Through the sunless, cobblestone streets of the Market - whores, fat and nasty, sat and waited forever. Old vatos cried out hawking razors and socks, lottery tickets and batteries. The market teemed with an undulating mass of people who went about their Sunday shopping.
Oscar and I stopped for chicken tacos, slop on a plate, chugged cold agua tamarindos, then shot down Calle Mariscal.
Evil glances from pushers who spat on the sidewalk as we dodged junk buses and hurtling taxicabs and the air was so dirty that it clogged your pores.
Up to Burrito Row. Ten corrugated-iron shacks in a row that catered to puta, junky, and fag alike - they don’t discriminate.
Crazy lady in soiled, colorless rags sat in shit and filth on the curb and babbled as a mongrel looked on speculatively under that big, blue Mexican sky. Pimp eyed me and nodded, I nodded back. He removed a toothpick from out of his mouth, examined it - his shades turning the other way.
Door attendants at a titty bar across the street caught sight of my gringo ass and began the hustle:
“Pussy girls! Titty women!”
I waved them on with a poker face through my dark, wraparound sunglasses, cause I meant business and they sulk away only to pounce on two other American assholes. A ver.
Oscar couldn’t score, so we jetted across the corner to a pool hall. Dark, smokey and the air filled with blaring Pink Floyd.
Fat Mexican with a mullet shook his head - eyed me with suspicious contempt - sneering through silver-capped teeth, “No got.”
We walked half of a block over to El Arbolito, one of the oldest bars in Juárez City. Oscar and I swung through the rusted, metal door and slid up to the bar. All action halted in the little cantina and all eyes fell on us.
With a loud scrape of stools, we plunked down and both ordered a chilled cerveza. The owner, ancient and obese, scrutinizes us with glassy eyes, crouched on a short stool in the dim corner like a khaki-clad Buddha.
With a flashbulb of urgency, I took in the trap – small with yellowed walls plastered with lucha libre posters, three booths, three metal tables with chairs on a concrete floor, a piss trough at the base of a huge mahogany bar that was warped to Dr. Suessian contortions.
I asked the owner’s son about the warped bar - to break the ice, you understand.
“Oh.” He recalled. “Years ago, the Rio Bravo would flood at the slightest rain and all of downtown would become flooded in three to five feet of water.”
“Rio Bravo?” I asked.
“That’s the Rio Grande to you pinche gabachos.” Spat a cholo within hearing range at the bar.
The owner’s son smiled, “And this bar would get its share of water. We would simply clean up and continue. It’s life.”
The sprinkling of working stiffs sat indifferently around the cantina and chatted with each other, laughing, drinking, ignoring us. The atmosphere was very relaxed.
Oscar and I ordered another tequila with a cold cerveza chaser. As I lit a Lucky Strike and drank, Oscar and the owner’s son were in an animated conversation.
Then, Oscar handed him several crumpled peso bills, which were slid under the till. A small packet of folded, wax paper was placed in Oscar’s hand and we walked out the door; both saying, “Gracias.”
“Gracias.” Everyone called back.
The sky was a clear blue, the air clean and pure. The pedestrians were happy and carefree. An old man smiled toothlessly at a joke from a young friend, a cop bent down to hand an ice cream to a child, two lovers strolled embraced down the avenue.
We cut across Juárez Avenue, zig-zagging through cars of tourists bitching to get back to the U.S. of A., goddammit, and down my dead-end street paved in blackened, beer-bottle caps, clanged through the metal door, up the green-tiled stairs, unlocked the deadbolt - ah, home!
Clothes were flung off and a snort or two off of the dresser - wheeeee! - fell onto the bed naked, clung to each other, kissing passionately. Fingers, tongues, and cocks were sucked. Rolled onto my stomach and lubricant was applied, Oscar slid himself in so long and nasty.
With quick savage thrusts, he pounded my ass for a good half hour, more or less - bed springs boinging and pinging - his muscular, brown hips slapped against my smooth and tenders - smack-smack-smack-smack! As he ground his cock up in my ass so hot and savage.
Eventually, Oscar whispered into my ear, “I’m almost there, baby, where you wanit?”
“You kidding?” I groaned. “On my face!”
He yanked himself out of me and flipped me onto my back.
Sitting on my chest, he masturbated wildly. “GODAMGODAM!” I felt hot licks splatter across my face. He rubbed his erection across my lips as my tongue licked the head. I looked up at him. Pause. Laughter.
“Let me get a towel, guero.” Oscar sighed and went into the bathroom, cock semi-hard and glistening, swinging free.
After I cleaned up, we lay side by side and shared a joint. Oscar lounged on his back with his right arm folded under his head. My head was propped up by a pillow by his side. Silence.
Every day is Like Sunday by The Smiths warbled over the radio. Oscar took the joint from his mouth and placed it between my lips. I stared up at the ceiling fan that whirled slowly.
He is the one, I thought, He is the one. If not…the prototype. I think, I am in love.
3:45am. Lo que paso, paso by Daddy Yankee bopped over the hi-fi. Only the fluttering light from two scented candles and the orange flame of the gas heater lit the dark room. Shadows jiggled and danced across yellowed walls.
We lay naked in messed sheets, with drained scrotum, embraced. Oscar stretched on his back and I lay on my side, propped up on one elbow. My thumb brushed gently across his thick, black eyebrows. I looked deep into his brown eyes, distant sparks deep inside. My finger followed down the bridge of his nose, noticed the light freckles, to his thick lips, he kissed my finger. No words were uttered.
What if he is just playing me? He sees a lot of girls, what if he is just using me? Or worse, fucking some other guy behind my back? The doubt surged in my heart, I could not control the rush of blood to my face and I blushed. When he leaves my apartment, does he go to lie in someone else’s bed?
I kissed his lips, so sweet, a peck on his chin, a smooch on his neck. Mmmm, God, he smelled so good. Slowly, up and down his neck. I nibbled his earlobe, my nose brushed against his neck. My hand slowly, lightly caressing his pecs, down across the rib cage, the hard, smooth stomach.
Is he just after my money? Does he plan to steal my things? My CD’s? My DVD’s? My cell phone? If I gave him the key to my apartment, who else would he fuck on my bed when I am at work? Would his friends help him carry out my television...my stereo? Steal my clothes? Sell it all for junk?
With his hand, he held my chin, reached up and kissed me. His thick tongue flicked in my mouth and we exchanged saliva. Sweet and warm.
He pulled away and sunk his head deep into the pillow. He gazed into my eyes, my soul. There was admiration and serenity in his face as he stared at me. His thumb caressed gently across my lips. His other hand stroked my back and it felt so good. It made me feel so comfortable, so calm. I lay my head on his hairless chest and I heard his heart beating, beating, beating. So warm. So smooth. No words were spoken.
Does he shoot up like his brother? Is he infected with diseases? AIDS? Hepatitis C? Will he kill me with a virus?
Presently, his breathing became calm and regular and I noticed he had fallen asleep in my embrace as I cradled him in my arms. I casually stroked his shaved head before I drifted off into sleep. All was well in the universe at that moment.
Do you love me? Like I love you?