Wednesday, March 09, 2011

Dark is the Night.

I realize it has been awhile and I realize even more that i have neglected this blog. Over the past year, things have actually been pretty positive! I have a great apartment, a partner to share my time with, and my books have been actually selling!
Since I am not mired in an existence of homeless hobosexuality, I kind of stopped writing here and have been focusing my time writing a new novel.
It is called Dark is the Night - and it is an anthology of five lost angels that i had known during my travels. I am really excited about it - it will be my first work not written in the first person and based on different characters living in the gutters of the world. What else is new, right? haha! Each chapter will focus on it's own theme of alcoholism, homosexuality, porn addiction, drugs, and mental health.
I had just finished the rough draft of one of the chapters - the alcoholic one - and, being an early draft, I realize it needs work, but you will get the gist.
This blog - since I don't do that craziness as of date, will focus on my writing and domestic lifestyle here in El Paso!

Delores lay there panting, looking up at Gabriel as he sweated and puffed. The futon boinged and clanged with his rutting. She slid her hand across his slick back as he grunted to some sort of an orgasm.
He rolled off of her and closed his eyes, sighed. She reached over to her purse on the floor and grabbed a box of cigarettes. The dark room smelled of dank clothes, sweat, and unwashed vagina.
She lit the cigarette, took a puff, said, “You’re going to be late.”
“Gimme a minute.” He croaked.
Gabriel sat up. He took the can of warm beer sitting next to the bed on the floor and took a long swing. Pain shot up his back as he watched the morning sun beam through the broken slats of the blinds - dust danced in the light.
He felt her hand stroke his back.
She said, “You still hurtin’?”
He turned to her, saw the dark circles under the glittering eyes, the deep lines, the large cold sore on the right top of her lip. He turned back away and took another gulp.
“You going to be here when I get back?” He asked.
“Of course, baby.” She stretched. “I’ll make us some soup for dinner.”
Gabriel got up and readied for work. In the shower, the pain in his back was almost unbearable - almost as unbearable as the act he just committed. He thought about telling her to leave. He wanted to be alone and that was an impossibility since she never left the house. As he brushed his teeth, he looked at the haggard image that glared back at him from the dirty mirror.
They had been fighting a lot recently - over stupid shit. She whined and complained about being bored, his drinking, his friends, never having money. He would sit silently holding his beer and listen, watched as she paced back and forth on the dirty, wooden floor in gray, bare feet and go on about the things he could not provide.
When he would start yelling and spittle would fly from his intoxicated mouth, she would calm down and coo and act coy as if she was in complete agreement. It made him even more angry, because she was right - he couldn’t give her those things.
The argument last night started first about her gorging on all the food that was bought and more often than not, leaving him nothing but the can goods to eat. When he tried to explain on ways to balance the budget - she would go in a tirade about how much they needed a television or a microwave. She then made the mistake of comparing him to her old boyfriend in California - on how he had a nice house, huge television, car, money. Gabriel had enough - on the verge of punching her senseless, he grabbed his beer and marched out the door into the cool night.
When he returned hours later from walking aimlessly among the empty warehouses and train tracks, he found her curled up under a blanket snoring softly. That morning, he woke with a raging hard on and took advantage of the rare occasion.
He dressed and grabbed his coat.
In the living room, Delores lay quietly on her back, blowing gray smoke up to the peeled ceiling. Gabriel stood in the half light.
“I want to talk to you when I get home, okay?” He said.
She didn’t look at him, took another long drag, “Ok.”
He unlocked the front door and stepped out into the searing, bright morning sun.
As he walked the two blocks to work, each step was an ordeal. The pain shot up the back of his right leg and throbbed unbearably. Gabriel took it slow. Stopped once to hold himself up at a tattered telephone pole. He could smell the waft of freshly baked bread from the factory. The smell made him sick. He gazed over at the row of warehouses and smoke stacks of his job with both resentment and desperate loathing.
Taking a deep sigh, he continued the last block, clocked in and looked for the shift supervisor.
