I hated it. The relentless uniformity of heartbreak, the cycle which began at age fourteen, the anguish of it, irremediable. This time his name was Cesar and he’s in love with a cunt named Lourdes. I hated that I still hadn’t learned: straight men were the nemesis; when their kindness was brutal, their bodies sinewy, their indulgence disastrous. I despised that sometimes I wished I was straight, or invariably prayed for a vagina. I hated the downtown cruising areas, I knew where they were - all of them - dark alleys and empty lots, abandoned tenements and tracks; seedy corners where I treated my infirmities with meaningless gasps and moans and glistening ejaculate, the heartbreak cure. I hated my lust, even as I attempted to hold out for as long as I could, it never lost, its release exceeded the remedy of alcohol, that the bliss abruptly dissipated the moment after the pants were redone. I hated I did all the work, none of the dark faces ever reciprocating the favor, the loathsome reality was I kept returning anyway. Because it was delicious to feel wanted, to forget that I wasn’t, however briefly. I hated my shame, the bellicose culture which conditioned it, the Church that coddled its vicious gluttony. A misplaced rebellion against a faceless recipient. I was a bottle of self-loathing. The need to hide, the fear of consequences, the crippling muck I couldn’t brave to thaw.
Sunday, December 28, 2014
The sky was a harsh, vivid blue and a freezing gust blew over the vast desert. Everything was colorless and dead. Typical panorama of The City this time of year. I elbow my way through the post-Christmas throng in centro and quickly cut in the glass entrance to the cafe. Not quickly enough to not allow a swirl of gritty dust to follow me.
I took my seat and croak my hello toward the staff and regulars. I ordered my usual of ham sandwich on toast with coffee and settled in to my work. Updated corrections to all my published works. I have learned a thing or two since 2006 and I reckoned it was time to throw some professionalism into the old stuff.
As I sat typing, a fairly handsome young man in all black entered. He casually approached the counter and I noticed when he inquired about me. The owner smiled and pointed in my direction.
A myriad of catastrophic images washed through my paranoid mind as I glanced at the lad with a look of aloof suspicion. Did I owe him money? Was he the jealous lover of a past fling? Federale who finally came to collect payment due on that foolish incarceration?
The owner smiled and stated, "This young man is interested in purchasing one of your books!"
Still didn't click. I blankly stated, "Seriously?" Here? In Juarez? In this artistic wasteland?
And indeed he did. He introduced himself as Lalo. He had visited the cafe a week or so before and leafed through the copy which sat on the bookshelf.
"I want to buy a copy, if that's possible?"
"Of course." I blubbered and as I was about to write down the address to the web site which sold them, I remembered I had an extra copy in my laptop bag. I mentioned that and stated I would love to offer him a signed copy. It was the least I could do for acting like a pompous ass at first approach.
He sat and we chatted. He related a bit of his past and his love of cinema. I was in a state of confused shock. Delighted, but in shock, nonetheless. Here was a young man sitting with me, speaking elegant English, relating on subjects I too adored and for once in seven months it wasn't about sex and how much he plotted to pump money out of me. I must admit, it was a relieved breath of fresh air. The exact type of conversation - to simply sit and discuss like-minded passions on art - that I had secretly desired of for months with it not having to result in some intoxicated tumble with the finished product of me attaining a sore ass and empty wallet.
I sincerely didn't wish it to end, yet it did. He gratefully took the book, bid his farewell - offerings to keep in touch from both ends - and he left as quickly as he arrived.
I must say, even after all these years of online praises and positive reviews of my writings, I still confront this mediocre fame as something completely alien. Will I ever get used to it? I do not know. All I do know is, it really made my day...
Tuesday, December 16, 2014
My depression began to escalate. I decided to take a walk and think. The late afternoon streets teemed with life. A skinny fag in pinstriped jeans checked me out as I passed a dusty shoe store. I ignored him. I wasn’t in the mood for anything. I continued down the avenue, lost in the chaos of doubt and hopelessness.
