Tuesday, June 30, 2015
I will insist on writing even though very few are reading. Writing is how I breathe. An artist simply creates. Good or bad, he creates. Writing is not my trade, not yet. However, I will forever insist on writing anyway. “Real” life can be as real as it can get and art may never have a part to play in this “realness”, but it is a part of me. I will continue to create because I am not yet finished. Because I have a dream. I will continue to work for it, and work hard, which means I will not wait for inspiration. I will work! With schedules. With patience to endure every daunting task that needs to be undertaken. I will hustle through the gruntwork and the research and the continuous learning and the endless honing. I will not forget to create. Indeed, I will continue to send my writing out, in what sometimes feels like a void, for a possibility of an audience, no matter how flimsy that possibility may be. That is why I am here. I have a process and this is a part of it. I have an identity as an artist, and this is a part of how I am: stubborn, imperfect, driven. I’m also here because I have to be read. Because you may not have anything different to write about, but it is something, and the way you write it is different from how I would. I may love or hate it, but I will learn either way. Because I am a part of this tribe and acknowledging it is important to my growth.
I may be a voice which is largely unheard, nevertheless I am a voice and will remain here because I can be louder. Hiding my writing is not part of how I am. There are people who read me, and that is enough. I will continue because there is a chance for the number to build. And yes, I believe it will.
An artist creates art to share it. And these are the things I have decided to share. Each piece is something I am ready to let go of, so I can create more. And believe me, I have more. I am a feast, and when you realize this, you will wolf me down.
Monday, June 29, 2015
I stood in the door to the manager of the mission’s office. We chatted casually about the upcoming Star Wars film. The pro’s and con’s, our opinions shooting back and forth like seasoned internet nerds. My attention was caught from a shadow blocking the main entrance. He was in his early twenties, athletically built in black t-shirt and shorts. He wore a black baseball cap which covered equally black and closely cropped hair. His dark, Mexican features where boyish in a machismo kind of way. He attained that look that so many desperate old fags from the States fight and quarrel over down south of the border.
He smiled at me and said Hola. He thought I ran the joint, but in Spanish I directed him toward the manager. I gave his appealing torso a once over and returned to the dim coolness of my bunk.
I must had dozed off for a bit from the heat of the day, because when I awoke, the guy was lying across from me smiling. He inquired in Spanish if I worked for the mission in which I stated I did not. He introduced himself as Ramone and he came over from Mexicali to gain employment harvesting the local fields for melons as did the other residents of the mission, sans Your Author. We chatted casually of things: my travels, writing, his wife and child and how to attain better employment within the States. He had a positive attitude and it did lift the bought of depression I was currently fighting.
Thirty minutes before dinner, I decided to take a shower and wash off the day’s sweat and grime from the humid climate of Calexico. In the shower, as I was lathering up, I noticed through the slight break in the dingy shower curtain Ramone standing there watching me. I peeked through the curtain, smiling, to ask what he was doing, yet he quickly and wordlessly returned to the dorm.
After my shower, I went to my bunk and Ramone began a stilted conversation concerning his wife and how he missed her. Okay. Ignore what just happened then. Play it cool.
Ramone and I ate dinner sitting across from each other, silently watching the boxing match on the cafeterias television screen amid the slurps and chatter of the other dozen or so clients. Intermittently, we would comment on the match, although other than that, he said nothing.
Later, Ramone lay in his bunk, listening to ranchero music through his headphones as I scribbled notes for my novel in progress. Promptly at 9pm, the lights were shut off. The standard orchestra of snoring and farting escalated as the clients fell asleep. In lieu of the heat, Ramone stood and disrobed down to his boxers and lay above his blanket. In the dim, green glow of the exit sign attatched to the opposite wall, I noticed his hand was down his shorts and rhythmically moving. I stood up and hissed, “Ven.” And nodded towards the bathroom.
Quickly, we found ourselves facing each other in a mildew splattered shower stall with curtain closed.
“Why were you jacking off?” I whispered.
He smiled, “I was thinking of my wife. We had such good sex the day I left. I miss her.”
I looked down and his shorts were poking out. He noticed my lurid gaze and I was surprised when he didn’t flinch as my hand languidly brushed across it. The stiff organ throbbed in waiting anticipation.
