Lately I’ve been feeling like lemon rinds left over from
squeezing out lemonade. I don’t have enough in me left to make things, to give.
I can only take. There is nothing left to open up about, because there’s
nothing left. I’ve been completely hollowed out, and now blank pages taunt me
with their emptiness. Why can’t I remember how to do this anymore?
"In the City Market is the Meet Café. Followers of obsolete,
unthinkable trades doodling in Etruscan, addicts of drugs not yet synthesized,
pushers of souped-up harmine, junk reduced to pure habit offering precarious
vegetable serenity, liquids to induce Latah, Tithonian longevity serums, black
marketeers of World War III, excusers of telepathic sensitivity, osteopaths of
the spirit, investigators of infractions denounced by bland paranoid chess
players, servers of fragmentary warrants taken down in hebephrenic shorthand
charging unspeakable mutilations of the spirit, bureaucrats of spectral
departments, officials of unconstituted police states, a Lesbian dwarf who has
perfected operation Bang-utot, the lung erection that strangles a sleeping
enemy, sellers of orgone tanks and relaxing machines, brokers of exquisite
dreams and memories tested on the sensitized cells of junk sickness and
bartered for raw materials of the will, doctors skilled in the treatment of
diseases dormant in the black dust of ruined cities, gathering virulence in the
white blood of eyeless worms feeling slowly to the surface and the human host,
maladies of the ocean floor and the stratosphere, maladies of the laboratory
and atomic war… A place where the unknown past and the emergent future meet in
a vibrating soundless hum… Larval entities waiting for a Live One…"
Before Captain Archer...before Captain Janeway or Sisko...before Captain Picard...and even before Captain Kirk, there was Captain Christopher R. Pike.
The original Star Trek series aired in 1966, however a pilot was made in 1964 and was passed over by the studio suits. "Too cerebral" They said. "Too erotic" They said. "Get rid of the broad in command and the guy with the ears."
Another pilot was filmed with the now famous cast and the rest was history.
This will always be my favorite episode of Star Trek. I present to you The Cage in it's entirety. Enjoy.
After work and crossing the border, I took a rattling old
Mexican bus to my trap (Thanking God, I didn’t have hemorrhoids) and rested for
an hour. Showered, dressed, gulped down a shot of Jack, smoked a stick of ganja
whilst I listened to Blue Spanish Sky by Chris Isaak.
When 6:45pm rolled around, I jetted out into the cold night
to the Plaza and my meet with Oscar at seven.
Oscar was punctual and as handsome as ever. And glad he
wasn’t late; there was an impromptu Christian band that wailed on the gazebo and,
mien Gott, they sounded like crossing the sounds of mating moose and chorus of
strangling clowns. Horrid noise.
We both plowed through the teeming masses of Saturday night
revelry, past packs of drunken kids in hip-hop gear, junkie’s furtive and
aware, hipsters on the hustle, dodged zipping cars and kamikaze buses to a
secluded taco shop of Oscar’s choice. Except for a sullen paraplegic in a
wheelchair, we were the only clientele.
Ordering two plates of mouth-watering tacos carne asada,
Oscar and I laughed and talked of past experiences, his failed attempts to jump
the border, his work, my work, Hollywood, and Heavy Metal.
After dinner, Oscar asked, “You want to drink? You pick the
“Sure.” I agreed. “I know the perfect spot.”
I paid the bill and we hit La Cruda, a hole I’d frequented.
I ordered two caguamas of Carta Blanca’s and we took a
table. La Cruda was the bar el primo I stumbled into when I first hit Juárez
and had enjoyed it ever since. A non-attitude place of non-interference.
On one end of the small bar, several fags shrieked and
posed, in the middle, working class machos gesticulated and roared in animated
discussions about futbol scores and pussy and at the other end, two fat whores,
bloated and sordid in purple and pink spandex cooing and swaying around a
drunken, old American. Alone on the other side against the wall, under a dusty
portrait of Marilyn Monroe, was a handsome and sad, lonely man singing into his
glass to the tunes vibrating off of the green, cracked and flaking plaster
walls. All this under the garish, yellow and red neon of the blasting jukebox
that played American Rock and Mexican Pop.
Raul, one of the waiters whom I’d known since day one, sat
at our table and drank and joked with Oscar and me.
After a couple of caguamas and a few good jokes, Oscar said,
“Let’s go” and we hit the concrete.
A little buzzed, Oscar stated, “Since you picked the last
bar, I’m choosing the next.”
“Lead the way.” I said, as I lit a cigarette.
Stumbling down Juárez Avenue, we cut into a cavernous hall.
“You like cholos,” Oscar said, “You’ll like this bar.”
We sat at a table in the gloomy darkness and in this hangar-sized
cantina were about seven people at the blue lit bar and all were lined up in
this order: Two young queers, one overtly fem in black slacks and black
turtleneck, the other macho and would yell the grito de los vaqueros every time
a ranchero song would play on el Rockola (Jukebox), a fat, glassy-eyed drunk in
a gray suit, one size too small, kept eyeing everyone with contempt and
suspicion over his fizzing beer, a handsome cowboy in tight, white jeans with
the best ass I’d ever seen - ever!
He would nod and smile, tipping his white cowboy hat at the
macho fag who would let loose with the yell and his partner would squirm and
Next to the cowboy were two sleazy looking women, one
appeared as if she was pregnant with her belly plopped out between her skirt
and her halter top. But, no, it was only her flab. Ew. Next to the women, was a
well-dressed, elderly couple who danced a slow waltz to anything that played.
It was like a Fellini movie.
“So,” I grinned to Oscar. “Where are these elusive cholos?”
He took a swig of beer, “They’ll be around.”
