An hour ago, I was sitting in the plaza, editing my work, when this vato came rolling up on his bike and stopped in front of me. "Hey! You remember me?"
I stated no, in fact, I didn't recognize him.
"It's me, Javier!"
Of those of you who had read my book PUTA, the character Oscar was based on Javier. As a fact, it's Javier on the cover. I hadn't seen him since 2004. The guy that stood in front of me was stooped, misshapen, and dirty. He was missing the entire top front row of his teeth. His eyes were canceled and full of sadness. He face was lined and weathered from years of hardship and bitterness. I did not recognize him. After a flashbulb moment of him confessing past adventures with me, sure as shit, it was him.
After small talk and what-ever-happened-to-so-and-so, I told him that I'd written a book based on our relationship we had. He stated timidly he was quite honored and requested a copy.
I then began about my other books. As soon as I mentioned TWEEKER, he pulled out a baggy of meth and attempted to pawn it on me. "No", I said, "I haven't touched that stuff since '97 and I'm not about to now." He asked for my address and number in which I scribbled down fakes. Then he took off "To sell that shit in Segundo Barrio."
How emotionally depressing. Yet, it was to be expected.
To those of you who had read my blog and comment on how "exciting" or "romantic" my life is - this is why I always simply comment back, "It's horrible, too." Everyone I had known from those wild days are either dead or their lives are wrecked in lieu of their vices. (Mostly dead. Oh, how much death I have had in my life concerning past friends! Too much death to the point that it has numbed me.)
Though today was a depressing encounter in which I had experienced untold times over the years, I deal with it the best I can: I simply go on living.