“You like?” He asked in Spanish.
I sighed yeah or some mundane remark as I yanked his shorts down to his bare ankles. His penis was short, thick, and un-circumcised. A pearl of pre-cum formed at the tip. From my view, I glanced up and noticed that look of acceptance in his eyes. I devoured his erection, swirling my tongue along the shaft as I slid my lips up and down along the shaft. I massaged his sagging testicles with my hand as my other hand grasped his flexing buttocks. He must had been pent up, because after only a few quick minutes, his penis sprung up in my mouth and ejaculated his semen. I swallowed. No need to leave evidence.
Quietly, he pulled his shorts back up and returned to the dorm. Not before a whispered gracias from him and a casual hand through his hair de nada from me.
The following morning, when the lights snapped on at six, Ramone's bed was empty and his bag gone. I felt somewhat saddened. I rose, washed my face, brushed my teeth, dressed, and got ready for another day.
Wednesday, June 24, 2015
The American Astronaut (2001) or, How to Make a Film for About Twenty Bucks. Through sheer force of creativity, apparently. One of the joys of the film is watching this guy overcome his money obstacles, one by one, with a simple elegance that approaches art. If you're thinking of seeing it, watch this first. If the style here escapes you, you haven't a chance deeper in.
Thursday, June 18, 2015
To me you are really beautiful.
His words drew me in, like a slurping – soul gone, my bones with it. Yet as soon as I heard you speak those words, I knew I wouldn’t believe them. For a second there, you seemed like a blind fanatic, heaping praise at the wrong pedestal.
When has someone ever said those words and meant them to me? A person who looks at the mirror and sees only disarray. See, there’s a movie which can explain this. Filmed in the scale of 33 years and archived in my brain. Watching it is akin to seeing a god wield an axe to sunder the Tigris.
Flashback to childhood: a beautiful boy. Wide-eyed, hungry for the world, a fearsome inquisitiveness scorching behind the face, an old soul interred underneath chubby cheeks, always sticking his nose in magazines, drinking up the colors of their silken doors that opened to sleek universes. Plump-faced, huge steel-blue eyes, lashes like taffeta, a little nose, and lips to rival the angels’ in Boticelli’s paintings. And would you believe, skin that was flesh-colored fair?
What happened to that boy?
He discovered the beauty of men’s bodies. The hardened jaws of older males, their masculine mouths, their unapologetic brashness, the curves of their labor-muscled arms, the fullness of the serpents concealed between their legs.
And how these men hated him. The boy, now a young man, becomes a fragile vat of absent self-esteem, open for the Harpies to descend on and befoul whatever goodness existed in him. A cowering nerd, victim to unsolicited appraisal, repeatedly under-assessed, maligned, and verbally abused: Deviant. Possessed. Maricon. Pervert. Faggot. Cocksucker. Catamite.
And the once pseudo-fair complexion turned burnished, crimson. The little nose turned stout, the lips fleshy, the eyes weary and darkled deep.
The words were attacking physical attributes now. Words became harsh, with the malice in their resonance, and they stuck like gospel: Negrito. Charcoal. Midnight. Black Hole. Abyss. Bushman. Mixed with the subtext of faggotry, the words took more creative forms. Above this, one word stuck, a single word to surpass and encompass them all: Ugly.
To me you are really beautiful.
To hear these words from someone as beautiful as you - as nonpareil, as cultured, as timeless - is like listening to a siren’s deadly song. Terrifying yet addictive. A gorgeous destruction.
I want to believe you. I really do. That love can look beyond what the eyes perceive, or that I actually possess the beauty that you see. I look in your eyes and I am enthralled, spellbound by my reflection there, mesmerized by an image that sadly I can only accept as fantasy.
To me you are really beautiful.
How? How can I compare to the gods and goddesses that surround you? What is it that your eyes absorb when they fall upon my face, my insecurities, my painful past? What curse has been cast to erase my hideousness from your sight?
I want to be trapped in your fascination. But when you’re gone the mirror returns the same unsightliness. How can you love someone who cannot reconcile a love for himself? How can you see beauty in someone whose belief in his repulsiveness has been so deviously ingrained?
I weep. I don’t see anything in that mirror. The glass only echoes me.
