The chill of the night shivered this already frozen form. Around me an assortment of Tijuana fags cooed and guffawed and made shrill comments to each other. More to the rentboys that prowled the center than to each other. Transvestites clopped back and forth and groped whatever drunken macho that had the unfortunate luck to pass within range.
The rockola - jukebox, ya goddamn gringo! - banged out ranchero mixed with Mexican Top 40. The waft of beer, piss, and puke issued outta the water closet from the use of a million fairies.
I grabbed my warming beer took a swig followed by a puff on my smoke. Stood propped against the old wooden bar pulling a James Dean routine watching the smokey debauchery swirl around me.
"Hey." I heard him hiss in a thick accent. "Hey, guero - you like beeg one?"
I swerved my stare in the direction of the accusation and saw a scrawny rentboy stooped over in baggy, dirty clothes. His squinting eyes fading in and out of focus.
He sided up next to me sliding his hand across my back. "One beer for me?" He asked, holding up his finger as if I didn't understand.
I sighed and made a swooping gesture with my hand, "There are about thirty other desperate motherfuckers here that would buy you one, man - why bother me with your alcoholic problems?"
"Aw c'mon, guero...just one." He slurred, putting on the little hurt boy act.
"Beat it." I growled, turning towards the bar, seeing his reflection glare for a moment, then shuffle off to find more sympathising prey.
Daniel - the bartender, young hotshot, knew him for years, you understand - started up and we went into detailed conversation over a list of new movies that were out in the cinemas.
"Hands down, ya gotta see Bastardos Sin Gloria." I croaked.
Someone grabbed my ass, I turn to see it is Diego and some friend. He says hola, I says Howdy and several beers are fivorlessly downed. Diego introduces his friend as Rudy and he is grrjuss as all get out.
And get out we do. Us three cut from the bar and march through Cohuilla down past doe-eyed preteen looking hookers lined up elbow to elbow - sliver capped teeth flashing neon of blues and red. Old haggish one yanks at my sleeve, I keep walking.
The street is packed with prostitutes of both sexes leaning against broken red brick and adobe, roaming addicts - shifty eyed and alert - hurtle down the way, stopping to grab bags of dope from hidden nooks and crannies of crumbling walls, catatonic American tourists - bloated and shirts spotted with beer and puke - under the wary eye of police patrols. A cacophony of car horns and screeches mixed with the smells of seared meat, steaming hotdogs, and festering garbage steaming into the crisp chilly night.
Why all this bother? All this ruckus to flounder about waving handful of cash in front of thieves and shysters, Dear Tourist, don't you realize you'll be eaten alive - and the bones won't even remain.
We hit Kin-kle - enter through dingy red curtains from the street and sized up by two towering trannies who goose you coming in - just preliminaries. Happens to everyone, don't take it so personal. Flop onto a dented metal table and down our three caguamas. Old cholo, seems to take a liking for 'mericans - invites me into the mensroom for a few snoots of the old cocaine on the filthiest toilet paper dispenser in the world. Snooort-hack-snort!
I lean back and look over to the next stall and wish I hadn't. Stout hooker in frayed blue dress squatting down and blowing some old fucker in a yellow Stetson. But, that didn't offend me - it was the festering toilet next to them that was almost overflowing in thick muddy feces. Lines of brown over the rim like a boiling pot of beans.
Return to my colleagues and they are drunker than a skunk - mucho ha-ha and drabble about Tijuana. (The Happiest Place on Earth).
Rudy starts to feel it and becomes all clingy and shit, but I don't mind cause he's so sweet. We kiss and paw under the bloodshot stare of my other buddy. You know I can resist anything but temptation and when Rudy asked to 'Go Somewhere' I didn't hesitate.
Say adios to a grinning Diego, Rudy and I cut out of the bar and swing next door to a $5 a night hotel. Pay the fat mamacita behind the black bars and dash up warped wooden stairs to a room that had an overpowering stench of mildew. The walls were multicolored hues of scrabbled graffiti of both markers and spray paint and had a tired, slutty mattress sprawled on the floor. Rudy smiles and whispers some dirty shit as we peel off our duds and flop onto the mattress - bedbugs and all.
Rudy - this short shit - flings my legs up over his shoulders, spits on his palm, lubs his erection and whammo - starts rutting like his sad poor beat life depended on it. After a bit, he squirts and I giggle 'Again!' and he does with me flopped around lying on my stomach. Afterwards, said Rudy confides that his fantasy was to screw a gringo and I was his first. Awwww, I smile inward.
With the sun breaking the navy star spackled horizon, Rudy and I stood on that wet trash covered corner and shook hands as I hopped in a cruising taxi and jet back to the beach.
The fat taxi driver sat wordless - hating me (the foreigner) or his life in general as we hurtled over the hills toward the ocean. The cold wind blew in my face as I sat deep in the back chair and I thought, Fuck - I'm not going anywhere...I live in the coolest place in the world!