Excusing myself to the men’s room was a mistake. The smell
nearly knocked me on my ass. When I approached the urinal, the stench of
decaying feces was too much and of course, I had to look over the porcelain wall
to find that both toilets were filled to the brim with rotting shit. An inch of
urine covered the floor. Lovely.
The chemistry between Oscar and I began to flow and crackle
and the next thing, we were striding over the broken sidewalks and garbage - past
Indians with outward palms up, past blue and yellow colored adobe houses, past
smells of seared meat and dried vomit, back to my trap.
We sat on my couch, sipping coca-colas and Oscar looked
through my photo album, coyly grinning as he kept returning to the two
photographs I had taken of him from around the first time we had met.
He would smile as I pointed out the pictures, “Remember that
night? Seemed so long ago, Oscar. Look, how handsome.”
Oscar politely laughed.
The night progressed as we casually chatted and gazed into
each other’s eyes.
Oscar asked, “Can I stay the night? The buses have stopped
running and I live kinda far.”
How could I refuse?
The lights went out and we were in my bed, lying next to
each other. Oscar had thrown his thin, muscular arm across my chest and his leg
across my leg and then...we talked.
He confided, “I really want to cross the border. I want to
make good money, you know? The life here in Mexico is so hard.”
“Where do you want to go?” I asked.
“I have family in Denver, Colorado. I want to go there.”
In the darkness, I said, “Well, I can try to help you anyway
I can, Oscar.”
He thanked me by kissing me on the cheek.
A few moments of silence. Our foreheads met, then our noses,
automatically tongues flicked at each other. Oscar slid on top of me, kissing
and biting my neck, while grinding and thrusting his hips into mine. He was as
hard and excited as I was.
I stroked the back of his neck, whispered into his ear, “I
want you...I want you inside of me.”
Getting onto his knees, Oscar put my feet up onto his
shoulders. Cupping his hand over his mouth, he spit into his palm and lubed his
thick uncut penis. With grinding hips, he slid into me - my breath hissed
through clenched teeth - our bodies contracted and writhed, as Oscar thrust and
lunged into me, softly grunting and whispering words in Spanish. I grabbed his
slender, smooth ass as he thrust into me, I closed my eyes and all seemed so
good. He bent down and began biting up my neck - I felt his cock stiffen even
more and as he pounded harder and with a final, loud sigh, Oscar shot his hot
semen into me. Collapsing on top of me, I was shaking as he kissed my neck, and
rubbed his fingers through my hair.
“That was so fucking good!” I breathed in English.
“Bueno...muy bueno.” Oscar whispered, licking his dry lips.
I looked up at him as the old emotions washed over me. My
heart pounded at the intense feeling of love and admiration consumed me once
again. My mind began to flashback to all the various let downs that had
occurred with him in the prior months. I began to spiral down in depression.
Why can’t you love me like I love you?
Our heavy breathing subsided and wrapped in each other’s
arms, we fell into a deep sleep.
I woke Oscar up with a kiss on the forehead. He looked up at
me and blinked, like a sluggish turtle.
He grinned, “Buenas dias.”
We showered, dressed and went to a corner cafe for a
delicious breakfast of huevos con chorizo, frijoles y colorado rojo. With a cup
of strong coffee.
During our conversations, I asked, “Oscar, are you satisfied
with your life. I mean, are you happy?”
He said, “Sometimes. Sometimes, it is very hard.”
I don’t know why, but at that moment, I asked Oscar to move
in with me.
I explained, “You can keep your job and save up to pay for
your passport and Visa. I’ll take care of rent.”
He looked at me, glanced outside, then said, “Okay. But, not
until next weekend.”
After breakfast, Oscar and I walked back to the Plaza in
front of the cathedral, so as he could catch his bus home.
I made the appointment to meet with him the following Friday
evening. When his bus pulled away with the sound of screeching gears, I stood
in the Plaza and watched Indian kids perform a religious dance in garish pink
and white silk outfits.
I thought, This time, I will be m.ore patient with him. Let
things run its course and not force a lifestyle on him that would cause grief
and sadness. No, this time I will truly love him.
Under the great blast of blue Mexican sky, I stood there
with the natives and tourists, smoking a Lucky Strike.
I was in one of my pensive moods - you have had them, those
dark, little moments, those moody little spells. Times when you want to be
alone, take a stroll and think and think hard.
Your Reporter found himself sitting on one of the stone
benches in Plaza las Armas in front of the cathedral in Zona Central and
enjoying the crisp night air. I sat under twinkling stars, some finger
snapping, old Mexican cha-cha music squawked from hidden speakers, and I chain
smoking my Luckies, when out of the dark walked a nostalgic phantom gliding up
the alameda like a specter. It was Oscar.
I know this person, I thought as a surge of excitement
swelled up in me.
“Hola!” He smiled as he walked towards me, palm opened.
We shook hands and updated each other on our lives the past
Oscar stated, “I have a new job in a maquiladora. I work for
Clorox. With the money, I have rented a small apartment near the factory. I
make enough to buy clothes and food. I don’t run in the plaza anymore. I guess,
I have been living a responsible life – like you had wanted for so long for
He chuckled. Oscar did look healthier and the clothing that
he wore was new. I felt truly relieved for him.
I explained, “It is so good to hear a success story for
Oscar smiled and said, “I am so happy to see you, again.”
There was an uncomfortable silence, those stilted moments when
you meet an old lover and realize that there was still something there and
perhaps a chance of rekindling a spark from ashen gray heartache.
I blurted, “Can I invite you to dinner tomorrow night?”
“I’d like that.” He grinned, nervously.
After a few moments of pat, tense chatter, Oscar stated he
needed to return home. We both briskly, nervously, hugged, and he was gone - lost
in the night’s heat.
I returned home with the thoughts of a million, romantic
memories of nostalgia spun in my head. I realized then, how much I truly
did miss him.