“Diaz!” Shrilled a voice behind him. “Can’t have you coming in late all the time, Diaz!”
Gabriel turned to see a tall woman standing with a clipboard. A large, pear-shaped frame clothed in tight khaki slacks and pin-striped, blue dress shirt. Her blond hair was pulled back in a tight pony-tail and she held a permanent scowl on a smooth, Aryan face. It was the shift manager Erika. She stood still, glaring at him. He shrank under that cold, inhumane gaze.
“Sorry, Erika.” Gabriel mumbled. He shuffled sheeply over to her stoic form. “My back’s been bothering me. I think I need a doctor.”
“I don’t give a damn about your back, Diaz.” She hissed. “You’re fifteen minutes late. That’s the third time this week.”
He mumbled down to the smooth pavement floor. “Yeah…”
Her face scrunched up as hatred poured from her eyes, “You been drinking? You drunk now? Motherfucker! I should let you go. I don’t need another fucking drunk working here.”
He shot his gaze up to her, “No. No, that’s the mouthwash I used this morning.”
“Mouthwash, my ass! Go unload that truck, dumbass, and you’re late one more time and I’m letting you go, got it?”
He turned quietly and marched over to the delivery truck that was backed up to the loading dock. Already, Gonzalo and Carlos were there rolling the racks of packaged bread from the ovens towards the truck.
“Oye! Chief!” Gonzalo blurted to Gabriel.
The short, fat Mexican murmured something to Carlos and they both burst out laughing. Carlos rubbed his potbelly and said something else in Spanish, indicating Gabriel and they guffawed and cackled.
“What’s so fucking funny?” Gabriel sneered. “I don’t speak no Spanish.”
“Why you no speeky the Spanish, Indio?” Carlos asked. “You Mexican, no?”
“Just my mom, you fucker. I told you that.” Gabriel shot back as he grabbed the first tray of warm bread and began loading it onto the truck. “We don’t need to speak no Spanish in Chicago.”
“You now in El Paso, Chief - you speakee Spanish!” Gonzalo roared and both the Mexicans hollered in laughter as they began to load the truck.
Pain shot up Gabriel’s back as he yanked another tray off of the cart, “Fuck that shit! Last I checked, this is America and we speak English!”
Gonzalo roared over the factory noise, “No, cabrone - we takin’ our shit back!”
He said a long stream of Spanish to Carlos - gesticulating wildly - and they continued laughing. Gabriel had enough of this shit and shuffled away. He walked over to the men’s room.
Opening the door, he saw a shriveled old black man sitting on an iron chair in the corner. Gray poufs of hair shot out from under a dirty cap, scraggly beard covered chocolate wrinkly skin. The old man made no attempt to hide the tall boy wrapped in a brown paper bag.
“Hey, Curtis.” Gabriel said.
“Hello, young man.” Curtis said with a glint of paranoia in his eyes. He just held the beer can up to Gabriel. “Wanna taste?”
Gabriel grabbed the can, took a gulp, “You’re a good man, Curtis.”
“We gotta stay sane in a shitty world.” He smiled a row of stained dentures. “That do it for ya?”
Gabriel felt the warmth from his belly, the lift coming up. “Yeah, man, thanks.” He passed the can back. “That bitch Erika caught me coming in late. And those two Mexican fucker’s been riding me. I could use a whole case.” He chuckled.
“Don’t let them wetbacks get to you, young man - life is hard, it’s just up to you on how you deal with it.”
After taking a few sips, Curtis handed the can up to Gabriel.
Gabriel extended his palm, “Thanks, Curtis - but, I don’t want to drink all your shit.”
Curtis’s face wrinkled up in amusement. “All my shit? Boy, you gotta learn some things.” He reached over to a canvas lunch bag that sat at his feet. Unhooking the fastener, he pulled out one of three more tall cans.
He popped the top, took a swig with lines of cool beer that dribbled down onto his salt and pepper beard, “All my shit.”
