I, like Phil, went with the promise of free steak.
The building sat squat and ugly on that dusty corner in the outskirts of the low end section of this no-where tex-mex town. Outside, about ten shabby bums in military jackets leaned against crumbling adobe walls puffing on rollies squinting under the glare of that fucking bright blue morning sky.
With a whine of gears, the city bus pulled away, and Gabriel, Phil, and I walked across the wind swept street - little eddies of gritty dust swirled around us - up to the aforementioned adobe wall and took our place along the line of bent and shivering men. Handshakes and howdies to a guy named Joe that Gabriel knew from the bar Sante Fe.
I looked across the way at our destination this morning - The Bar Frontera. Gabriel knew of the joint - all day Sundays dollar beers and all you can eat steaks and tortillas. I was in. Made the pilgrimage just for the steaks alone - fuck the beer.
As I stood shivering in the bright morning sun, I watched as along side the dirty white washed cantina, stooped two old Mexican Indians in tattered overcoats preparing a gas stove and huge steel woks filled with grease. Then the doors to the bar open and there was a literal bum's rush.
The bar was packed and smelled of soiled linens and locker room sweat. Much pushing and shoving at the long mahogany bar as the ravenous alcoholics shook their huge plastic cups at the barmaids to fill them up at the tap - waving dollar bills in the air like racing tickets. The bar maids whisked too and fro at supersonic speed.
Eventually, Gabriel, Phil, and I got our cup and settled down to a table. The cantina was a dark den - filled with old beer drinkers, wise men, con artists, a couple of sagging boobed hookers and closeted homosexuals. A pretty average stateside Mexican cantina.
And I tell ya, there is nothing better than that first gulp of beer in the morning - it hits you in the gullet lick a judo chop. Gabriel - my native American friend - and I were guzzling our stein sized glasses like water as Phil was daintily sipping his with pinky out as some fucking southern fop.
So, we sat and drank and laughed and watched the football game. There were a couple of wing-nuts - old faerie that would stand in the middle of the scuffed black and white tiled floor and karaoke with whatever song was warbling over the jukebox at that moment. As the beer flowed - the men became more intoxicated and the mood in the joint more relaxed. Phil was disappointed that instead of steak they were serving carnitas.
Stood in the freezing wind outside in line with the other schmucks - mouths watering - as they served up great greasy cracking messes of pork with a chili and tortilla - all scarfed down with voracious speed. Went back for seconds and even thirds.
There were a lot of closeted faggitos in that bar, I had noticed - gotta love that macho gay culture of Mexico - a lot of penis peeping in el bano, also.
Well, after the tacos - which were also served up free and gratis and devoured by fatty Phil like no tomorrow - he complaining they shoulda had at least salsa! - I bid the boy's a goodbye cause I wasn't really feeling it, you know. Still fighting this bought of insidious depression.
So, I took the bus back downtown and return to the mish - wondering when - when?! - will this housing ever kick in?