Wednesday, January 17, 2018

the motionless bird

The air in the café acquired a poisonous residue from the things we said to one another. I sometimes felt I could detect a malignant green mist, invisible to everyone else, floating just above the coffee table. We excreted an effluvia of malice, the two of us. Outside three ominous trucks of uniformed, rifle toting, military youths – faces partially covered in black masks - roared by in a cloud of choking dust...
I sipped more coffee, took another drag. How many cigarettes does it take to wait? How many cups of coffee? I glanced around the solemn café. Relatively empty at this hour. The elderly barista stood leaning against the worn counter reading the newspaper. The café held four tables and the only other client was a handsome young man sitting quietly alone scrolling glassy eyed through his phone. Certain he was browsing porn.
Miguel. I mouth the name inaudibly, finished my coffee and cigarette – we fought and argued over same silly shit. He wants me to stay in Tijuana for the sole benefit of my finances. Out of the nine billion fucked up souls on this planet, he picks me to support him. No, I whisper.
“I think it may benefit us both if we stopped seeing one another.” I state in a dead voice. No emotion. No concern. All passions severed.
He glances at me and wrinkles his forehead like a dog and replies I shouldn't say such things is muy malo. I can see he is sad, feeling the abyss yawning between us.
“From what I gather, the Oxxo down on Revu is seeking employment. Might want to give them a try?” I say. He’s not having it. Realizes where this is leading. Or perhaps you will fall into the foul clutches of some silver-haired quivering vampire. “You know, a job’s a job as long as it pays rent.”
Wordlessly, he slid out from his chair and ambled out of the café into the street. I sat staring at my coagulating coffee, listening down into myself, feeling the boiling black void open and hear the faint, mocking laughter from its depths.
Been feeling that slow burn bore that usually comes along when I have grown weary of a locale. I want to go – regretting not making it overseas earlier. The group of 'friends' who I have accumulated have become a pack of judgmental, self-important bores. All artists of the most dreary, flat productions produced for the sole purpose of self-congratulatory attention. I sipped more coffee. A sad mariachi ballad began to wail over the tinny speaker of the café. My shoulders slumped.
Outside, it was cold and colorless. Gritty wind whipped eddies of trash down a lonely street. The sky was a harsh, cold blue - though dazzling bright, gave no warmth - only a bitter cold, you could feel it in your marrow.

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