentures. In contrast, the Chinaman at the wheel made no noise at all. He wore grim lips and a far away squint, both mute. Chinamen are like that. He made me sit in the back as he drove me only six miles before telling me to get out. He was exiting the freeway. I stood out there on that damn interstate with my thumb out for five more hours. People would drive by and honk, giving me the thumbs up as they whisked by. Others just would give me the finger.
I am again picked up by a smooth black cat named Alfred on his way to Houston to play a gig. Trombone player, he claims. We talked of minor things and state of the Nation.
Outside, the vista presented a kaleidoscope of images: acres of rusting car bodies. Streams crusted with yesterday's sewage. American flag over an empty field. Wilson Stomps Cars. City of Xenia Disposal. South Hill a vast rubbish heap. Where are the people? What in the name of Christ goes on here? Church of Christ. Crooked crosses in winter stubble.
We finally reached Houston in the early evening. We said our goodbyes as he dropped me off downtown. Walking into a cafe near the Greyhound terminal, I sat drinking coffee wondering what's the score. What's next? A tall red head guy who sat next to me struck up a conversation. Sitting in Levi's and a plaid shirt, he sported a dull orange mullet and his face and arms were covered in freckles. When he smiled he would reveal long yellow horse teeth. His name was John Poston and he thought the whole ordeal I was in was pretty damn funny. He also invited me for a lift. He was a truck driver and said he could take me as far as Fort Stockton. We finished eating and then we loaded up into his truck and took off.
Along the way the conversation was on our lives and John confided in me that he was a drug user. He had some crystal laced with opium and asked if I wanted any. Does a bear shit in the woods? We pulled off into one of those highway rest areas and spent the evening smoking that shit. Then John said he wanted to tie me up and beat me while fucking me. I was so high. I thought he was joking until he pulled out some twine and a policeman's club. But when he came for me I ran out of his truck. He started yelling obscenities, threw my bag out of the truck and took off.
"You fuck! I'll kill you, you fuckin' fucker!" Echoed into the deep blue night.
I grabbed my gear and walked aimlessly around the rest area. I was the only one there for a long time until a ratty old station wagon pulled up. A short fat bald man rolled down his window and asked if I needed a lift. I told him where I was going and he said get in. The man gave me the jitters. He would giggle between words. His eyes would dart around; roll in his head like loose marbles. He sweated profusely.
This man, as I'd known only as Nick, offered me a beer from a cooler in the back of his car. There was nothing in the back of the station wagon but a stained brown mattress, a cooler, and some gardening tools. I was very paranoid of this man as we sped west on interstate ten. We talked and he could tell that I was pretty high. He offered me some pills to bring me down and like an idiot I took them. The last thing I remember of our conversation was he telling me, "Oh, yes, my little buddy, there's no shame in one man loving another man, no shame at all." And then I blacked out.
Issuing winds of disturbances
White hot and howling
The winged mercury cries, broken he crawls
Caught with the flames of devils
Softly the silence falls, like a shadow
The fragile spirit of man
When I came too, it was in the afternoon and I was lying propped up against a broken wall that all remained of a gas station. A sign on the road said: PECOS 29 MILES. It was riddled with bullet holes. Flat desert was all around me and all I could hear was ringing. Ring. Ring. The ring of a telephone. I looked over to see a phone booth ten feet away. I got up and walked over to the phone but when I got there the phone stopped ringing. I slumped down into the booth. Everything I looked at had incandescent trails. My muscles tingled and my skin felt like wax. I stood up to take a piss. I wobbled a bit, feeling my knees buckle. When I did finally urinate, I only produced a yellow jelly like discharge. Very tired, I sat back down in the phone booth.
The sun rushed across the sky and the stars came out followed by the moon. I tried to get up but was blinded by the sun blasting over the horizon. I lay there watching the sun race across the sky. It suddenly got dark again and cold so I tried to get up. But the sun swung back around and held me down on the ground. I covered my eyes from its glare and licked my parched lips.
I was very thirsty.
The moon sped around and this time I was going to stand up. But by time I got to my feet the sun once again hurled itself over the horizon and the glare almost knocked me down. No, no not this time, Mr. Sun! I have to hitch a ride. I stood propping myself against the booth as the sun sank behind the mountains and the moon popped up with a boing! I walked out to the stretch of road and fell down. When that damn sun came back I heard the grinding of gears and the screech of breaks.
Cool, I thought, a ride. Flat on my back I extended my arm in the air, balled my fist and stuck out my thumb. I had to smile. It was a nice day.
"Hey, dude! Can you hear me? Are you all right? Help me get him in the car." The voice was hollow. Like wind through black trees.
"Is he dead? He looks like shit."
It all went blank. The sound of popping electricity. mas...
I woke up in the hospital in Pecos, Texas. Zonked out for three days. I never hitchhiked again.
Back in the now, I glanced over to Hector, "Nope. I'm not that stupid to hitchhike anywhere."
I took another sip of my coffee and continued to stare out into the night.