Tuesday, June 16, 2015
I am the third drag of a cigarette midnight observing the moon traverse navy sky blinking stars like rain on a windshield fading in and out in and out in and outside there is no one else for miles the world stopped to watch the smoke curl like clouds around my trembling fingers and I don’t know when I’ll shower wash the disease from my skin but I smell like the wafting cow dung of Calexico hot damn I’m craving explanations giving not receiving let me write all the reasons I deserve love I can justify my entire existence if given the chance just oh god hold me for a second I’m sorry I haven’t slept in a while perhaps years I can’t remember however I can almost feel a voice deep and kind like a blanket covering my shoulders while I lie there body shaking leaving messages in Morse code and hoping someone can tell me why I don’t just open my mouth to call back I wonder how long it will take to find my center how can I make peace with this sickness this sorrow I mean how much mourning can a man take come on it gets better it has to get better right?
Friday, June 12, 2015
As authors, as poets, we are often criticized for saying ‘I’ too much. For starting and ending every sentence with 'I.’ However, I’m not writing about Elizabeth from Oregon or Dan from Kentucky or Ernest from Barcelona. Don’t you get it? I’m writing about my bones, and my blood, and my heart. Because this is all I know.
Thursday, June 11, 2015
When it comes to writing, I don’t believe in bad guys or good guys. A story is all about perspective. From one side, a guy wanting power is viewed as a villain and must be stopped. In my eyes, all I see is a person stricken of control as a child and is making up for it in adulthood. It’s a tragedy. It’s sad because this said character had no experience of control or leadership and so they feel they have to prove to others that they are strong and will do anything to reach their goal. I believe that there are no bad guys or good guys but instead, people driven by different reasons and beliefs to do what they feel is right and anyone who disagrees with that are the enemy.
Wednesday, June 10, 2015
Trying my hand at flash fiction for an online writer's 'zine.
Octavio was a writer of class conscious poetry. Born of an illegal immigrant father and a mother who he’d hardly known, he crossed the border into the States and toiled the heated, dry fields of southern California harvesting broccoli and writing in sloppy long-hand on anything he could find. So far today he’d written sixteen sonnets, a play, and about a thousand haikus – mostly concerning a meat pie named Sebastian. Fred and Alice – owners of a vast empire of locally sold produce located near El Centro - worried Octavio would never pay his rent, they opted for the only thing which made sense and tossed him into a nearby lake while he was asleep.
Over dinner the following evening, Alice found a note slipped inside her trout. “I poisoned this fish…with feelings.” Fred chuckled and thought it was somewhat amusing, but he still felt it was a good idea to eat vegetarian for the time being.
Monday, June 08, 2015
I decided to take a Sunday excursion into Mexicali. Firstly, I simply wished to check it out and secondly to finally dig up a bowl of menudo and a pack of Luckies. Once in downtown Calexico, I sat momentarily to smoke, when a ragged hobo approached me and offered to buy a cigarette. With an extended hand, shiny over the dirt, he presented thirty something cents in nickels and pennies. Momentarily I glanced down and noticed he wasn’t wearing any shoes – blackened toes poked from ragged, sooty socks. I inquired were his shoes were and he simply shrugged, smiled, and stated they were stolen. I handed him a smoke free of charge and invited him to sit and chat.
At that moment, a shiny, black Lexus pulled up and some old codger obviously richer than fuck poked his head out the window and snarled, “Hey, buddy, I’ll give ya a dollar for a cigarette.”
I agreed and after the rich old fuck took off, I handed the dollar to the hobo and mumbled something to the extent on going to the 99cents store and at least picking up a pair of flip-flops.
As it were, I said goodbye to the kind gent and made my way toward the international border. I always liked the Mexicali crossing, a winding tunnel of decaying concrete running under the main street lined with farmacias and dusty curio shops. Once immerging onto the other side, I hit full turistas mode and shuffled around el centro snapping pictures. Mexicali seemed a vast expanse of crumbling, graffitied structures infested with a million chop suey joints.
Meandering over smashed sidewalks, I continued through the humid heat keeping one eye out for any sign of the elusive menudo. I do not know if it was either Sunday or too early or both, but many of the shops still had their steel shutters down. I did find some whores working the morning shift as I quickly bopped by, they languidly hissed psst-psst! grudgingly realizing I had no time for their shit.
