Thursday, March 15, 2007

Dogs in the Dark.

My new job seems to be working out well. I think I can pull myself out of this humiliating poverty - but it may be too late. I do not have this weeks rent and I am without funds for neither food or drinking water. Payday is a week and a half away - and of course all who I had helped in the past has turned their simpering backs on me. (Sigh.) I have to fess up with the landlady that I will be a week late with my rooms rent - I pay weekly. My anxious paranoia is riding high.
After work, I was on the train heading to the border when I was happily reacquainted with Felicia - a fifty three year old transsexual I knew from my early days in Tijuana. A skeletal old thing of soft spoken elegance and angel heart. I spun my tales of woe to her and Felicia confided in me that she had rooms to rent in her house that she had inherited from her dead mother. I was invited to come with her to check it out - plus she was afraid of walking home alone in lieu of getting mugged.
So, Felicia and I strolled through the dark, broken, trash filled streets to her place. We chatted and joked and spun stories of her gay life in Tijuana during the '60's and '70's - "There wasn't as much crime and violence - people, including the fags, had more respect for each other. It was more fun."
She knew a little restaurant by her place that served her food on credit - because she said she was starving and I was, too!
The cafe was a long room with a low ceiling - a warped counter extended the length of the place and the plastic chairs were folded and already stacked - they were closing. The joint was ran by two pleasant elderly women - Juanita (Short and scrawny.) and Betty (Short and plump.) Felicia explained our plight and they agreed to serve us food. Unfortunately, with us in there and the front door open - more shabby street people wandered in to eat. Juanita threw her arms up and yelled, "Well, I guess I better get cooking!"
Felicia and I were served a dish of Spanish rice, beans, and cabbage wrapped in thin steak slices and we ate it with incredible voraciousness - it was delicious.
Felicia looked at me and said between nibbles, "I am forced to live off of the kindness of strangers."
"I am forced to live off of the strangeness of kindness," I croaked.
A few shady characters drifted in and out of the cafe as we ate - a filthy ugly little lump of a man the ladies called Shorty, then a dark hooded man with a deep baritone of a voice stopped in for a coffee and quesadillas, ruggedly handsome but as queer as can be, and finally a cholo and his fat pimpled girlfriend came in and ordered some take out - the cholo staring at me one eye whitened in milky cataracts. I just ignored him and rapped with Felicia and Betty.
Finishing up, Felicia and I gave our grateful thanks and said adios to the two ladies and walked across the street to Felicia's place. It was an immense lot of four houses crumbling into ruin. No running water and all the dilapidated shanties shared a common restroom. Felicia had only one tenant. Opening the fence, I was accosted by a pack of happy dogs in which Felicia promptly fed scraps out of the slop bucket from the restaurant.
Felicia and I chatted for a bit before I left and walked the few blocks back to my room. I hoped I am not forced by fate to reside in that lonely place.
Time will tell.

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