Things have their way of sorting themselves out - am I
right? Karma can be so insidiously delicious in its dealing of poetic justice.
Saturday - woke up in a puddle of my own sweat, it being so
freakishly hot and that worthless fan being worthless and all - showered,
dressed and walked down to Café Central for my Saturday morning regulation
breakfast of menudo and a taza de café.
Trumped around in front of the Cathedral for a while and
scored for a nice fella named Ruben. He of nineteen and willing. Smiling eyes
and thin build.
“Hey, guero - you looking’? I got some coke.” He said.
“Nah.” I leered. “Dope is not what I want.”
He laughed, “For reals? What is it that you want?”
“I’m looking to spend this twenty dollars on something
So, it was back it my trap for a couple of hours of crimes
against nature. And, that wiry kid was very pneumatic in the hips - if’n ya
take my meaning.
Afterwards, we munched out at a corner grease pit on
hamburgers and burritos served by hideous, transsexual half men that giggled
and cooed at our every word - flashing silver-capped teeth and their post-ops,
if you asked.
Ruben and I shook hands at the corner and I went back to my
lair and snoozed a couple of hours to meet the Juárez Irregulars at nine
o’clock that evening.
We all had made a date to be in front of the Cathedral to
attend and whoop it up at the Chihuahua State Fair. Never had been - should be
Awakened to Kumbia King’s Pachuco, I readied and hit the
burnt and cracked streets to wait at the Plaza las Armas adjacent to said
Cathedral. The first to arrive was my good friend Erik. He sat next to me on
the concrete bench.
“Been waiting long?” Erik smiled.
“No, not long. Just waiting for everyone to show up so we
can hit the Fair.” I said, lighting my umpteenth cigarette.
We sat and watched a group of gay guys walk through the
Plaza on their way to a bar. Erik stood up and shook my hand.
“Excuse me, guero - I have to go take a leak.” He said and
never came back.
So, I waited. And waited. And waited. Like a fucking idiot
for two goddamn hours I waited – however, some interesting people came and went
on the way:
First was beautiful Ricardo. Handsome beyond words. He
invited me to drinks, I declined - had to wait for the gang - loyalties and
all. However, hottie said he would visit me at my place manana, and I swooned
as he walked away into the humid night.
Then, a walking wall of sweaty muscle that was just released
from prison with a face like a bulldog - introduced himself as Hugo.
After hitting me up for five pesos; asked, “Hey, man - can I
say something and hope it won’t offend you?”
“Sure, go for it.” I croaked.
“You seem like you’re somewhat gay.”
I laughed, “Somewhat!”
When I confessed I was, his cold eyes went all dreamy and he
began slurring, “If you need any help, man - anything man, just let me know. I
know this city...I’ll help you, anything you need…”
I smiled and said, “Okay, Hugo...sure.”
With that, Hugo walked away. As he crossed the street, a
platoon of cops swarmed around the brute and beat the living crap out of him,
threw him in the back of a paddy wagon, and drove off.
The best by far was a short, blond Honduran. He walked by
slowly, with hands in pockets, as he stared at me.
“You mind if I cross?” He asked, meekly.
“Cross what?” I said.
“El Frontera. You look like a federale - I want to know if I
have your permission to go to your country.”
I laughed, “You can go anywhere you want. It’s a free
country. Or, at least, it used to be. And, no - I’m not INS. I live here.”
“Can I sit with you a minute?” He sat without me answering.
He went on and on and on about crossing el frontera. If he
wasn’t so gosh darn cute, I would’ve told his ass to cut. But, he was a lamb.
We sat and watched a lecherous, ancient faggot as he trolled
the plaza. The withered, old thing would saddle up - uninvited - and asked
blatantly any guy that met his polluted gaze if they wanted to have sex for
While I was talking with my new Honduran friend, old troll
sat next to him and popped his insidious question point blank. He leaned in and
we could smell the foul stench of a million unwashed cocks waft from his dry
“Hey, baby boy, wanna earn some quick cash?” The troll
hissed. “I gotta room nearby and I would love for you to lay back and let me
suck the come out of you.”
The Honduran and I looked at each other and had about
I spat at the grotesque vampire, “Look, if you don’t leave this
Plaza, I’ll break your fucking arm!”
He slinked away into the dark, scowling.
The rest of the evening was blah. Only Isidro and his new
boyfriend, Arturo eventually showed up. No State Fair for me, I finally
For something different, we decided to go to a twink disco
called Madelon - tweens gyrated to Brittney Spears and Daddy Yankee - Ugh.
After two beers, I said good night, went home and slept.
Sat in darkness and thought of my state of mind and the
weekly chat sessions with a caseworker at a mental aid clinic in El Paso. The
depressive tales that I confessed to the crazed psychoanalyst and the loathing
of the galaxy of psychotropic mood stabilizers that I was prescribed were beginning
to wear thin with me.
The meds that the psychiatric hospital had me on had some
curious side effects. I didn’t care about anything anymore. I mean, not in a
snotty vicious way - in a bland simple, uncaring way. I kind of missed the
chaos back in Tijuana - then again I didn’t.
However, one thing I distinctly noticed was that the
medication had taken away my artistic spark - and it was noticeable - I had no
drive towards any direction for anything. I was totally happy being by myself -
rather than the screaming center of attention I was - isn’t that odd?
As a fact, I loathed the contact with other people, I didn’t
enjoy bars as much, conversation dried up, and I just wanted to sit and be
alone - and think.
The stars were out and the moon was full and I decided to
take a stroll through the plaza in front of the Guadalupe Cathedral.
There was a crowd that watched a group of youths dressed as
Aztec Indians that danced to a tribal beat.
While I was playing spectator, two American tourists
approached me. Young, early twenties and obviously lost.