Wednesday, August 03, 2005

A Kerouac Trip.

Woke up early, and after a breakfast of black coffee and cigarettes, crossed the frontier and saw Rob Zombie's The Devil's Rejects in San Diego. A very funny and very violent movie. The cool part is I got what Rob Zombie was getting across, I being a big fan of '70's grindhouse cinema. Then I snuck in and saw Cronicus with John Leguezamo, directed by the same guy who did Y tu Mama Tambien. That, too, was a good drama about a child raper and murderer in Ecuador. As I walked out of the cinema, the ideas for stories were popping around my head like fireworks.
It was a typical sunny blue hot day and I strolled through the swanky upper end Gaslamp District of Downtown San Diego and ran into Tim Jones, an old friend who is head waiter at some fancy schmancy Persian Restaurant. We shot the shit for awhile as he gave me a tour of the two leveled eatery and after a quick whiskey shot at his bar I said my goodbyes and left.
I stopped at a Starbuck's on 5th and G and as I sat outside slurping on my Frappacino Mocha I saw that the guy next to me was reading Desolation Angels by Jack Kerouac. Ah, Kerouac...he alone opened a thousand coffee shops across America and influenced a whole generation of baby boomers to wear blue jeans. I took a look at the guy next to me, not bad. He was tall and lean with jet black hair and green eyes. Except he was wearing that shirt:
But, I was wearing this shirt:
so things balanced out.
"That's a good book." I said behind my big big azz Willy Wonkish Jackie-O glasses.
He paused for effect and looked at the cover. "It's a great book. I find his writing prose quite interesting. Such a free spirit he was. Some people were born to move from one place to the next, explore and then write about it. I wish I had the balls to do that. Never be tied down...always able to go where you want to go and do what you want to do. I lead such a boring life."
"Really?" I grinned. "I bet he would have traded places with you if he had the chance. Chaos always craves what it cannot attain and that is stability."
He studied me for a moment. I took off my glasses and slurped at my Frappacino. "You are a very interesting guy." He smiled.
Yes, chemistry.
I extended the glad hand. "Hi...I'm ****."
"My name is Chris."
We then sat for four hours smoking cigarettes, drinking coffee and talked of literature, the War in Iraq, Flash Gordon, and the great household items at Target as tired tourist shuffled by under the blast of summer sun. As the sky turned dark navy and the stars began to come out, we visited Cafe Ole, a Spanish Bar and Restaurant on the strip. We laughed and talked. I ordered a Singapore Sling and he drank beer.
"So do you live downtown?"
", I live in Tijuana."
"Tijuana?" He gasped. Then the old I hate Tijuana routine spilt forth. The al-kee-hall started its effect and Chris gave me that look with those dreamy eyes. Or maybe the liquor was talking. What was certain we were both tore up from the floor up.
I decided to gamble with it, "I know of a cheap hotel nearby. Just a few blocks thataway."
He bit his bottom lip and mumbled something positive. Money was slapped on the bar, door flung open and we slipped out into the brisk night air. Into the Pickwick Hotel we strode and paid for a tiny room with a bed and a television. Bathroom down the hall. Paint flaking and roaches having a siesta.
First it started with light kissing, then we undressed and I lay on top of him. Our organs stiffened as I rubbed my body on top of his, filling his mouth with my tongue. Condom was applied, lubed and Chris slid his long circumcised penis in me with slow circular motions. I held onto his muscular ass. He held my feet as I played with his nipples. Legs were stroked, toes sucked. The sweat started running down his chest as he rapidly drew in breath after breath. I started moaning through clenched teeth. The boy was quite pneumatic in the hips. Thrusting harder; his forehead touched mine and our wet hair stuck together, he gasped Oh God Oh God as I could feel the semen rush up through his penis and into the condom.
Later we lay under the ceiling fan and shared a Lucky Strike. We stared into the darkness and whispered nothings to each other. Then:
"Do you have a boyfriend?"
"It's a luxury my kind can't afford."
"Why do you always talk so esoteric?"
"To force people to think. Anyway...I'm leaving town in a few days. A Kerouac trip."
"When will you be back?"
Afterwards, it was pretty anti-climatic. We slept in each others arms. Well, Chris slept. I don't sleep. When the sun broke over the horizon and the sounds and rumbles of the City started to clamor, I slipped on my clothes and exited the room leaving him snoring to him self. Cute and lovable. But, he snores too loud.
I returned to Tijuana and stopped at Cafe Norteno and had a cuppa black coffee and a cigarette. Why is it that I always meet someone who is perhaps my other half right before I leave town?
Son cosas de la vida, cabrones...