Though I was mired in fits of sadness and anxiety, the pulse of life surrounded me. The sky was a fiery orange as the sun sank behind the mammoth cathedral. Smells wafted from mouthwatering, rotisserie chickens which were displayed in neon blasted, dusty windows as a bum stood and pissed onto the outside wall. Small Indian children, snot caked black on their faces, grabbed my pant leg as I walked by - moanay! moanay! A guy costumed as a circus clown operated a turntable in front of a pharmacy as a cheerful crowd looked on.
My way was clogged by a group of teenage boys in bright, multicolored soccer outfits. They stood laughing and talking as I gawked at them with fractured, limitless lust. Shoeshine boys called out to polish my leathers as I strolled past blue, yellow, pink adobe houses and buildings erected a hundred years ago. Banda music from various shops blasted at deafening volume as the store vendors hawked their wares - vying for my attention. I cut into a deserted café, ordered a black coffee, and scribbled these words out unconsciously onto a napkin: Life is long when you’re lonely…
Monday, December 15, 2014
What’s life without flavor? Without taste? Is there anything hotter than a man? All the curves, shadows, affections? Gay men taste better. Know better. They enjoy each other as part of living. The warm feeling of a masculine torso. The harsh lips, the softness and agility of a tong. The pressure of a hardon in tight trousers. Briefs or boxers, you choose. Freeballing even hotter. No clothes at all.
The bound between two males - it’s priceless.
Sunday, December 14, 2014
Thursday, December 11, 2014
Inside the eating area of the El Paso Psychiatric Hospital the other inpatients waited, sedated on their medication. Depakote. Seroquel. Lithium. Abnormally numb in lieu of my own dope, I stood in line for my breakfast. Toast and scrambled eggs. Milk. Orange Juice. One of the inpatients, a thin man in his early twenties, twitching, caught my eye. His name was Javier. He had been here for three months.
"Do you watch porn?"
"You jack off?"
"You ever jack other people off?"
"What if I pay you?"
I walked away to the recreation area. Judge Judy was playing.
Monday, December 08, 2014
We drank caguamas beside a gutter that evening. The insidious reek of decay and piss saturated the black grime imbedded in the drains, the fragrance wafted up and punched me in the nostrils. The beers? Mine was Sol and his was burly, a dark swill called Indio. We set the cervezas on a blue fire hydrant caked in grime and soot, careful not to let the bottles fall. We drank with the brown paper bag still on because we didn’t want to get caught. He used a straw because he’s a sissy, he joked. It is a mark of derided feminism to drink any beverage from a bottle with a straw if you are a man down here. Stupid, if you ask me. But, you didn’t, did you?
We stood under a pamphlet plastered lamppost illuminating a certain street sign. Cars and the occasional taxi cruised by and some honked, probably mistaking us for hookers as it was 11pm. We could’ve settled at this swanky joint they call the Kentucky Bar & Grill but we chose to wander because it was packed with people like us wanting the same thing. Wanting a roasted or almond beer in a big-ass beer holder as people do in Ireland. He was adamant to visit Europe one day, he kept saying. Each time he stated this, I smirked. Impossible dreams crushed by poverty and laziness.
That evening, we wandered because of dismay. We wandered because there were no other places to drink cold beer on a Sunday night. We stopped by this joint and ate tortas bistek, mine was spicy and his was regular. I hated the man on the nearby corner singing off-key but I sympathized because he needed the money. He murdered Tom Jones’ What's New Pussycat, a favorite melody since I’d come of age. He hacked the lyrics to bits and left nothing for me, only the sordid woaah woaaahs which left a nasty taste in my mouth. We drank beers beside a gutter that evening because people are insatiable. My plan to simply sit on a dim corner with cheap beer at hand dissipated. All I desired was the joint’s darkness to swallow me only for a bit. That night was a bitch telling me if you’re late you better not come at all.
Saturday, December 06, 2014
The neighbors…the neighbors had become downright obnoxious. I actually went out of my way to be pleasant with these people, and yet the culture clash and machismo attitudes of these thoughtless proletariats began to wear wear my patience this. Who am I kidding, they all got on my fucking last nerve. The ranchero music blasted daily at maximum volume, the gaggle of screaming kids, the adults communicating with one another by screaming from one end of the block to another. It was hopeless, I couldn't concentrate when I wanted to write. Too bad, I actually did like that apartment.