“Hey man.” Said the tall, blond one. “Do you speak English?”
I took a drag on my cigarette and croaked, “Fluently.”
“Do you know of any hotels?” Asked the other blond one with
a scraggily, yellow goatee.
I smiled, “Well, I know of several. There is one nearby for
“How much is that in dollars?” Asked the taller one.
“Oh, about five dollars. But, you pay extra if you want a
door or not.”
“What?!” The shorter retorted. “Is it safe?”
“Well, you didn’t say anything about that.” I said heartily.
“That’s going to jump the price up to twenty dollars.” I asked them to follow
me to Hotel Bombin - a shabby, whore hotel near the frontier. “You’ll like it.
It’s clean and it has three channels on the TV – English, Spanish, and porn.”
As we walked through the dark and bustling streets of the
red-light district, the two tourists blabbed on nervously that they were
travelling from California on their way to Florida and stopped over to enjoy Mexico
for the first time. I also caught on that they were meth junkies. Could tell
that the first time laying my eyes on them.
Got to Hotel Bombin and crawled up the grimy, white
porcelain stairs to the reception where a queer bodybuilder with a ponytail
checked them in.
They stashed their bags in the dingy, double-bed room and
after asking me several times if their shit was safe, we hit the streets.
Walking down the dark lit Calle Mariscal, it was bound to
happen - like barracudas on bikes - three cops rolled up on us.
“Please senor against car please senor hands against car
step up to car.”
We all knew the position and spread out on the hood of a
nearby parked vehicle. Our pockets were emptied and I was lucky enough to get
the intelligent cop.
As my two new friends were being picked over, my
interrogator and I had a hearty discussion on my literary interests and love of
Mexico. The officer was quite pleased and interested. I didn’t have centavo one
in my wallet - “I live in Mexico, Senor, I’m poor!”
The cop laughed at that.
Unfortunately, my two comrades were rolled for sixty
The two other officers continually pulled items out of the
Americans pockets - pens, papers, keys, wallets, condoms, and then a small
plastic bag of methamphetamines.
El Capitan looked at me with pursed lips. “Oh, this is very
I feigned shock and stated in Spanish, “Look, officer - I
don’t even know these ding-dongs. I just met them and they asked if I could
show them around since I lived in Juárez. I had no idea they were junkies.”
The officer smiled, placed his hand on my shoulder and said,
“Do not worry, amigo - why don’t you go home. We will take care of these two.”
I glanced over at the two sullen boys. The look of desperate
finality on their faces. Welcome to Mexico, gringos!
While the police officers continued to harass the two
tourists, I shook my cops hand, offered him a Lucky Strike, smiled and said in
Spanish, “Well, enough of this circus. If that is all, officer, I’m going
“Good night, gabacho.” He smiled.
I wished those two guys good luck, waved goodbye to the cops
and walked the few blocks back home.
Felt quite drowsy after work, so I dragged myself to bed and
took a snooze before I decided to go out. Out. The word itself held notorious
implications. I was in a party mood. The week was weird and I had to let off
steam. I showered, had a small toke of ganja, gulped a shot of tequila and
bolted out the door.
I first hit Burrito Row to yak a bit with Beto - the eye
candy that worked at one of the stalls.
As I munched burritos mole and smoked a Lucky, we chatted
and chortled about cars and cocaine, in which Beto swindled me out of fifty
pesos to purchase said narcotic.
Both of us stood in a filthy back room, amid the pungent
reek of old cooking grease and rotting vegetables - snortwheee! Took off like a
Feelin’ it, I walked down the strip, checking out the
chilangos in their goof suits and dashed into Bar Buen Tiempo for a caguama.
However, the place was devoid of any acquaintance of mine.
Three chilled caguamas later and one mean buzz, I decided to call it quits,
after talking to an interesting character in the toilet.
The handsome little shit stood next to me in the urinal.
Obviously, he drunk as I was.
He looked over at me with glazed eyes, “Hey, chief - welcome
to my country.”
He extended his hand in friendship - the same hand that was
holding his pecker while he pissed.
I looked down at it, smiled, “Dude, some folks just do not
need to shake hands when they are taking a leak.”
Don’t care how your cock looks, you know?, I thought.
I must of insulted his virtue about cleanliness, he snarled,
“Man, take my hand and shake it!”
I finished up and silently left him mumbling obscenities.
I walked out and into the cobblestone maze of the Old
Mercado and over to bar Caletilla.
Let in the steel door by a grinning dyke; the place was
packed and after being served by a tattooed and well scared cholo named,
well...Cholo - I was finally reunited with my good pal Erik. Next to him,
perched on stools like two vultures, squat the Isidios.
Much gay faggotry commenced and a good time was had. Hit on
by some hot hotties, but I was coming down with a flu or some kind of cold
virus. I wasn’t in the mood for no homosexual hanky-panky, so I simply played
it cool with these characters.
Never saw so many horrendous transvestites outside of New
Orleans before - it was a goddamn freak show. Amazonian half men in
multicolored spandex that many resembled Neanderthals in drag, paraded around
in flowers, furs, and fluff. The screeching and squawking! Ech!
Erik, the Ignacio’s, and I stumbled next door, over cracked
and garbage covered pavement, to a shabby, barn-sized disco.
The joint was called Elvira’s - reminded me much of Freegay.
Many a gay cholo and bi curious men strolled through the dank, smoke-choked
darkness. Mexican Ranchero music mixed with Reggeaton kept the small dance
floor packed in which Erik and I would frequent often. Still gotta learn that
This one skin-headed shorty asked me to dance, I obliged and
we boogied. Next thing I knew, we were tongue wrestling up against the wall and
he kissed so hot, I could feel his stiff organ through his khakis.
