I was asked if I held any secret Hollywood crushes. Indeed...indeed I do. Just one.
Saturday, March 30, 2013
I was flat broke on this Good Friday. Paranoia rose and bubbled over my mind like heated magma. I truly did not know what I was going to do if this deal did not go through. I strode across the international bridge and passed the obese customs agent with his eyes filled with hate and paranoia. I swear they can smell fear.
I dashed or more like hobbled over to the Café Percolator. I had three dollars to my name. Three dollars which I had borrowed from my forever suffering landlady in Juárez. I obviously have been mismanaging my money. I can’t understand how quick it went this month. Here it is the end of the month and I haven’t centavo one – the last meal I had was a meager sandwich for lunch the day before. At least I still had cigarettes. My borrowed three dollars held a distinct service, I needed it for coffee. I needed it to use to wait.
I sat at a table staring out the large pane windows at the warm spring day. Nearby, a group of hipsters sat on the overstuffed couch. One was a black goateed man with tattoos and black clothes – shorts, buttoned shirt. There was a girl who resembled a strung out junkie with ratty hair and plump – ahem, I mean curvy physique – and the obligatory third wheel queer who sat and laughed at everything the goateed hipster would utter in his baritone voice. The fag was nerdy and timid. Probably still a virgin. Or molested all his life by his father or uncle. There was sadness in that face.
“I like my piercings. Even the one on my dick.” He rumbled.
“I like septum piercings. Even on dicks.” She points to the fag, “Not your small dick, but his big dick.” She coyly smiles back at the tattooed guy. Yes, female, keep the fag in his place.
“When I was I was locked up, we’d always check out each other’s dick in the showers.” Smiled the tattooed man.
“Really?” Asked the fag faintly. “But, most of them men are gross.”
“Let’s go drinking at 8 ½!” Blurted the girl. (8 ½ was the local gay bar where straights hung out to be edgy and cool)
“Yeah!” Rumbled the tattooed guy. “I get free drinks there all the time.”
“Babe!” The girl blurted. “I need to get to the pawn shop and get money for this necklace. But, I don’t have an I.D.”
Enough of this putrid dialog. I took a walk through the city. Spring has definitely arrived. The hip-hop youth swagger boys be-bopped around half naked with their pinch-faced, hickey covered females in tow. The air was hot and the sidewalks simmered. Though I attempted to lighten my mood in lieu of the much saught after change from cold to hot in the weather, I simply could not shake this depression. As I walked down the sidewalks passing scowling face after scowling face, it was too much. I returned to the cafe.
The barista who I want to fuck was generally concerned with my manic mood. That is why I can never hope to attain a relationship. Seriously, who on this wide, wide planet is going to deal with my depressive shit? I wouldn't.
On the advent that I would literally force myself out of this trap I had stuck myself in three years ago, not only did I just up and leave my apartment in El Paso for Juarez, but now I am selling my high end electronics. Starting with my xbox. No loss there. It hindered my writing time, anyway. Instead of spilling my thoughts like I should have, I usually spent day and night attempting to beat that next level. My long time friend and biggest fan of my work, a cat named Miguel, had agreed to take the offensive machine off my hands.
As five in the afternoon rolled around, Miguel was punctual and the transaction was completed. After a slew of fluffy pleasantries, Miguel dropped me off at my flat back in Juarez. Immediately, I raced to the rotisserie chicken and purchased dinner. God I was fucking starving! I devoured the meal back home and fastly fell asleep. I awoke around eight. Showered. Dressed. I wanted a drink, so I walked the two blocks by my house to a bar called Olympico. Notorious for a Daddy Bar - Mexican style.
I entered the swinging metal door and not even time for my ass to warm a stool some doe-eyed twink sides up to me and asks for a beer. He wasn't bad looking and had a hell of a sense of humor. Sure, why not?
His name, so he stated, was Edgar. We spent the next few hours talking, drinking, coyly flirting and when eleven rolled around, we found ourselves rolling out of the bar, stumbling down the street and up to his apartment above a tortilla factory. Nice place. He said he lived with his mother who owned said factory. She was on a weekend sojourn to Chihuahua City. We drank two shots of tequila each and then found ourselves committing crimes against nature well into the night.
The following morning we sat at the table, chain smoking cigarettes and drinking very strong Guatemalan coffee when I asked, "So, Edgar...you are really scrawny. What kinds of food do you like?"
"Anything that is fried in fat." Edgar smirked.
"You don't follow the current health trends like the good Lord intended?" I said.
"You only live once. Why limit yourself to the approval of others opinions?"
I blew gray smoke up to the ceiling and laughed. I think I am in love...
Wednesday, March 27, 2013
The sun beat down under a cloudless sky as I made my way up into a west side barrio in El Paso known as Sunset Heights. Row after row of red-brick buildings amazingly still standing from the 1940’s loomed on either side of the hilly streets. I was on my way to Marvin’s house to retrieve my mail.
Marvin was another self-proclaimed artist type who I had met on facebook some time ago. I have no recollection on how or why we met, we simply did. Over a year had passed since that occurrence and as far as our acquaintanceship was concerned, not much has happened. During my three years in El Paso, I had made several contacts with artists before. All crashing into ruin. Mostly because I became bored with their laziness to pursue their own artistic endeavors or simply from the fact that they annoyed the fuck out of me. Marvin was my last futile attempt to connect with a serious artist in this city. However, through mischance or over-bloated egos our paths never crossed. Things just happen that way I reckon. So barely even knowing this Marvin character, for some cockamamie reason I had asked if I could use his mailing address while I resided in Mexico.
As I said, I made my way up to his uber hipster hide-a-way to retrieve my mail. An old, three room apartment in an equally ancient building. The apartment sat cluttered in piles of dusty magazines, third rate brick-a-brack, garage sale throw-a-ways, and rickety thrift store furniture. Scores of up rolled up painting canvases lay scattered about used more as conversation pieces than hanging in lieu of appreciation.