Monday, August 01, 2005


It was Gay Pride in San Diego this past weekend and I decided to go to Kin-Kle and celebrate my fagness. As I found a seat and settled into a drunken stupor with a cold caguama de Carta Blanca, I noticed a familiar face in the crowd. It was Hector Padilla, my old friend from Juarez City (The Mexican border town to El Paso, Texas.) staring at me out of the smoke choked darkness. I haven't seen him in years. He smiled, got up and approached me. We shook hands. He looked the same except he was sporting a pencil thin moustache. Tall and lanky with that "Calvin Klein supermodel junkie look".
We both hugged each other, kiss on the cheek.
“My God, Hector! How have you been?” I blurted over the deafening disco beat.
Buenobueno." He held my arm, looked me over. "You are looking good." He said in a thick accent. "Are you visiting Tijuana?”
“No! I live here, old friend! Gosh, it’s good to see you again!”
Hector put his arm around me and led me over to his table. “Please, Mijo, join my friends and me.”
At his table was an assortment of the biggest transvestites I’d ever seen. They ranged from six foot two and up! We had a ball; we joked, and laughed, and danced. The beer and tequila flowed and everyone got pleasantly drunk. One dragged monstrosity who was flying on speed glowed that special glow and kept repeating "Soy Sacha." Towering over me in glittering menace. One queen who looked like Morticia Addams and I danced several times to the same damn song that she would play in the jukebox. This drunken grand old queen who if you took Liz Taylor and held her head under water for a week and what emerged was staring back at you, she was hitting on me hardcore and got pissed at my icy return. Other than that, good times.
Around four in the morning, we all said goodbye and I took a taxi home. Wow, that was a pleasant surprise seeing Hector again and he was just as handsome as ever. He claimed that he owned his own beauty salon here in Tijuana and invited me over the next day for a hair cut.
When I stumbled back to my trap, Carlos was sleeping and I decided to take a shower. While I was in there, I noticed two strands of long light brown hair on the white shower tiles. I knew they weren’t mine and Carlos was a skinhead. So, that’s the way it is? Fucking women in my bed! Patience…revenge, as they say, is best served cold.
The following day, sad and angry, I went to Hectors Salon and got a haircut. I met some of his unfortunate looking queenie co-workers. The one that was giving the pedicure to the obese woman, a little Mexican Indian guy with tits, was very nice. I forget his name, but the look on his appalled face gave away his resentment at giving that pedicure. We all laughed about it afterwards. I always feel uncomfortable around queenie fags. Gives me the horrors. But, the cut looked good and it was free. I spent half the afternoon chatting and eating cheap burritos with Hector, then went back home.
I find Carlos not at work, but sitting on the floor smoking pot and scribbling in his journal. I encouraged him to start writing but it is always bland poetry. I lay on the bed, and as I was talking to him, I found another long strand of light brown hair on the comforter. My emotions livid, I went ballistic and threw Carlos out. The hurt so much...I cried and yelled as I slammed the door shut behind him.
Afterwards, I was devastated. Why was I so mean to the boy? He showed me nothing but sympathy and kindness and I returned it with hate and anger. I had to change my life. In all aspects.
I remember what Hector had said when I confessed the unhappiness of my living situations and general loathing of my life right now: If you don't like something...leave.
So, true. I can shit this advice out but never apply it.
Later that evening, I traveled up to San Diego and purchased a one way Amtrak ticket to El Paso, Texas. I will be moving back into Juarez City. Perhaps look up some old friends.
Depression is so insidious.