Nevertheless, his friends had to go and he left with
Another skinny cholo with a scraggy, black goatee sided up
to me, smiled, “Hey, guero, buy one beer for me?”
I blearily looked at him and smirked, “Sure, if you kiss me
with your tongue.”
Shaking his head curtly, he mumbled something to the effect
that he wasn’t queer.
I drunkenly stated, “Well, that’s my price.”
He faded into the darkness.
Eventually, Erik and I decided to split...I felt tired from
a head cold that I had been nursing a few days. We said good night to the
Ignacio’s and took off.
I walked Erik to his bus stop. However, since we both were
hungry, Erik and I stopped to get a bite to eat at an all-night chicken joint,
Erik asked, “Hey, you want to go to Baños Roma with me
“Sure, why not?”
Baños Roma was the city’s notorious bath house. I had never
been there, only hearing of it from embarrassed friends and old American
After the late dinner, I said goodbye to Erik and went home
Waking up with a slight hangover, I downed a shot of tequila
and showered, dressed and clomped up to a small cafe to eat breakfast of huevos
At ten in the morning, I met Erik in front of the Cathedral
to start our day of wicked debauchery at Baños Roma.
We briskly walked the short blocks to the corners of Mejia
and Constitution and entered the old, dilapidated building.
In the lobby, an old man took our personals and placed them
in a lock box. We paid him 76 pesos each and then entered the baths proper.
The interior was overtly dingy. There was black mold in the
cracks of the pink and white tiles and the paint peeled off of the moist, green
walls. We found a little cubicle that was covered in obscene graffiti, had
rusted hooks on the walls, and a small cot. The attendant issued us each a
ragged, brown towel.
Erik and I both undressed and split up. I eyed several
good-looking men walking around naked. I felt kind of self-conscious, everyone
was dark brown and my skin was so pasty and white...but that was soon to become
I found the steam room and was quite the popular one in
there. I was fucked fore and aft. Over and over and over and over - Dear
Reader, I lost count. There was so much good cock.
Around the middle of the afternoon, I confessed to Erik that
I had to leave. I was worn out. There were hickeys all on my back, between my
legs, on my ass...I had no sperm left, cock didn’t work no more...ass sore...
Erik and I dressed, tipped the towel guy, and left. I
wobbled with my good friend to his bus stop and said my goodbyes. Returning home
and to a deep sleep. I realized, I now had a new place to while away my Sunday
I had wised up a bit and happily and regretfully, and with
much restraint, cut Oscar from my life, once again.
People want to piss me off - play with my emotions. That is
one act I would not tolerate from anyone. Fine, you want to swindle me for beer
or food - but don’t fuck with what is left of my heart.
For the last few months, this Oscar character had played me
like a harp from Hell and usually when I listened to my gut and followed my
instincts - however fucked up they may be - I never deterred from my decision.
He seemed like a nice guy - but the stench of deception clung to him like dried
semen on the jacket of a pedophile.
I had no idea where he stood. The guy was always wishy-washy
over what was going on in our friendship.
“I’m straight!”, he would thunder, all the while beating his
Yet, he continued to visit me, sit and talk about work and
money. And, as a matter of fact, he
would instigate the sexual liaisons, not I. Well, mostly.
However, and this is where it gets wacky - I truly began to
harbor an attraction - a strong, direct,
emotional feeling for him and in a tender and romantic soliloquy one evening, I
had to explain myself, yet again.
Under a baneful moon, I breathed, “Oscar, you are special,
you know that? I think I am beginning to open up to you, to actually fall in
love. You make me laugh, you’re fun to be around, and you ain’t to shabby in
the sack. Be with me, Oscar, be with me and I will make your life - our life -
so much better.”
In which, he blankly responded with nothing. Sat there in
He claimed to be straight - and I mean, straight straight.
And yet, he screwed my emotions by screwing my ass at his convenience.
I am far too set in my ways to change, now. I am not the
cooing, sniveling pansy of yore - oh no, Dear Reader. I have been burned by far
too many so called straights in the past. I want what all fags want and the
bottom line to that is love. Simple love.
However, that privilege seemed unattainable. Especially down
here in ol' Mexico. The motives of such characters are always - always -
Either it being money or clothes or drugs, the time you
shell out for these fucks are never for your enjoyment, but solely theirs. And
what and how much they can get out of it.
The last couple of nights had been visiting straight bars
and me flipping the beer bill whilst Oscar and his cronies cruised for broads
and drank up my wallet.
Certainly, the evening usually ended with Oscar banging the
bajeebus out of me – but, it was all so empty. Worse than a one night stand,
because I was the one harboring romantic feelings for the boy. And he realized
this, all the while beating his chest claiming his heterosexuality.
The previous night, Oscar and I sat in a cantina that was
splashed in gaudy cowboy motif. Worn, wooden wagon wheels and barrels for
tables, bent, dark floorboards, walls covered in oil paintings of the Old West
- Mexican style. The place was empty, save for us and a silent, bloated drunk.
Oscar and I sat silent, uttering a few jokes to each other,
yet I was certain he wished he was somewhere else. The bartender was a
big-boobed mamacita with thick, black eye shadow. The more intoxicated Oscar
became, the more she flirted. And, when Oscar began flirting with the fair sex,
I became invisible.
“Let’s go.” I snarled, wanting to get Oscar away from that
They smiled goodbye to each other and we walked out into the
We staggered down the middle of the street to spare
ourselves an attack by roving dogs or the occasional gangster. Oscar began to
slow his walk.
“Where you want to go next?” He asked.
“Let’s go to my place - we can drink and watch movies.” I
I really just wanted to take my aggression out on him,
He stopped in the middle of the street, glanced drunkenly
back at the neon of the bar two blocks away and said, “You want to invite that
girl? She is hot and I wouldn’t mind fucking her.”