Huffing up the creaking steps, I ring the doorbell actually quite annoyed that I had to visit. I did not want too, however fate had pushed my hand. I was expecting an important letter.
As the doorbell rang, the muffled skittleskittleskittle of what seemed a million sticks tapping across wood floors faded to and from the other side of the door. Ah, yes – I remember – his hyperactive dog. Marvin has several pets – two huge dogs, a shedding poodle, two birds, and a brood of decaying fish too large to comfortably fit in an algae tinted tank.
Marvin opens the door as he was speaking on the phone. No, not on the phone, it was to a friend who sat in the living room. They were discussing Kafkian rules and figures concerning a cell phone transfer. His friend, who was introduced as Ray, your garden variety homosexual clad in summer shirt, shorts, beard, and tattoos sat largely ignoring the conversations between Marvin and I with more interest on whatever faggots were online at that time. Beer was served, we sat, we drank, we talked – or mostly I talked. I strongly agree – thanks to the advent of the internet – that the art of face to face conversation is dead. And I mean serious expression of thought. Oh how I miss the old days of friends and I staying up to the wee hours and simply spilling our mind and souls onto one another without censorship or PC politeness muddling the conversations. Indeed, those days are gone like the dinosaur. Or perhaps it was simply these two.
The discussion faired between writing – in which these two knew near to nothing – to the state of homosexual affairs today, finally culminating on the opinions of what type of relationship would be ideal. Simple mindless faggoty fluff. I was morbidly disappointed. Especially after a brief sojourn to downtown (for no apparent reason) we returned to Marvin’s house wherein after some light dialogue concerning basically how to better Marvin’s non-existent literary career, Ray leaves and Marvin – without apology or excuse – slinks onto his couch and falls asleep. It was 7pm at night. I internally sighed, left and made my way back to the border.
I have given up on this town. Utterly. I know now it is time to wipe the residue of El Paso off my heels and lay tracks to other more stimulating parts of the world.
Sunday, March 24, 2013
My good friend Chris Forbes - a long time reader of this blog in which a lasting friendship has formed - had agreed to shoot the cover photo for my upcoming novel Hobosexual. Chris has made a name for himself by displaying his art in galleries across the globe and in various high profile magazines. To enjoy more of his work, dig this cat's blog. It is definitely worth the perusing: http://www.br1xt0n.com/blog/
This morning he had sent this idea for the cover shot and, well, I jizzed my pants.
Saturday, March 23, 2013
How many cigarettes does it take to wait? How many cups of coffee? Paul sat in the dead-end diner with napkin firmly under coffee cup - he was told in that style, you could tell when someone had been waiting - watching nothing out of the broad, dust streaked, pane window.
Outside, it was cold and colorless. Gritty wind whipped eddies of trash down a lonely street. A far cry from the sunny, warm surf crashing against a beach that he anxiously anticipated to see. Not here. Not in this damn desert. Here, the sky was a harsh, cold blue - though dazzling bright, it emitted no warmth - only a bitter cold. You could feel it in your marrow.
Paul sipped more coffee, took another drag. He glanced at the bus ticket which sat on the counter in front of him. He was to leave El Paso that afternoon and twenty-two hours from then, he would be in San Diego. He fantasized of the beaches and soothing temperatures and warm ocean breezes. It would be a positive beginning to a brand new life.
Across the street, a bum, the same colorless shade of everything else, stood out front of the Roman Deco post office hitting up passerby for change with a withered, outstretched palm. Paul looked around the café - a cavernous, lonely room which only he occupied. Every sound was amplified with the soft echo of a mausoleum. A hip, bearded, college-type barista stood behind the counter with arms folded and stared out into nothing.
This was too much. Paul paid his bill and wandered out into the dead, desolate streets. The sun was ruthless and bright. In the shadows of a few dead trees, it was frightfully cold - you couldn’t win.
- HOBOSEXUAL, a novel in progress
Working furiously. Without distractions or any type social life. Holed up days at a time in my sordid little one-room flat in a Mexican slum typing without end. Fifty-six pages so far and it is depressing the fuck out of me. Not bad as in writing or style, but the stories and incidents are excavated from my personal life. Nothing is more thrilling than living and then re-living your life's greatest failures. I am writing this in the most raw, eye-peeled way I can. If the world is shit - and it is - I want to reveal it in a hi-def close up.
Tuesday, March 19, 2013
The black exhaust farted from the passing buses faze them? Nope. The lung searing dust from the construction on the street right in front of them effect them. No way. The reek of stale garbage or wafting urine and feces from the adjacent alley? Nuh-uh. But, when I stand outside the cafe and smoke a cigarette? You bet one or two pass covering their noses or emit a fake cough. Fuck you, people!
On a lighter note, I have put the gears in motion. I am leaving this God-forsaken desert once and for all. Kind of. At first, not exactly.
Okay, hear me out, you judgmental peasants: I am going to Tucson for a while. Why? Well, first of all, I like it there. Far better than El Paso yet just as big. I am not comfortable in large cities anymore. I have declined the invitation to San Francisco for the sole purpose that it is too over crowded for my tastes. They all seem to be huggers. I needn't screech on a daily basis, "Don't touch me!"
Anyway, I am going to Tucson a while to save money and dig the local art scene which is flurishing. Plus, I like the shady characters who haunt the downtown district. Outside of Denver, the hobos of Tucson are in a class all by themselves. After a few months in Tucson, I will then travel to San Antonio to stay with a couple of friends and then on to New Orleans to dig that scene. My final destination is Puerto Rico. Beautiful, cheap, international artist colony of Puerto Rico! No more excuses! Fuckin'-A, even my psychiatrist stated that I should get the hell out of Dodge. I am mired in a town of so-called artists who have grand schemes yet fall flat when it is time to exacute their endeavors. What. A. BORE! So, it is time for me to go. I will remain here for one more month only - I need to save a check or two, buy cheap, yet hip glasses (I've had the same pair for five years), indulge in a few more skirmishes with the local wild life - then its pffft! off to new adventures and high-brow excitement.