I darted through the glass fronts of the Hotel del Norte and sat in the cooled air sipping hot coffee and attempted to down the biggest goddamn bowl of menudo I had ever been served in these long years. I ate it all, though. Trust me, you would’ve too. It was that good.
Afterwards, I purchased said Luckies from a corner Oxxo and relaxed in the shade of a nearby park, sitting and admiring the legion of weary campecinos lounging in the grass. Their faces, though ruggedly attractive, were sad and forlorn as they patiently anticipated to cross that great fence which separated the haves from the have-nots.
Becoming bored of this tripe and somewhat over heated mostly on account of the sun, I made my way back stateside – I even purchased a local newspaper in a half-assed attempt to perhaps rent an apartment. Fate, that old bitch, deemed it no as the classifieds only displayed one single add for rent.
As I was crossing, the custom agent – a rather handsome Asian with a shaved head, asked me the usual questions followed by: “What do you do for a living?”
“I’m a writer.”
“What do you write?”
Apathetic shrug. “Stuff.”
“What do you mean stuff?”
“I write about my travels…the people I meet…”
“Are you one of those beat writers? Like Hunter Thompson or…uh…what’s his name? Kerouac?”
At that moment I realized I was conversing with not simply your average border patrol pit-bull, but actually someone who held a glimmer of intelligence. The skies opened and followed by a chorus, we were bathed in golden beams of light.
“Are you published?”
“Yes. Seven books…so far…”
He retrieves a pen and pocket notebook, scribbling, “I’ll take down your name and look you up. I like reading that stuff.” He smirks.
I left the border inspection station with a slightly higher regard for the human race. I am oft quoted as saying that there are still good people in this world, they are far and few between, but they’re there.
Sunday, June 07, 2015
The sunshine was golden and honey colored as ever when it seeped into your bedroom window, peeking out between the clouds, endeavoring to caress the world again as it did the previous morning, like it did every morning since the beginning of time. However this morning, the clouds eventually told it to be quiet. A performance was about to take place, and the sky required all the attention it could get.
Unfortunately, you were still asleep and only awoke to shifting next to you in bed. He was getting up and stretching his arms, covering you in his size. You blinked at him, vision not 100% clear yet as you rubbed your eyes in the shade of his arms and torso.
“I’ll wait for you.” He smirked while he dressed and began downstairs.
You got up too, lured to the kitchen by his warmth, sitting abnormally as you ate. When you finished, you two simply sat and looked out the window, entwined under the roof as rain began its abrading symphony.
It was a slow rain, one which filled the sky with great grey beasts grazing the air above your heads. Eating only to eat, the sloppy pieces of cloud which descended from their mouths turned into tiny raindrops as they fell, hitting your roof and the ground, filling the air with a conforting hiss.
All you could hear was his breathing, the rain falling, and the radio. It buzzed about traffic with the same volume of the rumbling of thunder outside. You sigh. Look into your cup of coffee, the cream slowly turning, the wisp of cigarette smoke trailing up toward the decaying ceiling and you wish you were anywhere but there with him.
Saturday, June 06, 2015
Positive change in your life should scare you a little and excite you a lot. With that being said, I find myself flat on my ass in Calexico. Again. I boarded the Greyhound in Yuma and dashed the short hour trip across the vast Mojave wasteland toward that small metropolis across from Mexicali. My plan, such as it is, was to reside at the Guadalupe Mission for a month and conserve money in lieu of next months pay until my eventual destination into Tijuana. I could had continued to TJ, except I found I held insufficient funds to make the settlement in relative comfort. An extra thousand dollars would come in handy.
When I entered the small community, I hastened through the heated, crowded streets of overhanging arches and shuffling commuters and weary shoppers toward the mission. Yet, I was overcome in cautious paranoia and rented a room in a hotel which lay on the way. (I recalled the last two dives in both Yuma and Santa Fe there was a several day wait to receive a bunk) However, that was a waste of forty dollars, because the manager remembered me and since we acquired such a good repoire on my last stay, I was offered a bunk without incident.
So…one month here and I will continue on to Tijuana. Maybe. However, during my time, I plan to knock out a rough draft on that Burroughs book. I guess I have a title, now. Faded Photographs. I like it and will run with it.