I went livid, “No, I don’t want to invite her! You asshole!
I have shown you nothing but kindness and respect since we met and all you do
is use, use, use! I’m tired of it! You have to make a choice - right now - it’s
living like you do, a common street hustler or with me? I can’t tolerate both
He stood in the fluorescent shadow of the humming street
lamp, looking down and said nothing. I lit a cigarette.
“I’m going to go talk with her, I think I gotta chance with
her.” He said, calmly.
“Fuck!” I screamed in frustrated rage, causing dogs to bark,
and I think in the distance a baby began to cry. “You know, we have nothing in
common. All you see with me is a dollar bill with feet! Why don’t you grow a
pair and be a man for once by supporting yourself?!”
“Luis…please…I explained to you…” He began, hands out, palms
“Goodbye, you asshole! Don’t fucking bother me anymore!” I
With that, I stormed down the street and left Oscar standing
in pools of shadows.
I felt nothing except slight sadness - not for losing him as
a friend, but that it had to be the way it was.
Showered - dressed, and liked the way I looked. Walked over
to the corner; got a pack of smokes and bought a bite to eat at a hamburger
stand employed by a handsome Indian named Ignacio, wondering what I could get
from that? Cuter than shite, he was.
Strolled to the Plaza las Armas in front of the main
cathedral to relax and think. However, there was a rip-roarin’, bible thumpin’
show going on, so God wouldn’t have it.
Sat there anyway and did the best I could. It was a nice,
warm evening and the stars twinkled in a dark-navy, clear sky. The moon was big
and orange, like a grapefruit hanging in that sky.
First goofball I ran into was my good bud Erik, he was
making the rounds – going bar to bar – looking for his friends, but was out of
“Hola, guero, been here long?” Erik asked jovially.
“Not really.” I said. “Trying to tolerate the Wrath of God
Erik glanced at the raucous church group and smirked. The
devoted that they had acquired, clapped and sung along amid the tinny
screeching of the bull-horn.
“Yes, they are here every weekend. You have a problem with
God?” He asked.
“Not yet.” I stated as I lit another cigarette.
A group of young guys passed joking and laughing. Three
skinny queens gesticulating and giggling.
“I’m looking for this one guy that I had met a couple of
nights ago at Nebraska bar, but he seems not to be out drinking, yet.” Erik
said, watching with lust as the boys passed.
“I’m sure he’ll show up.” I assured him.
Erik sighed and then looked at me smiling, “Hey, I’ll catch
up with you later. I’m going to see if I can catch this guy.”
“Okay.” I said as I shook his hand. “I’ll be here.”
With that, Erik shot off across the bustling plaza.
Eventually, and thank God - the Holy Rollers with the bull
horns left and the Plaza quieted down as I sat there sipping my manzana fresca
when Saneen - a bespectacled, nervous and twitchy queen - walked up and said
his howdy’s and gushed at how much he wanted to talk to me.
“Oh, I’m so glad I ran into you!” He chirped.
“Yeah?” I croaked, puffing on that smoke. “About what?”
“I understand that you are a writer?” He asked.
“Some people think so.” I joked.
“Well, I have written this essay about my trip to Paris and
I…” His cellphone beeped.
I sat and watched a homeless man dig through the trash that
cascaded over a bin as Saneen blabbered rapidly in Spanish. He eventually
snapped the phone shut.
“Oh, guero, I have to zip over quick to ProNaf and meet a
friend.” Saneen bleated with a high-pitched lisp. “Can we have coffee tomorrow
at Café Central, say at nine?”
“Okay…sure.” I agreed as my cigarette dangled from my lips.
Shaking my hand, the fag swished off into the busy
I sat there scoping the scene – a little, shabby dwarf of a
woman dragged ratty luggage past (wheels long gone) begging for coins – old and
ancient cowboy crooned (ivory colored, ten-gallon hat and a dusty scowl under
white, bushy mustache) to a patient, yet appalled cholo (handsome and queer) a
few benches down – police prowled, making random checks of identifications…
I decided to stroll over to Bar Nebraska to look for Erik
and before I entered the door, someone called at me from the shadows.
“Guero! Hey, Luis!”
I squinted to see who it was. I had to look hard before I
recognized him as Javier - a neighbor who would visit occasionally for beer and
conversation. I hadn’t seen him in weeks.
He was painfully thin, face sunken in, eyes all pupils,
clothes filthy – he had deteriorated into a full-fledged junky. My heart sank –
this was the same Javier that not three months ago, I had to explain what
crystal meth was.
I stood and stared at his ravaged visage, snarled, “Are you
taking drugs? Look at your face!”
“No!” He said. “No, I’m not, man - I promise!”
Come on, who did he think he was kidding?
I didn’t say a word and entered Bar Nebraska to look for
Erik. The small joint was crawling with Old Navy and Abercrombie and Fitch
clones - Mexican style. My eyes scanned through the gloom, passing across forty
faces of such plastic fakeness, all made the worst by the strobbing, red neon.
Someone tugged at my shirt sleeve – half expecting to see
the grinning visage of Erik, I was instead met with the raw gaze of Javier, who
obviously had followed me in.
“What has happened to your face?” I asked, glaring at him in
the dim light.
“Nothing.” Javier pleaded. “Buy me a beer.”
“No.” Was my answer and I left him standing ragged in the
middle of all that dazzling, faggy poshness. Goodbye, Javier.
Hit the streets depressed even more after that. Returned to
the Plaza and sat and chain smoked Lucky Strike after Lucky Strike –
non-filtered, you dig?
Erik appeared out of nowhere, took one look at me and
“What’s the matter, man? You look sad.” He stated.
I paused – I was sad. Not because of the event before with
Javier. My thoughts flowed with the memories about Oscar. Erik sat next to me
on the concrete bench.