You want to come along?
Sunday, March 17, 2013
Taxi screeched to a halt in front of the Hotel Escobar. Old man sat on wood chair by the door focusing on me with cataract eyes and junky stoop as I paid the driver and entered the crumbling whitewashed building. The smell of sewage and feces filled the lobby. An obese transvestite sat on an overstuffed green-velvet couch sucking a silver tooth so nasty as I paid the front desk cien pesos and made my way up to the third floor - old well-worn wooden stairs creaking.
My room was painted olive green, paint flaking. Bed sagged to one side with graffiti scratched above wooden headboard, the toilet ran, and I had roaches for roommates.
The distant moan of a whore earning her rent mixed with the Banda music wafting through the pungent, dark halls.
I showered in tepid water, got dressed, and left my key with the front desk. Walking sideways through a group of six Amazonian transvestite hookers who guarded the lobby door; avoiding catcalls and grabbing at my crotch.
I strode through the choking night air, the klaxon of car horns and high decimal Banda, the cries of cigarette vendors, the smell of scorched meat and sewage, vicious cops patrol and gave me a sour eye. Mexican queers passed staring and giggling and pointed at every bulging groin. Dogs sifted through trash next to their masters.
A few blocks from my hotel was Park Bonito Juarez (formally Park Independencia) - by day an idyllic spot for lounging families - the sounds of playing children among swaying palms and colorful flowers. You look around and see happy smiling faces, the rapt, cancerous faces of police officers, you hear cantina music from across the park of balloons and popsicles and shoeshine stands. In the middle a gazebo for concerts - generations of mariachi playing Mexican anthems to honor El Gobernador.
By night, the park takes on its sluttish reputation - a notorious hotbed of male prostitution and drug pedaling with sex being acted in the midst of darkened bushes and shadowy corners. When the day boils away and the shoe stands close-up, the boys come out. Every bench is occupied - the trees lining the sidewalk always host someone leaning with hip hooked and hands in pockets. Silent shadows beckon and the smell of sex vibrates through the park mixed with the whispering lusty grunts and sighs under a baneful moon.
As the sun set and the stars emerged, I found the park and most importantly, I found Enrique working. He sat on the cold iron bench like a lounging cougar, awaiting prey. Dark curly hair cropped short, copper skin, and a pencil thin moustache lined full pouting lips. His lanky body jumped up and ran to me all smiles. Short chitchat and with the heat rising we faded out of the park and materialized in my hotel room.
Tongues probed, fingers poked, and erections were exposed. Enrique always was proud of his very long penis and had no qualms of using it. Clothes thrown about the room. The bed banged and squeaked as Enrique fucked me hard and long and afterwards we shared an American Spirit. (they don't make Lucky Strikes anymore. Fucking bitches!) And then, the horny Mexican fucked me again. Showered and went downstairs for dinner at a corner eatery - Café Mimi’s.
Music blared as the scrumptious food was served by a plump laughing woman - who cooked it, too. The plastic chairs were packed with happy, talking, animated locals - the café was teeming with life. A life which had been squelched in the States and one that will never resurface again.
After tacos and agua limón, Enrique and I decided to cruise around El Centro; I needed to go shopping for some hygiene articles.
As we walked through the congested streets, I was approached by two Mexican hipsters and asked if I wanted to make $800 dollars, suspicious I asked why.
“All you hafta do is drive cross the border.” The short one smiled coyly.
“Nah.” I stated - a coyote I ain’t.
Enrique said he needed some mota - and why not, I feel like getting a little high myself. We strut down into the Old Mercado past the come-hither hookers and cop a bag of weed from some Aztecan tattooed kid and repair back to my room. Enrique is one hella roller - fat he makes 'em. We sit on the bed listening to reggeaton and toking some blunt - it was tasty. Half a bottle of Cuervo - reefer by candle light.
I rode Enrique's mighty cock for nearly an hour. Hair is pulled; sweat is licked off writhing thrusting bodies. Our racket echoes in the halls as we both moan out in orgasms.
“Oh shit! Aie caray!” We grunt out almost simultaneously.
Beaten, bruised and covered in sweat and semen, sheets on the floor and soiled, Saul and I lay there entwined like two snakes.
My digital clock said 4:36am. As he lay beside me sleeping, I stroked his black curly hair, sighed and looked out the window at the shimmering yellow moon. paranoid thoughts drift through my mind, I need to leave. I need to get out of Mexico and find new kicks. But where...?
Saturday, March 16, 2013
HIM: I don't really like holding hands.
ME: Holding hands may seem like an innocent gesture, but they show more than a simple interlocking of fingers. Your hands are one of the most essential parts of your body: you build with them, feed with them, hold with them, touch with them, fight with them; they are the tools of the human body. To take a hold of another’s hand is to break from living individually. It is to link yourself to another being, to momentarily entwine your life with another’s, to promise, for a moment, that you need not face the world alone. More simple, more aesthetically naive than other forms of affection, i.e kissing, hugging, sexing.., the act of holding hands is often trivialized in its true implications.
HIM: Here...use this to wipe up all that shit you just said.
Thursday, March 14, 2013
Sunday, March 10, 2013
I awoke in the afternoon and walked with a goddamn hangover to cafe 656. I sat there staring at my laptop as the cream curdled in my coffee. The strawberry cheesecake was good, though. I sat gazing with crimson, tired eyes out at the city streets beyond the plate glass windows. It must be noon. The construction workers who are re-paving Juarez Blvd. are playing an impromptu came of soccer...I'm sorry, futbol....in the street amid parked bulldozers and cement mixers. I sit and my mind wonders. The skirmish from the previous night was pleasant, but the words kept ringing in my throbbing head: Why are you in Mexico?