Thursday, June 04, 2015
For an entire month I waited in the heat and dry climate at the Crossroads Mission in dead-end town of Yuma mired in continuation of my search. Search. Search for what? A home? A stable life? I should rephrase that and state existence. The small sunburnt burg offered nothing. Through caseworkers and do-gooders. I was offered a tiny apartment in the historic pile of brick called the San Carlos. A 30’s deco joint remodeled into an apartment complex catering to deranged derelicts, cockroaches and onslaught of bedbugs. No. I cannot, will not, go out like that. I know myself, I need some type of diversion – diversions of an explicit nature and this town offered nothing. Everyone was un-attractive and flabbily out of shape. Sweat stained and covered in a fine layer of dust. With the exception of a lucky few.
Anyway, I sat in the shimmering heat of 105 degrees and in lieu of four weeks I thought and plotted all the while passive/aggressivly associating with the burnt biscuits and occasional handsome Lost Angel (wings pruned long ago) who in despairing patience waited for something…anything. Marvin, the lanky Latino of classic Aztec features who would rather sleep in his oil-burning jalopy than lay on a thin mat in the warm nights surrounded by a hundred farting hobos. He would sit long hours in the mildew encased shower room and drone on about his mythical Thai girlfriends. Ernesto, the stout and ruggedly attractive field worker who wholesaled his cock for bus fair to the oil fields of North Dakota. We occasionally jacked off one another under the Ocean-to-Ocean bridge spurting our frustrations into the foul smelling murk of the Colorado. Nick, the mad filmmaker who lived in a surreal dream of the faded Silver Screen obsessed with phantasmic Hollywood nostalgia. Old Gary, the sad sack who constantly hacked up putrid gobs of reminisce concerning past World Wars and passionate hatred for all things American. Most of the others shuffled in a daze about the grimy, foul smelling halls waiting for their probation to end so they could go home or expire all together.
I did chance meet an old black character named Art. Long and lanky with yellowed teeth and scraggly goatee. Soft spoken and of high intellect. Fellow traveler. Been all over the world and then some solely off his meager pension and as I sat wide eyed enchanted with his stories of faraway lands, I arrived to the conclusion: I will spend a year in Tijuana saving what I can as I pen that Burroughs novel, afterwards, I too desire to waywardly journey the world. And why not? I have nothing left. No dreams. No ambitions. I only crave to move, to keep going and experience all this planet has to offer. I want to travel and travel I will without goal or direction.
Want to come along for the ride?
Thursday, May 07, 2015
After a month of let downs and dead ends, amid a torrential thunderstorm I jumped the train in Santa Fe and headed south. Casually chatting with a handsome, yet intoxicated ex-service man of the Bagdad conflict now riding the rails to San Antone as a wayward tramp (he casually lifts his pant leg to reveal a gunshot wound from a hobo camp skirmish the evening prior. The leg is bandaged with a dirty rag), the vast prairies and Indian adobes slink by under the intermittent flash of gray mottled skies.
I debark in Albuquerque once again and wait in the vast echoing hall of the station amid the insane and the destitute of fellow travelers. Board the Greyhound and hunker down for the long night trip to Yuma. The journey is uneventful and equally uncomfortable. No matter how ‘modern’ the line upgrades their carriages – wifi, electrical outlets, new faux leather seats – it does not ever comfort the moaning pain of the despairing excursion.
Outside the rattling window, pine trees turn to shrubs, shrubs to cactus as we meander down through the lonesome Southwest towards the golden aura of the Mexican border. The sky abruptly transforms from dark grey to brilliant blue, the temperature from numbing cold to torrid heat. Through Gallup and their isolated donut shop, through Flagstaff and Gila Bend, Phoenix and Tucson – the trip is unbearably long.
We hit Yuma, Arizona by afternoon and to my surprise I am not let off at the station I remembered, but a brand new sprawling mega mall. I hail a taxi to my hotel on the other side of town. The hotel is inexpensive, but comfortable. I idle a couple of days, lounging by the pool sipping coffee and smoking cigarettes joking with friends online in lieu of resting before my next disaster of misfortune and ill decision. Tomorrow I will seek out the Crossroads Mission and reside there while I again attempt to seek what I need in public housing and medical attention.