“It’s that obvious, huh?” I stated. “Oh, Erik – I got it
bad. I have been seeing this boy named Oscar. I am so in love with him. I try
and try to persuade this guy to feel the same about me. But, all he seems to
see me as is a dollar bill with feet. I love him; however, I can’t stand him at
the same time.”
“Where did you guys meet?” Erik asked.
I sighed. “In the street. I met him in the street.”
“He’s a hustler?”
“No. Yes. I don’t know. He likes women, though.” I said.
“Oh, honey!” Erik wailed dramatically. “There you have it.
You can’t change that type of macho. He will always go with the women before he
goes with a guy. You understand the word machismo?”
I nodded yes.
“He has his friends and family to think about.” Erik
continued. “He has to save face – no way will he truly have a relationship with
you. What you need to do is drop him and find you a nice gay boy.”
“But, it’s his masculinity that appeals to me. I can’t have
a relationship with a fucking fairy!” I spat the word ‘fairy’ out like poison.
“That’s what you might need.” Erik said.
“What I need is a drink.” I stated as I stood up. “C’mon,
We walked around the corner to Bar Buen Tiempo: for me a
cerveza Sol and him an agua mineral – Erik doesn’t drink, dig?
Depression was lifted somewhat when I was scoped out by two
handsome guys and that’s what was needed to lift my spirits.
Erik and I drank in silence – I sat morosely pining over the
thoughts on Oscar. I wanted him to be with me at that moment.
Erik sighed the word aborrito – boring for you stupid
assholes that don’t speak Spanish – and we were out the door and off through
the Old Market to Caletilla, that bar of bars.
As ever, the hole in the wall cantina was packed with
bloated drag queens, bulldykes, junkies, pimps, homo-thieves, prostitutes, and
whatever. I loved the place. Always kept it funky fresh.
Erik and I made our way toward the back where we met our
friends and the beer began to flow.
Sitting by the mensroom entrance like a flamboyant, Aztec
goddess, was my hairdresser friend, Isidro. With him was another short, squat
fag also named Isidro. Since they had the same first name, they often were
referred to as the twins - even though they looked nothing alike. Silly fags.
Isidro - the tall one - brought with him a scrawny, little
twink that looked as if he was twelve years old – he claimed to be eighteen –
“Manuela!” Mexislang for masturbation, Erik whispered
jokingly into my ear.
The kid clung to me like a wart. I, of course, assured my
group of friends that I had no intention to do anything unsavory with the kid,
he was too young. Gotta keep face with these bitches – know what I mean? Even
though I would had thrown little Manuel on the floor and banged him doggy-style
on the spot – he was that cute.
After the bar closed, my group of bitches and I walked over
to Freegay to boogie down – I was relieved to hear that Manuel could not enter
because he did not have an I.D. Made me all jittery having him around, you know
– felt all kind of nasty the way he looked at me – I ain’t no child molester.
Fucking Lolita. I thought.
Isidro was nice enough to pay for all four of us to enter
and we climbed the stairs of stained, red carpet and entered the disco. Finding
a dark corner in this cavernous hall, we became pretty ripped. Danced – drank –
hit on by flirtatious guys – ran into old friends.
They had hired a new waiter – his name being Manuel (There
was a pattern brewing that night, I just knew it!) and as the waiter served us
our drinks, he would make flirtatious remarks at me.
After the fifth or sixth round of alcohol, Manuel handed me
my drink and caressed my fingers as he passed the bottle to me.
I was in stupid, drunk gringo mode at that time. I smiled
and looked over his muscular frame that his waiter uniform was accenting. He
had short, cropped hair, black and slicked back, a thick moustache and square
I slurred something to the effect, “Ya know, after ya get
off work, you should come to my apartment for a night’s romp.”
He puffed up and flexed, all the while stating, “Sure. But,
my going rate is sixty dollars. You gonna pay me, Americano?”
I laughed, “Get lost!”
Dancing was followed by a transvestite show, then a strip
show. Out of literarily nowhere, that little waif Manuel that I’d met back at
the previous bar popped up out of the gloom. As I gave him the cold shoulder,
he was being cruised by every old, fat pedophile in the building – figures!
Evil, old vampires.
Erik and I joined the never ending parade that continually
looped the dance floor - a chance to check out the checkers.
“What’s your name? Muy nice!” One guy with a shaved head
smiled, grabbing my sleeve as he passed. Wished I took him up on it.
Around two thirty, the disco closed, and we five drunkenly
exited and stumbled to the corner hamburger stand and gobbled down a few.
I was approached by a rather good looking cowboy in a white
hat, all legs and white jeans so tight you could see his circumcision.
“Hola.” I slurred, wobbling.
“Hola.” He smiled.
The cowboy moved closer to talk. That’s when I leaned over
and threw up off the curb. Real classy, me. It didn’t impress the vaquero that
Saying adios to Manuel and the Isidios, Erik walked me to my
house. I flipped a Lucky Strike to the cowboy and said I would see him later or
some sloppish remark. He smiled and turned away.
On a side street near my apartment, took a piss next to a
van to the gigglings of an old hag.
I glared at her, then smiled, saying in English, “What’s so
As Erik and I walked up to my door, a car pulled over with two,
young Mexican guys inside.
The passenger asked me, “Do you speak English?”
I blurredly focused on them as I leaned over the passenger
window. I had to admit, they both weren’t bad looking.
“Fluently.” I slurred.
“We are kinda lost...which way back to El Paso?”
I leaned down to the passenger window, “Well, you drive that
way two blocks and take a right on calle Ignacio Mejia, then a left at Avenida
“Quieres mamar? (Want a blowjob?)” The passenger blurted.
“No.” I said, not missing a beat. “You take Juárez Avenue to
the bridge then to El Paso.”