I've actually been asked that by several locals since I relocated. "I don't know." Is my usual answer. For adventure? To rekindle past embers of nostalgia? I want to go. I am saving money, but to go where? San Fransisco? Puerto Rico? Tucson? Part of me wants to travel, to squeeze out one last adventure before finally throwing in my hat and hanging up my shoes. Living in El Paso has changed me. I guess I kind of do miss the sedentary and stability of a permanent home.
I remained at the cafe until the afternoon chatting with friends on facebook, tumblr, and filing my report on my blog. I was tired and decided to return home and crash. Funny thing was, once there, I wasn't as sleepy as I was at the cafe. I wiled away the next seven hours on my xbox playing Fallout 3. When 11pm hit, I was going to shower, dress and hit a bar. Instead, I sat at my desk and vomited out 34 new pages on the new novel. Weird.
It was daylights savings time, the clock read 2:10 but was really after three in the morning. My body automatically began to shut down. Stripped butt naked and crawled under the covers to fall into a heavy sleep.
Saturday, March 09, 2013
The day began weird. In the morning it was sunny and hot. By mid-afternoon it was overcast and sprinkling. When twilight hit, a goddamn dirt storm began coating my entire apartment in a fine layer of yellowish dust. Fucking desert. Can't wait to high-tail the hell out of here come September. If my patience lasts that long!
During the day, I took a walk through park Benito Juarez near my apartment - I hadn't even made it to a bench when I heard my name being called. Which disturbs me, especially down here. Who the fuck knows I'm here?
Maybe it's another person with my name he's calling out? No such luck, I can hear him tramping up rapidly behind me. I turn and notice some fat fuck grinning at me. It took a moment to sink in that it was Carlos, whore-boy extraordinaire I had associated with from the last time I lived in Juarez some five years ago. Back then, Carlos was thin, muscular, and attractive. Now? Well, stating that he had let himself go would be an understatement. He was the size of a Volkswagen. As he approached, he saw that I recognized him, grinning at me stupidly. Staying true to form I call out, "Winnie Poo! Que pasa?" A cheap shot, to be sure, but we did not part on good terms.
After formalities, he asks if we could sit in the shade and talk, his blubber was obviously overheating in that spring sun. We sat, talked of old times. Then he became silent and I waited for him to drop the mooch bomb. I could see the question of asking for money on his protruding lips. I stood, extended my hand, and said, "Nice seeing you again, Carlos. Maybe we can talk in another five years?" And quickly strode the two blocks back to my flat.
I pushed that goofy fucker out of my mind and spent the rest of the afternoon writing and editing my next novel. Took a nap and woke to ready myself for a night out.
As the sun sank behind the cathedral, I strode over broken sidewalks covered in trash and dog shit to bar Buen Tiempo, my old watering hole. The place was not that crowded and I found a stool at the counter with a great view of the bar and it's clientele. A spattering of old whores, bloated cowboys, and screeching fags encircled the wooden bar.
I sat and ordered a chilled caguama Sol, striking up a conversation with an old drunk who sat next to me. Around his shriveled neck, dangled a permit. He worked the circuit selling wallets and belts to tourists. Surprisingly he did not bother offering me any of his wares, guess he was off duty.
A tall, handsome guy strode in and plopped next to me and ordered a Carte Blanca. He was extremely attractive. Not faggy at all. There was something about him that I could not pinpoint. Anyway, his striking good looks and macho air garnered the attention from the other fags in the room. On the far side of the bar, a lecherous and scheming queen in denim jacket and pants, scowled at me as I checked the new guy out. Eventually, dreamboat and I began to talk. His name was Oscar and he was serving his term in the Mexican Army at the moment.He explained that he and his squad was on leave. Since he had "different needs" than his military buddy's, he decided to go drinking alone.
Oscar was quite funny and, as the alcohol began to effect me, I found his good looks less intimidating. During our initial chat, the monstrous queen on the other side of the bar decided to spin his web of shade by sending a note via the bartender to Oscar. Scribbled in Spanish it read, "Why waste your time with that American? Can I have your phone number? besos" Oscar chuckled "Besos, he says. Pinchi joto vulgar." Oscar then went into a long tirade on how he is not a piece of meat and was weary of going to bars only to be scrutinized over like a cow at a bazaar. I thought, I have found my soulmate...
That was until this Jorge character shows up and plops on the opposite side of me. Jorge was tall and thin, dark skinned with very strong Aztec features. The wind up was, as I spoke to Oscar, he kept eyeing Jorge. Eventually, in a vain attempt to nurture international diplomacy, I invited Jorge into our conversations even to the point of relocating Oscar on a stool between Jorge and I. The beer flowed and a good time was had. We three chatted on the various music of Mexico, the differences between beers, and a multitude of vapid subjects. Jorge, eyes crimson and voice slurred, confessed that he had a wife and two daughters, but enjoyed the company of men on occasion. God bless the men of Mexico.
The fag from across the bar eventually slithered over and attempted to seduce Oscar to sit with him. I did not catch the conversation, but Oscar told him basically to fuck off. In which the queen did a dramatic exit from the bar to spread it's vile venom onto new prey, one could only imagine.
The clock on the wall spun as a group of lesbians who huddled in a corner howled along to every song which emitted from the rockola. With the sudden departure of that shadowy queer, the attitude of the bar in general changed to unbridled levity. Me, along with my two new friends, smoked cigarettes, drank uncounted glasses of chilled cerveza and basically got shit faced. To quote the infamous Major Grubert, "If a thing was meant to happen, it will happen."