However, I attain positive feelings of this town…the constant warmth, the small size, the Mexican border with San Luis pueblo just waiting on the other side to explore…the nearby military base and the one gay bar I am certain the service men frequent…I think this might be the place I have been looking for…
Wednesday, May 06, 2015
You never take the middle urinal. Obviously. He knew that. But he couldn’t help himself. A set of three urinals with the middle one free was his lucky day. It wasn’t so that he could eye up their penises, although he did when he felt like he could get away with it. No, it was the closeness he craved. He liked standing shoulder to shoulder to other men like himself. If the urinals were close enough, and they didn’t have those separators between them (he hated those), he could even brush elbows with them, or press into them. He always apologized, profusely and usually until the guy told him to stop, but that was all just a show: he lived for those elbow brushes and shoulder touches. One time he got lost in the moment and fully leaned into a man on his right. The man finished and then punched him, dislocating his jaw and sending him to the ground. He pissed all over himself, but he didn’t really mind. It was uncomfortable and it was embarrassing, sure. But it was warm.
Monday, May 04, 2015
Sitting on my rusty dusty in a Starbucks in downtown Santa Fe with the border blues creeping in. The Billy Nayer Show tooting through my headphones, the gentrified place is pregnant with the rich and well to do...you know, real assholes. A young blond strolls in. I remember talking with him when I first arrived a month ago. Cody was his name, he was to train jump to San Francisco. We chatted about trips and locales and far away adventures, he is gay to be sure. The type of rail thin blond Adonis which old fat rich men masturbate to. To nail the assumption, a floppy haired twink in an over sized red sweater crashes into the cafe and sits with his older Cody. The flash in their eyes stated that they were in love. How romantic.
I explain to young Cody it is my last day in Santa Fe. I purchased a ticket yesterday to Yuma, Arizona. I had always wanted to check it out and I thought why not? It has to be better than this retirement home of a town. My transport leaves at the queer hour of midnight and then to all points south like a sinking diving bell, cables severed...
Thursday, April 30, 2015
I tapped my fingertips against the table to the beat of the dripping faucet. Drip-drip, tap-tap. My eyes gazed at the television, but were focused somewhere far away. He sat on the couch, sipping his coffee from the old chipped mug he’d used for years. We’d gotten it as part of a set we were given as a house warming gift. All other mugs and saucers had long since been broken beyond the might and wonder of superglue. He sipped and watched me. Drip-drip, tap-tap. He rolled his eyes. I sighed. Tomorrow was coming fast and we were well rehearsed.
Tuesday, April 28, 2015
As soon as he came, his relief was replaced by nausea. His eyes no longer set on the pixelated scene, he glanced down at his thighs and drooped cock. There was no continuum, no link between his feverish desire the moment before and his shame now. The girl bound on the screen was telling the interviewer how well the shoot went, how much she enjoyed being fucked violently by eight men. He assumed they put this part in to ease the said guilt, it never did. He could see she enjoyed it. It wasn’t that. It just never did.
He needed to piss. His palms were open and webbed, his t shirt and jacket still covering his torso, his bottom half was hairy and bare. Except for his socks. He searched the room for something to wipe his hands on, giving up he rose and poked his head out of the hallway. Seeing the coast was clear he ran towards the bathroom. Hands airborne he refused to touch anything, including his own cock that swung aimlessly hitting the tops of his thighs. He winced each time, willing his anatomy to recede.
He showered vigorously, fuck the toilet, he thought. He knew Jenny pissed in the shower anyway, she wouldn’t mind if he did. How would she know anyway. She couldn’t know, he’d use extra shower gel to hide the stench. He dried himself avoiding his own reflection, eyes lowered he dressed quickly, realizing he had no pants to put on he wrapped his towel around his waist. Faggot. He laughed. He remembered his brother liked to call him that after a shower. Faggot in a dress...