“You don’t wanna fuck me?” He asked meekly.
“Look, yer drunk, I’m drunk...and I gotta go to work in
three hours. Go home and get some sleep.”
The car pulled off. I said good night to Erik and crashed on
Damn in such a funk of late. So numb inside - avoided
contact with everyone. I was simply waiting to leave - even then, I felt no
surge of excitement over that.
I lay sweating in my bed all day - only to pull myself out
to walk to the corner bakery to buy some bread. I was completely broke -
surviving on bread and water.
Went back to my room and lay there thinking about nothing in
particular for hours on end. Around one a.m. or there abouts - walked back to
the 24hr bakery and bought some sweet bread and a small milk with my last 12
Why was it like this? How had all enjoyment of the
fundamentals of life been crushed out of me? I wanted nothing. Nothing, but to
be left alone with my own thoughts. And they were even mired in bleak
resentment of past events. I saw my future - those filthy, haggard old men
pushing a shopping cart down the street with all sanity and lust for life gone
out of them - I believed that would be one day my fate.
I received my paycheck every Thursday and for some reason
the neighborhood mooches possessed a knack to sniff this fact out. Like that
teenybopper Jose from down the street, who bangs on my door for a dollar at the
wee hours of the morning or that drunk, Elpidio, on the corner who constantly
grabbed his long and nasty, gruffly asking for ten pesos every time he saw me
After signing my paycheck over to various bills and my
impatient, but understanding landlady, I was exiting my trap and I hadn’t even
pulled the key out the lock when I heard, “Hola, mi amigo!”
God, how I cringed from those words down here. They were
usually always followed by being hit up for cash.
I whirled around with that Hollywood smile and there he was
right on time: Oscar. Right on time being on Thursday, the only day he seemed
I stared at him - his clothes covered in dirt and speckled
in primer. He looked at me sheepishly. I could see it in his eyes; it was on
the tip of his tongue. Preparing himself for the light touch.
“You working?” I asked, reaching for a smoke.
“Si!” He cheerily informed me. “I have been working all day,
up roofing a house.”
“Really?” I said, knowing full well he had to be lying. Why
would he need money, then?
After stilted chatter, “Where are you going?” He asked.
“Uh…El Paso.” I said in a quick attempt to ditch him.
I was actually going for some burritos, take a walk, maybe
cruise the Mercado.
“Well, I’ll walk you to the bridge.”
Oscar and I strolled down to Centro and spoke of casual
things, mainly nothing, me strongly banging into his head that I was broke.
“Hey, you hungry?” I asked, halting at a corner.
He smiled, sheepishly, “I’m always hungry.”
I began walking towards Burrito Row, “Let’s go get some
We sat at one of the greasy counters and ordered. We didn’t
say much - our conversation was broken and stilted - eating and watching the
hookers clomp by.
After finishing our meal, I said, “Well, I’m going back
home. See ya around, Oscar.”
“I thought you were going to the States?”
“I changed my mind. I’m tired. Going to get some sleep.” I
started to walk away, but he began to follow.
As we meandered through the congested streets, Oscar finally
popped the question. “Hey, amigo - you think you can help me with one-hundred
pesos? For the bus.”
“Oh, Oscar.” I sighed. “I thought you worked today - didn’t
they pay you?”
He grimaced, “Not until tomorrow, amigo. Please?”
I reached for my wallet and took out a note. “Since you are
a friend and a fun lay…here.”
I mean, I ain’t no miser.
“Gracias!” He chirped and took off.
Bored, I returned to Burrito Row.
Located on a filthy, dusty side street, there stood row
after row of burrito stalls - the smell of seared meats, boiled beans, hot
salsas, and urine. An eyesore that sat tottering on the edge of a river of
sewage - Burrito Row was the hub, the very axis of all drug transactions in the
downtown area, certainly if it dealt with the club areas that ringed the
Burrito Row also fed the army of transvestite hookers that
prowled the night scooping up the stumbling, drunk American and then sucked his
life force out of him in some shit-strewn alley, while pick pocketing their
cash to boot.
Do I visit here for the cuisine? The ambiance? No. I enjoyed
visiting a certain stall called Burritos Meni. Why?
There was a handsome guy that worked in that particular
stall who was named Beto - hopelessly heterosexual and very attractive. I had
known him since I had first moved to Juárez and that day the strangest things
came out of his mouth.
When I sat down, Beto was making my burrito with small
chitchat, “So, guero, do you have a wife or a girl friend?”
“No.” I said flatly. Blankly. Behind my sunglasses - Lucky
Strike hanging off my lip.
He continued flipping the tortilla, “Really? No novia?” He
smirked. “Novio? Ha! Ha! Just kidding!”
I stared at him with cool calm. My face as blank as a poker
dealer. He began to get nervous.
“I had a black guy for a novio once…si! And he gotta a beeg
one!” He said, laughing nervously.
“Thanks for the info.” I stated sarcastically as Beto served
me my food.
As I ate, Beto said nothing, working - too embarrassed I
guess to say anything.
To break the ice, I said, “You know, Beto. I wanna go out
tonight. Maybe go dancing at a club or something.”
He continued to flip tortillas, “I never have the money,
amigo. I just work, go home to my wife and daughter and watch television. I
don’t make much money - I always have trouble making ends meet, verdad?”
I joked, “What you need to find is a Sugar Daddy.”
He looked at me peculiar and said, “You mean fucking the
jotos for money? I used to do that, guero. Fifty dollars all night. Si…when I
was younger, before I got married.”
When he was younger? He was only twenty-one.
Beto went all dreamy and looked at me; “I wouldn’t mind doing
that again…I need the money.”
Then, a group of loud American tourists wobbled up and he
got busy. I lit a cigarette, paid up, said goodbye and walked away.