I excused myself to take a piss. In the foul smelling mensroom, I stood at the piss trough running along the floor as two drunken cowboys languidly masturbated each other next to me. Eventually, they left to commit crimes against nature on one another in some sordid hotel. As I relieved myself, Oscar entered and whipped out his dork to pee. Pee he did not. He stood, casually stroking his stiffening cock. He leers with bloodshot eyes, "Why don't we go somewhere to play, guero?"
I stood hypnotized on his undulating organ, "But, what about Jorge? I thought you two were hitting it off?"
He rolled his eyes, placed his dick back in his pants and said, "Bueno. Let's go drink some more."
Watching him walk out, I chuckled inward, I didn't say I didn't want to!
Back at the bar, Jorge was chatting with two friends. A short guy named Caesar and a tall guy named Tony. Both were quite gay, but well dressed and weren't the regular condescending queens who pollute our fair society.
Caesar invited us to his apartment nearby for drinks. We all agreed since the bar was closing soon, anyway. We stumbled the few blocks to an apartment over a tortilla mill. It was a nice place. Sparsely furnished with Mexican oil paintings and knick-knacks sporadically placed about. the group sat on overstuffed couches sipping tequila and listening to ranchero music on an out dated stereo.
As fate would have it, Caesar, Tony, and Jorge disappeared into the bedroom. It was obvious what was going on as Oscar and I sat silently in the living room as the bedroom had no door and only a ratty, laced curtain as a partition. Caesar eventually emerged wearing nothing but blue underwear briefs - his erection predominant with a wet spot seeping through the briefs. Oscar and I smiled at him as he nonchalantly stood in front of us.
"Why don't you join us?" He asked.
Why not, indeed? I earlier stated to Oscar at the bar that I believed we were put on this planet to experience everything we could. Don't ever say no to anything. If you enjoyed the experience, continue doing it. If not, don't do it again. "Except murder, that is frowned upon in most societies." I quipped.
We three entered the dark bedroom. In the gloom, there were piles of folded clothes on chairs and on a dresser. The queen-sized bed took up most of the room. It was a mattress and box-spring on the concrete floor. Lying akimbo on his stomach was Tony with Jorge on top fucking him slowly. Like a fragmented dream, hands began to undress each other, probe, stroke, masturbate. Caesar, Oscar, and I climbed onto the empty space of the bed and sucked and kissed one another. Erections were put to use as they found their way into awaiting mouths or asses. Amid the clanking tootling of the ranchero music, the passionate, random sounds of sighs, gasps, and moans permeated that concrete, windowless room well into the early morning.
I was fucked fore and aft by both Oscar and Jorge while being milked dry by Caesar and Tony. Tony, who at the bar came across as timid and reserved, transformed into a lust filled sex fiend as several times he found his lanky body being tossed about and screwed all over the room by both Jorge and Oscar. As Caesar sucked my cock, I lay, my back propped up against the cold wall, smoking a cigarette and watched as Jorge and Oscar took turns grunting and rutting like a porn stars on top of Tony.
Before the roosters of the neighborhood had time to begin crowing, we lay in a pile with each other bathed in sweat and semen, whispering and laughing in that silent gloom.
Around 5am, I stated I had to leave and after taking a whore's bath at the kitchen sink (there was no sink in the bathroom), I dressed and said my goodbyes. Oscar decided to walk with me, stating he had to get back to his garrison. His intentions made clear halfway to my house as he hit me up for 150 pesos. At first I was put off, being it years of tolerating mooching fuckers down here. But, he made a good argument that the military doesn't pay shit. So, after I slapped 200 pesos into his paw, we shook hands on a corner and parted.
After a hot shower at my place, I lay in the cool darkness as yellow light of dawn crept through the blinds of my apartment and thought, I knew there was a reason why I came back.
Wednesday, March 06, 2013
I stood drunk outside the bar - a squat, red-brick dive across from the downtown Greyhound station, where I watched travelers spitting, sitting, waiting on benches for the monstrous buses which belched black smoke up into the hazy air.
I was so close to the streets, the passing buses that chugged by almost knocked me down. The sun had just dropped below the horizon and the navy sky still retained a florescent, orange glow on the horizon.
I had a good buzz after downing three quick mugs of beer and stood spitting great, brown gobs of chewed tobacco out into the traffic. Occasionally, I wouldn’t quite make it and the slimy matter would sling-shot back on a string of saliva and splatter my coat. I’m so classy.
I squinted down the colorless street and noticed my old friend Patrick stumbling towards me. As soon as his eyes focused on who I was, Pat bound and leapt towards me like a giggling school boy. Much handshaking and backslapping and whatever-happened-to-so-and-so’s ensued.
I had known Pat from the men’s shelter. Pat had a little boy look to a face gone rugged from too much drink and manual labor in harsh climates. Pat wore a blue-denim jacket with a racing emblem on the back, blue jeans, sneakers, baseball cap - the standard hobo attire. Pat was still handsome, but his black goatee had specks of gray in it, as did his short cropped hair. There was pain in those green eyes from a long life of hard labor and even harder disappointments. He was of Mexican descent, yet born and raised in Kansas. And like much of the residence of this Texas desert town, drifted down to El Paso on an insidious current of bad luck and bring downs. He was a loser simply trying to make it by.
Just like me, I thought.
Pat stated in a thick country Kansas drawl, “Man, I just gotten jumped by three fuckers and my back is hurtin’ somthin’ fierce!”
“You got jumped?” I asked, hawking another blob of chew into the street. “How?”
“I was over in the park when these three kids - well, not kids, young adults, ya know - came walkin’ by. I asked ‘em for some change to get a drink. They all of a sudden became belligerent an’ shit and started punchin’ and kickin’ me. I ain’t young as I used to be, ya know - and when I fell, one of them fucker’s started kicking me in the back. Hard! Then, they ran away.”
“Holy shit.” I stated in mocked concern. I thumbed towards the door of the bar, “Wanna drink?”
Pat’s face lit up, “Hell, yeah!”