Sunday, April 26, 2015
He lay in the top bunk only in frayed undershorts. His long, bare feet hung off each side, bottom sole’s callused and dirt under the toenails. He bore a pale, slim torso with wisps of black hair across a flat chest. His face was handsome with the masculinity of a twenty-three year old but could pass as eighteen. His jet black hair was shiny and tossed into a gravity defying mane. Green eyes complemented the white skin of his face splashed with a few freckles across a long, straight nose. He was five days late of a shave. I paused to admire him briefly as I readied myself for the day. He said the previous night his name was Nicholas. He came in from Flagstaff two days prior, originally hailing from somewhere deep in Minnesota. I knew his type: soft spoken and polite, yet attaining the familiar effluvia of truck stop restrooms, back booths of dive bars, public toilet glory holes, and cheap hotels. The smell of cigarettes and meth clung to his clothes.
“I never knew that’s what they were saying…” He croaked, eyes focused at the stained ceiling.
“What?” I asked.
“The Winkies. From The Wizard of Oz. I was just thinking all these years they were marching back and forth in front of the Witch’s castle singing about ‘oreos’ but that wasn’t what they were saying at all.”
I smirked at this out from left field conversation, “Really? What were they chanting?”
He began singing the tune, eyes focused on the ceiling “All we owe, we owe her….all we owe, we owe her…”
I chuckled, “That’s utterly amazing. So, Nicolas…what are you up to today?”
“Oh…I haven’t a clue. It’s supposed to rain. So, most of my time will be keeping dry, I suppose.”
“You want to get a coffee?”
“You buying?” He smiled.
“Of course.” I said.
Thirty minutes later, we were ambling through the pristine streets of Santa Fe. We remarked on the southwestern architecture, talked of our travels, our dreams and shattered nostalgias. We grabbed a coffee from Starbuck’s and made our way over to the Railroad Park and sat at a bench listening to an impromptu garage band wail at the tourists and locals frequenting the nearby Farmer’s Market.
“So…what is Mexico like?” Nicholas asked.
“Why? You thinking of going down there?”
“Maybe. I want to get to Phoenix first. I have unfinished business with a family member.”
“Can’t leave them hanging. “ I said, fishing a pack of cigarettes from my pocket, handing one to him. I looked around the park. Sighed. “There is absolutely nothing here. This trip was an utter mistake.”
“Tell me about it. I feel like a fish outta water.” He watches two women walking a dog pass. His face is slack and predatory. “Damn. I need to get laid. But, these snooty-assed rich bitches are only interested in you if you are named Skylar and drive a Lexus.” He adjusted his crotch. “Fuck. I haven’t busted a nut in over two weeks.”
I chuckled, “Calm down, cowboy, or take your ass over to the porno shop and stroke one out.”
“Shit,” He leaned back, folding his arms across his chest, “I’m broke.” He paused. Took a drag. “There’s a porno shop near here?”
I pointed in the direction, “Yeah. Just up that way, two blocks. I noticed it when I was on the bus the other day. Wanna check it out?”
He shrugged. “Yeah. Sure. Nothing else to do.”
Entering the small shop with walls covered in boas, dildos, and leather toys, we meandered through racks offering videos ranging from Finger Banging Lesbos to Gay Midget horrors. The bloated clerk with acne scars sat glass-eyed and uninterested as Nicholas and I entered the dark alcove holding the booths. We both slipped in one together.
Sliding a five dollar bill in the slot, I sat side by side with Nicholas on a padded bench with elbows touching as our faces were bathed in blue from the flickering cathode rays of the screen. Nicholas pressed the selection button with long, bony fingers finally settling on a blond bitch amped on meth slobbering on the cocks of two black studs. We sat in silence momentarily as the slurping and over-acting gagging filled the small cubicle.
“Well, that five dollars isn’t going to last forever.” Nicholas stated as he stood up, slid his pants and shorts to his ankles, and sat back down. His circumcised cock jutted up, firm and throbbing with a pearl of precum that formed at the tip. “You gunna jack off or what?”
I did the same as he and we sat next to each other jerking ourselves as the video went into hard drive with the two black studs spit-roasting the blond. Out of peripheral view, I watched as Nicholas mechanically slid his clenched fist up and down the rigid penis. I could not hold back my lustful intensions. I wanted to taste him. To devour him. To drink from his cock all he emitted from that beautiful penis. However, the moment I was about to offer him a blow job, he issued a little, surprised “Oh!” and spurted thick strings of semen onto the monitor. At that moment, I too blew my frustrations out into the darkness of the cubicle, my own liquids splattering loudly onto the tile. I sighed in relief as I watched Nicholas wipe the residue from his hand onto the sides of the cushion of the bench.
