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.