Monday, January 01, 2007

Numb with Alcohol.

Last day of 2007. Had the bum kicks - so I beat the breakfast at Vinnies and took the red line down to the border. CD Walkman jamming Annie Lennox For the Love of Big Brother and be-bopped to the glittering millennium arch - slashed across that startling blue Mexican sky; the symbol of hope and prosperity and despised and resented by the locals. Slipped into Cafe Nortena - junkies, hustlers, and transgendered freaks sat sipping coffee blinking groggily in the rising sun con el crudo.

Ordered a steaming bowl of menudo and a cup of the best cup of coffee...ever. A young man with an archaic Jewish-Assyrian face approached me and went into a long spiel about how he liked foreigners and how he wanted to buy me a drink or at least pay for my coffee. As he talked it became obvious that he did not like foreigners and had no intention of buying my coffee. I paid for my meal and left.

In another cafe some gambling game like bingo was in progress. A man came in emitting curious yelps of imbecile hostility. Nobody looked up from their bingo.

Meandered through whores and drunk tourists and trash to Bar Kinkle in the chance of running into an old friend - I felt like a disembodied ghost. I saw working behind the bar what looked like an attractive boy of 17 or so (the place was dimly lit owing to a partial power failure). Going over to the bar for a closer look, I saw that his body was swollen with pith and water like a rotten melon.

The rockola wailed a somber Mexican ballad - I took a dented metal table with my caguama and plastic cup and lemon slices with salt packets. An Indian was sitting at the next table fumbling in his pockets, his fingers numb with alcohol. It took him several minutes to pull out some crumpled pesos - what my mother described as 'dirty money' - he caught my eye and smiled a twisted broken smile, "What else can I do?"

In one corner a young Indian was pawing a whore - an ugly woman with a bestial ill-natured face and the dirty light pink dress of the calling. She glanced at me with contempt - I gazed at the hard on poking up from his dirty khakis. Finally she disengaged herself and walked out - the young Indian looked after her in silence without anger. She was gone and that was that. He walked over to the drunk and helped him up and together they staggered out with the sad sweet resignation of the Lost Indian.

This put me in even more of a funk. I finished my beer and strolled through the Central Mercado taking in the heady smells of the exotic spices and screaming monkeys. Faces passed me, no one I knew - all looking hostile and unfriendly. I turned and faced the wall - turned my back against it all. How I wished I was unborn - wish I was unliving here. Sigh - this depression is insidious. (I am in Plaza Tijuana setting pen to paper jotting this - a small dirty boy with no shoes comes up to me with hand outstretched - smiling. I place a folded fifty peso note in his tiny palm. Feliz ano nuevo.)

Tijuana hasn't changed - it is your Reporter, Dear Reader. I cut back across the border stateside and follow blind instinct. I purchase four forty ounce Steel Reserves and march up to Balboa Park. I decide to bring in the New Year alone; albeit shit faced. Found me a nice secluded grassy knoll with a splendid view of downtown to watch the fireworks - the sun had begun to set, giving everything a nice golden luster.

Life is goofy. Popped open a can and like a magical fairy springing from under a mushroom appeared a tall shabby cadaver of a black man, "Hey, brother - can ya spare a smoke?" His crazy yellow tainted eyes rolled around in his skull like the Cookie Monsters. Handed the cat a Lucky - he took it in dirty fingers shiny over the dirt - and between lip smacking mumbles and puffs of cigarette - he cooed, "Ew, yesss - we's have lube...mmmm cockrangs mmmhhmmm yep...dildoes..."
I sat there smiling up at this black Fagin and as the conversation continued I was invited down to his camp to 'kick it' with him and his friends. Sure - why not?
I followed him down the dark trails into the moonlit woods of Balboa Park - in the shadowy camp sprawled on ratty vermin infested blankets was Scott, a youngish tramp with a deep southern drawl - handsome in a rough way with his steel gray eyes and shaggy brown beard, and there was Sim, a bloated mountain of fatty flesh, came to the States from Laos (Does that make him Laosy? Get it? made Sim laugh every time - then again he was loaded on goofballs). Sitting together under a sycamore tree was two dirty black clad flaming self-proclaimed Klub Kids, Octavio and Josh - nuttier than squirrel shit but they knew all there was on the legend of Micheal Alig. The two clung together screeching and giggling on a methamphetamine buzz.
I shared my last three beers but since I didn't have enough for all I sent the black guy on a beer run. With this merry band of hobosexuals dressed in their hobo finest, I had more kicks than I ever would swinging in the New Year at any fag bar or snotty ass queer disco. The night progressed, we became more and more intoxicated - Steel Reserve 211, I swear that shit'll fuck you up!
And the jokes kept flying once Scott confessed he had a vibrator stashed up his ass - holding the controls in his hand he would squirm under those torn pink blankets. Every few minutes you'd hear him purr slowly in his thick southern accent, "Ewww, yup - the wire! There it it connected 'gain! Damn! Wish I had my soldering gun - no worries then - eeeewweee!!"
As the group smoked crack - I puffed on a stick of weed. The laughter and swapping of transcontinental travel stories continued into the night - I felt so alive with these Desolate Angels - so optimistic - so free...
Time to go -
Drunk and high - I stumbled up the hill out of the woods and the gully to the clearing I had first found - a couple of times falling to my knees in giddy silliness and mumbling witty drunken Hunter S. Thompson remarks to the sex phantoms cruising the park. At the moon drenched grassy knoll I fell onto my back and suddenly the dark navy sky was awash with candy colored fireworks. Poom! Poom! Poom!
I raised my beer can to the stars and bursting lights and said smiling, "Here's to you 2006!
"It's 2007, idiot!" Snipped a voice out of the darkness.
"Whatever - cause it's all good!" I laughed big and free. "Happy New Year!"

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