So, I pondered…thought and thought…debated and debated on what to do to the point I couldn’t sleep and attained a debilitating migraine from the ordeal. I planned on leaving Juarez and flying over to Tijuana to reside in a beachfront cottage and wile away my days. However, the truth of the matter is, I am getting tired of pulling up my tent and relocating by the seat of my pants. Setting out on an adventure only for it to blow up in my face. On a whim and mostly from a stroke of luck, I located a pleasant little apartment by Parque Benito Juarez and did the old switcheroo in the still of a frosty night.
For the same rent, it is a far more modern apartment tended by a pleasant landlady. It is fully furnished and secure and quiet. (As of this writing) Two days of normality in these gringos eyes pass as I settle into my new digs. The guard dog barks each time I exit the patio and hit that shattered concrete sidewalk lined with blues and yellows and greens of adobe gated properties. The wafting aroma of freshly baked breads emit from the corner panaderia. Ancient buses fart black soot into the bright blue sky as the beautiful Indian lad pushes a cart of dried fruits down Insurgentes Blvd. Cross a vast, grubby park spotted with dusty palm trees infected with rentboys and the toothless old vampires who hunt them. A towering statue erected of former el presidente Benito Juarez scowls down on them in frustrated contempt.
“Look, Kelvin, you’re not that attractive, your personality is sulky and the only reason people associate with you at all is in lieu of your ten inch penis.”
He turns arrogantly away and flicks ashes from his borrowed cigarette. The ashes float away on a chilled breeze and disappear much like his hopes and aspirations.
I saunter down the newly constructed Plaza 16th de Septiembre – nostalgic memories of how once this was once a cobblestone lined street clogged with kamikaze taxis and choking buses emitting enough soot to clog your pores, by God – and I sit on a concrete bench and smoke and watch a band of grungy, teenage hippies wail out old Beatle tunes and other 60’s shtick that has been run into the ground. The sun is setting behind the cathedral in a fiery blast of oranges and yellows as the long shadows of winter cause me to pull my jacket tighter. But it does not stop the merriment of this night. The people still congregate. They still laugh and chat and sing and love. Under incandescent lamps, street vendors of sweet cakes, balloons, and sundries do their stylized ballet through the meandering throng. Unknown music bebops from several store facades and cantina doorways. A pack of cops stroll by wearing black body armor and sporting machine guns slung over their shoulders. One smiles at me and asks is all well?
Yes, at the moment, all is well…
Night falls and I make my way to Café 656. A downright fiesta is in full swing – a band of geriatrics wail out rock-n-roll oldies in both English and Spanish as the bohemian crowd sip aperitifs and claps along. I say hello to the owner Coco and find a seat in a shadowy corner, order a coffee and enjoy the music.
Past the gyrating crowd, I peer out the large pane-glass window and I ponder: Why not? Why not settle here and live out my days? Never mind the derogatory remarks from the faggish/macho aduana every time I cross the border of I shouldn’t be living here. “Your country doesn’t want Mexicans living in your country, we don’t want you living here.” Never mind the evil and danger which lurks in the crumbling shadows of bombed out, vacant buildings left over from the Cartel Wars. Never mind the poverty and dirt and insipid filth. It’s cheap and everything I require is plentiful. On the whole, the people are nice and respectful. It sustains my muse to write and though the city has changed drastically from the first time I arrived decades ago from a wild and woolly anything goes border town to a somewhat progressive district, it has grown on me.
My thoughts are interrupted by the smiling and waving from a passing friend. Enrique stands outside the cafe glaring at me and motions me to join him. I had not seen this cutey in years. I go outside and we shake hands. Brief patter of what-ever-happened-to-so-and-so.
“I was about to go back home.” I beam. “I’m glad I ran into you, Ricky.”
He slowly states in his newly acquired if broken English, “But, it’s still early. Mind if I join you for a coffee?”
“Well, in that case, I think I will stay.”