We entered the low, red-bricked building and sat at the counter populated by the dredged and forlorn regulars - all sullen, silent alcoholics. I ordered two huge mugs of draft from the squat Mexican woman bartending.
Hunched over, Pat slurped his drink. He let out a relieved sigh, then said, “Hey, get this, a coupla days back, me and my girl were holed up in a hotel livin’, drinkin’, arguing’, whatever - like so many fuck ups. I tell ya, boy - that chick is a wild cat! We started arguin’, right? You know, over money and stupid shit like that and I hadda slap her.”
I looked at him, “You slapped her?”
“Yeah! To shut her up!” Pat raised a palm in protest, “I know what yer thinkin’, but that girl got the better end of it. She came at me screamin’ and clawin’ - I couldn’t keep her offa me!” He took a gulp and chuckled. “That crazy girl kicked my ass, man.”
I rolled my eyes mockingly.
Pat continued, “We were causin’ such a racket, the hotel must’ve called the police, right? My girl – she was drunk off her mind – and beat up a cop.”
“She beat up a cop?” I repeated. “That couldn’t have ended well.”
“Damn straight!” Pat took another gulp, “She was swarmed by the other cops, as fuckin’ pigs do, and they clubbed and beat the shit out of her and tossed her in the back of a squad car, screamin’ and kickin’. I was hauled off, too - by associated proximity. So, they threw me in the back of the squad car - we both didn’t give a fuck about the situation. Shit, we even started makin’ out in the back seat on the way to the precinct. Cops in the front yellin’ at us to knock that crap off.”
“No shit?” I said.
“Yeah. I was released after 24hrs in the drunk tank, but I think she’s gonna be locked up a little bit longer.”
“Wow, that’s some crazy shit.” I stated, gulping another throat full of beer.
The alcohol began to take effect as Pat went all gooey and cooed, “I luv er, man - she’s muh life.”
I ordered more cheap beer and we drank in contemplative silence.
Suddenly, a hulking Mexican in a Stetson entered the bar. He walked up to the counter and ordered a beer. He glared at us and asked Pat in Spanish, “Oye, quires echarte un billarcito?”
The tall, pot-bellied bulk in a white, silk shirt emblazoned with two gold scorpions on each chest was drunk and tottered arrogantly as he waited for an answer, stroking his drooping, shiny black moustache.
Pat looked up at him and stated, “I don’t speak Spanish, friend.”
The Mexican gestured outward with his hands in mock disbelief, spat gruffly, “You Mexicano, no?”
“What the fuck that got to do with it? I was born here in the States.”
He thumped Pat on the chest with the back of an open palm, “I’m from Chihuahua, cabron! I’m Mexican!”
“Well, whoop-de-fuckin’ doo fer you! I’m from Kansas!” Pat shot back.
“And I’m from Los Angeles!” I smiled with a little wave that went ignored.
I shot a brief glance at Pat which stated if that macho fucker started anything, I’d have Pat’s back.
The Mexican glared, “Play pool, cabron.”
Pat looked at me, then back at the Mexican. “Okay, yeah - I’ll play you a game.”
The night crawled as I silently sat at the bar drinking and watched Pat whip the Mexican’s ass in billiards. Each time Pat sunk a ball, the drunken macho would thump his chest, swaying with bottle in hand and grunt, “I’m from Chihuahua, cabron.”
“No need to get all belligerent and shit – it’s just a game.” Pat would utter. It was obvious Pat was becoming annoyed with the stupid, macho bullshit.
When the game finally ended, the Mexican wanted to play more, but Pat declined. The hulk drunkenly glared for a moment and then stomped out of the bar.
Pat wobbled over to the bar and slumped onto the stool. He closed his eyes. They remained closed. The bartender walked over briskly, tapping onto the warped wood of the counter.
“Hey! You no sleep here! Wake up!” She spat, grabbing the half-filled mug in front of Pat. “No mas for your friend.”
I nodded solemnly.
Pat’s eyes popped open; he sat up, ran a small, calloused hand over his drooping face, “Sorry, ma’am. Sorry.”
I drank my beer and stared at the purple neon sign which burned on the mirrored wall in front of me. It was that quiet, lonely time which occurs in all the bars all around the world. The jukebox was silent; the other drunks sat, slowly sinking into their mugs.
I began to feel depressed. The warmth of the beer enclosed me, my head swerved, my eyes blurred. I glanced over towards Pat slumped in his stool on the nod. Again, the bartender approached with a bitter scowl on her face.
She looked at Gabriel, said, “You both go. I no want cops here. I no want your friend sleeping here. Go.”
With numb fingers, I swigged down the remaining beer in my mug and grabbed Pat off of his stool. Arms around each other, we stumbled into the night.
Out on the curb, Pat stirred, “Fuckin’ cunt!” He casually leaned over the curb and puked up a stream of warm beer onto the pavement. He stood, wobbling, propping himself up on me. “I got nowhere to go.” Pat mumbled as we stood on the side walk outside the bar.
I sighed and said, “Come on.”
“Where we goin’?” Pat asked as he spat flecks of vomit out of his mouth.
I was tottering myself, “You can crash at my place, Pat. I live only a few blocks away. But, across the bridge in Juarez.”
“You live in Juárez?”
“Yeah. I don’t know why either.” I said, grabbing his arm when it appeared as if Pat was about to fall.
Without warning, beer-scented tears began to roll down my crimson cheeks. My chest heaved as a wave of emotion enveloped my body. I pinched the bridge of my nose as I tottered.
“I don’t know what I am doing, man. I mean - and I haven’t told a living soul, so you better keep this shit to yourself…” I breathed.
Pat grunted something which sounded positive.
