We met, as most do, in a decrepit dive bar called Noa-Noa located on the scuzzy edges of Zona Norte. At the time I enjoyed the joint in lieu it was rarely, if ever, frequented by the homo-sexpat crowd swarming in over the border every weekend. Assholes.
Over beers, he said his name was Fernando. A pleasant personality and quite charming, he didn’t fit the mold of your garden variety rentboy, sulky and aloof. Later that evening, during the obligatory drag show, we drunkenly made out in the piss saturated mensroom against the gray, bare concrete wall. Fondling, groping, our tongues exploring one another’s mouth all the while a curious twink gawked from a urinal with hard on exposed and willing. No time for that pup as Fernando and I rushed over shattered concrete sidewalks to my murky apartment and committed crimes against nature until the next rising dawn.
I expected to never see him again as we shook hands on the sidewalk, hung over and in dulled agony from our all night pounding of each other, nonetheless I was pleasantly surprised when he appeared at my doorstep several days later all smiles and horny.
A friendship blossomed. In post coital reprieve, he confided his love for women and how he desired a wife and kids and I revealed my mad schemes of being a writer and he being delighted on how I was not your typical possessive American fag who usually haunts the bars of the Plaza. Assholes.
Years crawled as Fernando and I became close friends. The adventures we had! His girlfriends came and went as with his loathsome excursions in being snared in the web of various petty queens. Equally tolerating my rampant drug addiction, my liaisons with brief relationships…and yet, all through that, we remained steadfast friends.
As fate would have it, ultimately I left Tijuana to live the life of a hobosexual, documenting my lurid adventures and insane dreams. A decade passed and I found myself wrapped in my borrowed flesh flat on my ass back in Tijuana. I learned that Fernando was married to pleasant woman and supporting his wife and child by working the clown circuit at occasional birthday parties and pumping cash from various old rich queens around town. Through one loathsome character, I ascertained that Fernando was performing in front of the camera for a lecherous sexpat who attempted to corner the gay porn market as far as Tijuana rentboys were concerned. Luckily the venture flopped. Asshole.
Soon after, Fernando and I were re-acquainted at a local café and resumed our friend with benefits relation. I met his family, assisted him with various over-due bills, and even purchased some outlandish if over-priced clown shoes for his payaso act. My stay in Tijuana was cut short in lieu of my personal demons and I once again pulled up my stakes and jet with nary a goodbye to anyone.
Time jump to the present. I am ambling down the bustling street with the crushed personality of one who is dead inside when a cadaver literally pops out of a pile of garbage in an adjacent alley way. Covered in grit and soiled clothes, the emaciated and toothless thing new my name. It was Fernando. I had to do a double take. I looked him over and asked what the fuck happened? Apprehensively, he stated he was addicted to meth, a drug he indulged in heavily while being locked up the last few years on account of a smuggling incident gone wrong. My heart ached as I stood there listening to his tales of woe. His wife long gone, shunned by his daughter. He noticed my eyes were shrink wrapped in tears as I fought my anguish at seeing him in such a dire state. I’m guessing strictly from guilt and embarrassment, he quickly excused himself and disappeared down the sordid alley before I had a chance to offer any sort of assistance.
Two days ago at a café, a shriveled old queen confessed he heard that Fernando was found dead in Zona Rosa behind a bar, stabbed to death by an assailant. They never found his attacker. Asshole.
Rest in peace, old friend. I am so sorry.