“Damn, Curtis,” Gabriel grinned, guzzling the rest from his can. “You’re all right.”
Time flew as they finished the cans. Gabriel shuffled over to the urinal and took a piss. With each contraction of his muscles, his back throbbed in a dull ache. The pain was now an echo as the alcohol took effect.
Gabriel approached Curtis and shot a streetwise handshake, “Well, thank you, sir. That helped a man in need.”
Curtis leaned back in the metal chair, palms spread out, shrugged, “And you are a friend, indeed. Take care, young man.”
As Gabriel opened the restroom door, his glazed eyes focused on Erika standing a few feet away, flanked by Gonzalo and Carlos. She beamed unimaginable hatred towards him.
“Clock out, Diaz! You’re fired!” She roared loud enough for the whole factory floor to hear. “I’m not having you drinking on my shift, asshole! You know better than that! Get your ass off my floor!”
“Fuck you, cunt.” Gabriel mumbled, scowling.
She took two steps forward, glaring, “What? What did you just say?!”
Gabriel stared her straight in the eyes, “Fuck. You. Cunt.” He shuffled forward with fists clenched.
Erika’s face turned vivid scarlet, “Get out of here! Now! Before I call the police!”
Gabriel stopped, breathed deep through his nostrils, “All right, all right…I’m going.”
He didn’t even bother with the time clock. He shuffled out of the factory and into the afternoon heat. He was livid. On the way home, he stopped off in a small cantina and sat alone in the dark den peeling the paper foil from the wetness of the bottle placed in front of him by a shriveled relic.
Gabriel started to think about Delores. How, when he got home - he’s asking her to pack her shit and leave. He didn’t need that extra stress - maybe at a different time when he was more stable, maybe when he was not in such a state of flux. Maybe.
He drank three more beers, paid and walked out into the long shadows of late afternoon. He stumbled over broken sidewalks, past barking dogs and smells of spicy meals being served in the row of low, brick houses. In the distance, an ambulance wailed as the sun boiled down big and yellow behind wisps of silver clouds.
Gabriel pushed the front door to his apartment with his shoulder, pocketing the keys, he yelled, “Delores!”
“In here!” She chirped from the kitchen.
Shutting the door, he smelled cat shit. Overpowered by the stench of canned cat food.
Now what is that crazy broad up to? Gabriel thought.
He walked to the kitchen with absolute determination.
He found Delores squatting on the dirty wooden floor holding something to here breast, stroking it. Gabriel’s eyes adjusted to the gloom of the apartment and saw it was a damn kitten.
“Look what I found!” She beamed before he had a chance to say anything.
“Now that I’m seeing it, what is it?”
It was a little white kitten with a streak of black fir on it’s head and a spot of black under it’s pink nose. It wasn’t fluffy at all, it’s stringy white hair was matted and shot out from the scrawny torso. Gabriel glared at the little face.
It looks like Hitler, Gabriel thought. He hated cats.
The small animal quivered and purred in Delores’ embrace. He saw that the tiny animal was wiry thin and had a broken, bent left paw.
“I found him under a car.” Delores cooed. “He was covered in oil and dirt just meowing and meowing. I brought him home and cleaned him up, fed him.” She brought the kitten up to he lips, planting a tender kiss on his head between the pointy ears. She looked up to Gabriel, “Can we keep him? He was obviously abandoned, we can’t throw him out. Not back out there.”
Gabriel noticed the new cans of cat food stacked on a shelf, the brand new kitty litter box placed in a corner, the little furry cat toy on the floor. An ambulance passed by outside, wailing. The little kitten quivered and meowed loudly in fear, glaring with huge, yellow eyes at the noise.
Gabriel sighed. He popped open a can of beer he retrieved from the plastic ice chest near the pantry, sat down. “Okay. Sure. But, feeding it and us may become a problem.”
“Why’s that?” She said softly, comforting the frightened creature.
“I just got fired.” He said, taking deep gulps from the can.
She just sat silently, cuddling the kitten, not
looking at him.

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