“What the fuck am I doing back in Mexico? I feel so lost. Without goal or direction. I have been feeling really depressed lately and see the only avenue plausible is suicide. You know, I really want to die, Pat. I have live a thousand lifetimes and nothing gives me pleasure or excitement anymore. Nothing. That word, when I think of my predicament, keeps swimming around in a massive inky void in my head. I’ve gotten to the point where everything: Eating, drinking, art, writing, socializing, sex…all things that used to thrill me do nothing. I even have this guy in Juarez who I have been seeing. He’s really nice and positive and understanding about my needs, but I enjoy the time alone more than it is with him…”
“He an ugly bitch?” Pat slurred, cross-eyed and head swerving up toward the stars.
“Nah. He’s actually quite attractive. It’s not him…it’s me. And, that’s the fucked up part. I don’t know.”
Pat stood up straight, sighed. His bleary eyes unfocused beyond me towards the passing traffic. “I gotta go.”
“What?” I said. “Hey, man, I’m spilling my heart here.”
“I gotta go to the city jail and visit Jen. I hafta find a way of gettin’ our shit outta the hotel room.” Pat took an unsteady step and scowled, “Damn, why do women gotta bring along so much shit? I gotta back pack - that’s it. She’s got like five huge bags.”
With that, Pat stumbled out into the city night leaving Your Reporter to wobble himself home alone - back to an uncertain future...
Monday, March 04, 2013
I had to eat. My stomach hurt. It was better to put some hot grub in my belly before heading over to the hotel and dealing with whatever weirdness that would entail.
I stood on the corner by the general relief office and glanced over the list of soup kitchens given to me by the social worker. The nearest was located near San Pedro Blvd. and 3rd. I looked at my watch. They would start to feed in about an hour. I began the short trek.
Hidden down in the shadowy canyons of steel, glass, and concrete on a side alley, I noticed a multitude of meandering people. It was a carnival. Hundreds of people milled about. The vast amount waited in a long line which weaved through dumpsters and trash cans out into the street proper and halfway down the block.
All disreputable types of hobos, tramps, junkies, and the mentally deranged stood coughing, yakking, shouting at nothing or one another. Garbage fluttered in the hot breeze and circled a long row of filthy shopping carts bloated with possessions and discarded junk. The smoke of a million rolled cigarettes wafted up toward that bright Los Angeles sky mixed with the smells of marijuana, unwashed ass, and sour feet. A colorless mass of citizens in grubby baseball caps, frayed backpacks and bedrolls, dirty and stiff denim jeans. All outfitted in that unmistakable uniform of the destitute in a vain attempt to appear inconspicuous.
As I passed the entrance of the alley to make my way towards the end of the line, my nostrils were assaulted with an overpowering reek of burnt rice, pepper, and cooking grease. Shabby derelicts waited silently behind shaggy, grimy manes of facial hair and inspected me as I passed with apathetic curiosity.
I strode with purpose, picking up snatches of dialog from the cacophony around me:
“Nigga better get me my money! Bitch best never ask for any again!”
“Joey fucks like a faggot. Quick and fast.”
“Damn this line’s long. Hope they don’t run out before I get mine!”
“I hear ya. I’m starvin’ like Marvin’!”
“What the fuck you lookin’ at? Don’t look at me!”
“Damn! I gotta take a shit!”
I reached the end of the long line and casually stood in an attempt to remain unnoticed. I nonchalantly removed a crumpled pack of cigarettes from my pocket and lit one. I took a puff and felt a light tap on my arm. I turned to see a wizened, little man gazing back at me in colorless clothes and sparking blue eyes. His clothes were grimy, shiny over the dirt.
“Hey, buddy, can you spare a smoke?” The man asked softly.
“Yeah.” I said absently as I fished one out and handed it to the tramp who took it in long, dirty fingers.
“Thanks.” The old hobo said, smiling from discolored teeth.
A young, Latino thug approached and asked from behind wrap-around sunglasses, “Hey, homie, spot me a smoke.”
I sighed and handed the cholo a cigarette.
“Good lookin’ out, homie.” The cholo said as he walked back to his knot of friends.
At that moment, a lanky black man walked up, “Hey, man, gimme a cigarette.”
“What?” I said in exasperation. “These things cost money. I can’t just keep handing them out.”
The tall junkie’s face twisted into a scowl, “You gonna be like that, white boy? Gimme a fuckin’ smoke!”
“You need to go and bum from someone else, bro.”
“I ain’t your fuckin’ bro!”
The junkie stepped forward and stood toe to toe with me.
He put his face in close, barking halitosis and spittle, “Your fuckin’ honky ass needs to get the fuck outta here, white boy! I should just steal your shit instead of askin’ for it! Gimme your fuckin’ cigarettes, motherfucker!”
This was too much. People stood and gawked at the confrontation. Without realizing it, I swung a fist and landed a hit across the man’s jaw. The junkie spun and tumbled out towards the curb. He then reeled around and glared in absolute hatred at me.
“Aw, hell no! This motherfucker did not just hit me!” The junkie roared.
“What the fuck did you expect?” I shot back. “I was going to take your shit like a good white boy?”
“I’m gonna kick your motherfuckin’ ass, motherfucker!” The junkie shrieked as he dashed towards me.
As we ducked and swung at each other, people nearby in line made a wide girth in lieu of the scuffle. Several began to shout, “Stop that shit or they ain’t gonna feed us!” “Yeah, cut that shit out!”
I jabbed and landed a few licks as the junkie punched and swung his boney knuckles at my face. We wildly grabbed each other in an effort to fling one another onto the trash littered sidewalk. The junkie was strong, but not strong enough to be tripped up. The lanky man hit the pavement with his back. I then lept over him and began to pommel his bristled face.
“Gentlemen, cease this fighting at once or we’ll shut the kitchen down and no one will be fed!” Called a squat man in a baseball cap and white polo shirt. He stood at the entrance of the alley. The shirt bore the word STAFF emblazoned in blue across the back. I caught a glimpse of him as he held up a cellphone. “The police have been notified! I suggest you both leave now!”
