Juan’s two room rat hole with a rusted steel balcony and panoramic view of the Zona Norte. Pleasant if you wanta witness sooty smog, criss-cross of humming, crackling power cables, and bloated hookers clopping up and down the shattered, garbage littered pavement. Diverse categories of sordid junkies and nefarious types lurk in the smoke filled shadows of the colonial apartment’s ill-smelling lobby. Cocaine, marijuana, and booze passed many a hand.
Banda music and squealing and the vecinos rush in like jackals.
There was a sudden knock at the door. When I pulled the flimsy doorway open (it sticks in the frame), a kid stood there; introduced himself as Cesar and inquired if he could speak to Juan. I invited him in and after casual chatter; found out this was Juan's older brother. He resembled Juan very much, except for the macho moustache and receding hairline. Both lads of copper, smooth skin and distinct South American attributes…they actually almost looked Japanese.
We all eased into the cramped bedroom, littered with used Kleenex from the earlier afternoon’s fuck fest. The fragrance of stale semen and anxiety in the tight air. Juan promptly ambled toward the dresser, pulled out a syringe, a foil of heroin, a blackened spoon, and a lighter. Juan sat on the sagging and messed bed like an immobile lizard and I stared in wonderment at the situation. I opened the drawer in the nightstand and pulled out a joint.
Cesar cooked down the shot and, gazing in the mirror on the drawer, thrusted the syringe deep into his neck. Hissing through stained teeth, Cesar pushed the plunger and the solution drained into his waiting veins. Muscles become slack and with a vacant look, he passed the needle over to his brother who did the same. Eyes squeezed shut and with a shuttering sigh of junky orgasm, Juan lay back on his bed and dreamed of dark and troubling things.
I sat there scrutinizing this ritual, legs crossed, sucking on that reefer so nasty.
Later, we hit those fucking insidious streets of a forever opaque Mexican night - whorehouses, seedy bars, a macho goose in the doorway, searching faces hidden in darkness and confusion, an aged whore with clown makeup winks so nasty. Smoke. Reggeaton blasts over speakers. Cocaine is bought. Pile into a taxi. Weed is bought. Walk through evil gloomy barrios. Crystal is bought. Large amounts of cheap liquor consumed. Tequila is the drink of choice. A sinister midget laughs through silver teeth. Smoke. Flashbulb of light. Mucho machismos. Drunken insults to the natives, fists and knives are presented. Whack! Pound. Pound. Pound into someone’s head. The flashing of light and arching of electricity. An Angel falls a victim. Crack of bones and a bird screams. Cesar is swarmed over, a dark mass of fists and kicking cowboy boots. Smoke. Glinting light on a knife and Cesar goes down in a pool of blood and spit. Silver teeth show through snarled lips, “Vamanos, gringo.”
Dragged across wet flagstones, reggeaton wails. Shoved into a taxi and sped off into the night. Air filled with the smell of burnt oil and marijuana. Coffee is shoved under my nose, pills are put into my mouth and I glimpse up to see Juan wiping a wet and bloody hand towel across my forehead with red scraped knuckles. Juan lights a cigarette and places it between my lips, blood trickles out of his nose past his split lip. Looking around, we are in some café. The room is empty. A long counter with metal stools extend toward a glass door inviting no one in.
“The world is a café.” I croak.
Just another night in Tijuana...I stand - extinguishing my cigarette on the filthy warped tile floor. “I gotta go.” And leave that wretch to his horror.
Walking the few blocks back to the guesthouse in that dark cold night - eyeing for police patrols on account my own paranoia is kicking in. I think of my future and of my plans - I cannot allow those past demons to control me. Reaching my room - I undress and climb into bed unable to sleep as the drugs take hold.
Eventually I drift off, horrid nightmares abound. I wake up depressed and disappointed I even committed the act.