The wizened hobo who had first asked for a cigarette called over to me, “Hey man, you best get out of here before the pigs arrive! Then you really fucked!”
During this, I continued to punch the junkie as the downed man clawed and yelled, “Someone get this fucking bitch offa me!”
The thought of reason flashed across my mind, Cops are already after your ass! No need to hand yourself over on a silver platter!
Huffing in pain and anger, I released the junkie, snatched up my duffel bag and quickly darted down to the corner. I could hear the junkie taunt, “That’s right! Run, motherfucker! Get your white ass outta here!”
I quickly strode two blocks away. My paranoia intensified as a squad car roared by. I dodged into another alley. There was a line of people waiting to be fed. At the front of the line stood an elderly man banging on a steel pot with a metal spoon.
“Stop this! Stop this right now!” He yelled.
There was a group of black men encircling an Asian man who lay on the pavement. The small Asian was curled in a fetal position in a futile attempt to dodge kicks and stomps by his attackers.
“Fuckin’ chink-ass faggot!”
“Take your ugly, yellow ass back to China, motherfucker!”
Fuck! What is wrong with these goddamn animals? I thought.
I quickly turned and rushed three blocks for another location I remembered from the list.
Along a stretch of sweltering sidewalk, there was a dusty storefront with a few hobo’s who congregated outside. Splashed in an amateur paint job above a steel door were the words God’s Extended Hand. There was a mix-matched mural of a hand extending from a cloud grasping down to a silhouetted group of people.
I approached an elderly, humpbacked man struggling to side his shopping cart against the mission’s wall.
“Excuse me.” I asked. “They still feeding here?”
The old man looked at me with canceled eyes. “What? Yeah. Just go on in and sit down.”
I entered the dark doorway. When my eyes adjusted to the gloom, I noticed the low-ceilinged room was covered in a matted, red carpet. Placed sporadically about were rickety sofas and mismatched chairs. Some metal, others plastic. Towards the back of the medium sized room lay a small, carpeted stage with a podium in the middle.
An elderly woman with gray hair and thick glasses called over to me, “Sir? Is it your first time here? I need you to sign in before you can eat. We will be serving momentarily.”
I walked over and took the clipboard that she held out to me. “Thank you, ma’am.” I said as I scribbled the name Waldorf Butterbean onto the roster.
The elderly woman retrieved the board and pointed with it towards the chairs, “Go ahead and have a seat, young man. There is coffee on the table over there. Help yourself.”
I made my way to the small, coffee stained table. There was a stack of tiny Styrofoam cups and a pile of sugar packets. No creamer. I took the canter and filled a cup with the jet-black liquid. Sipping it, I attempted to hide a distasteful grimace. The coffee tasted as if it was drained down the ass-crack of a thirty-year homeless veteran. I tossed the remaining coffee into a small, plastic trash bin.
An old man who was waiting behind me chuckled as he poured himself a cup, “That bad, huh? Well, it’s free. What do you expect?”
I grinned back, “There are limits.”
“Sometimes when you got nothin’, you take what you can get.”
Pure, hobo logic, I thought. “You got that right. When do they serve chow?”
“After church service.” The old man said as he took loud slurps of his coffee. “Hope the food don’t offend ya.”
“I’ll try not to be so critical next time.” I smiled.
“It’s hot and it’s free.” The man stated with an open palm before shuffling into the murk.
I glanced at the seats to find an empty space. The room was largely void of people. There were three derelict elderly, a middle aged woman with two, dirty children, a few colorless tramps. A black man leaned against the wall scratching at a dry arm. All sat silent save the occasional hacking cough or snort of mucus filled nostrils.
As I settled into a plastic chair, an aging man with a metal walker made his way up onto the podium. He coughed politely into a waded handkerchief and opened a well-worn bible. Adjusting his thick and dusty, black rimmed glasses; he addressed the few who sat in the room, “Before we eat, ladies and gentlemen, I’d like to say a few words about our Lord and savior, Jesus Christ…”
The sermon went on for an hour and fifteen minutes. Most of the congregation remained silent. There were a few “Praise Him’s” and “Hallelujah’s” uttered intermittently. My stomach rumbled loudly during the last three hymns. It did not help that the waft of cooked food filtered into the room. It smelled delicious. With mouthwatering, I could care less about the afterlife or my eternal damnation if I didn’t halt my wicked ways. I glanced up at the podium where the old man gesticulated and ranted with face crimson and a hand furiously grasping air.
His type is always going on about God. Yet, they’re never in a hurry to meet him. I thought bitterly in rising hunger. Come on, preacher man, wrap it up!
With the mercy from the good Lord above, the pastor finally led the room into final prayer.
Afterwards, as if by habitual instinct, all rose and shuffled quietly towards an open door next to the stage. I stood in the back of the line as the que jerked forward. Each person was handed a large Styrofoam cup and a hard bread roll by the smiling, elderly woman who I had met at the entrance with the clipboard. At the opposite end of the small room was an exit door where, on the way out, a sulking, little boy dispensed a plastic spoon wrapped in a paper napkin.
“Thank you.” I said as he grabbed his cup.
“Enjoy the food that the Lord, Our Father, has provided for you today.” Smiled the woman.
The door exited into an alley where several of the people from inside stood apart from each other and silently ate. Others wandered off into the nightmare of skid row. I opened the lid of my cup and gawked despairingly down into the thick, yellowish-pink goop. It looked repulsively like coagulated vomit.
I placed a small spoonful into my mouth. Not bad. Some sort of gravy with chicken chunks and vegetables. With uncontrolled voracity, I wolfed down the contents of the cup and sopped up the remnants with my roll.
When you are hungry, I thought, you will eat anything.
When done, I tossed the cup behind a dumpster and made my way over to the Hotel Cecil.
- Los Angeles, 2002