We darted out of the booths and into the cloudy afternoon of Santa Fe. We walked in awkward silence.
“Wanna smoke?” I asked, breaking the tension. No need to deal with that post macho guilt now. Wasn’t in the mood.
“Can I ask you a question?” He said taking the cigarette, lighting up.
“Yeah. Go ahead.”
I faltered, then said, “Yeah. Yeah, I am.” I half expected a bleating soliloquy on masculinity and the evils of sodomy.
“That’s cool. It doesn’t matter. Can I ask you another question?”
“Can I go to Tijuana with you?”
I smiled, “I wouldn’t mind. I wouldn’t mind one bit…”
As we walked, talking of casual things, the clouds let loose and the rain began to fall…
Thursday, April 23, 2015
Being haunted by desire of authenticity I take stealthy photos sometimes. I am interested to discern how people read when they think nobody’s looking. The world surely does not exist for them at that moment.
Continuing my stroll around downtown Santa Fe, I met the most adorable Native American young man. He was homeless and living on the street. He approached me as I passed a café with, "French fries sure sound good right now. You spare a smoke?" What impressed me was his positivity and reserved knowledge of the deeper meanings of life from one as young as he. A mind not cluttered with consumerism or tweeting every thought which crossed his mind in a vain attempt of approval from phantom peers. I awarded him with both a smoke and french fries where he traded it with a thirty minute discussion of such surprising intelligence and candor.
“You can’t let people scare you. You can’t go your whole life trying to please everyone else. You can’t go through life worried about what everyone else is going to think … You can’t let the judgment of others stop you from being you.”
“You can’t let people scare you. You can’t go your whole life trying to please everyone else. You can’t go through life worried about what everyone else is going to think … You can’t let the judgment of others stop you from being you.”
Wednesday, April 22, 2015
You can tell a single story, a million different ways.
Make it a beautiful tale,
Where once upon a time, a boy loved a boy who had eyes that shined like city lights.
A tragic one,
When he promised him a forever, then gave his heart to another guy.
Or a hopeful kind,
Where as time passed, he found himself laughing with a different boy. One who knows all the lyrics to every song by the Eagles. He is patient, kind, and has a beautiful smile.
“This time, two years ago,” he tells him, “I’ve been trying to find someone on the same page as me.””
Monday, April 20, 2015
"Cold. Colorless. A city of vast, moaning silence. Bitter phantoms wrapped in dirty coats pass one another on dusty, trash filled sidewalks, their weathered faces locked in perminant grimace. Prehistoric pedophiles sit in the vacant plaza, huddled from freezing winds, chewing on saliva. Staring into nothing, staring into silence. Beat, abandoned buildings - row after row of them - claw at an unrelenting Southwest navy sky. El Paso is a dead museum..."
- Luis Blasini, Journals 4/20/2011
"An anti-septic ghost town of flabby, geriatric tourists donning Indiana Jones hats and Gap clothes. They snap unrelenting post card pictures of bitter Native Indians who were over their shit a century ago. A frigid wind blows across rubbly prairies that cause the most stoic bipolar schizophrenics to scream obscenities at the top of their lungs. The cold is long and the cold is merciless. But, the bus fares only a dollar...gotta stay positive in the Land of the Free and the Home of the Brave..."
- Luis Blasini, Journals 4/20/2015
Saturday, April 18, 2015
The night before I left Juárez, I literally flipped a coin to break the deadlock decision of either relocating to Sante Fe or the beach in Tijuana. As you may as well realize, Sante Fe won. I was optimistic: A new town, small, safe, and attaining the three requirements I was searching for – a shelter for a jump off point, transitional housing to wait out the long process in acquiring an apartment through HUD. In fact, during this past week, I have successfully received various appointments at the assistant housing programs that this town does offer. Indeed.
However, in the back of my head, I been getting that nagging echo that this decision wasn’t entirely the best one. Oh, I do have to admit my stay here has been extremely un-eventful and is a satisfying reprieve from the hustle and the bustle of the previous city…but something happened this morning that set my mind to going back to Tijuana. It snowed. A thick, powdery blanket covered the otherwise green of spring colored parks and trees and surrounding hillsides. I loathe the snow. I cannot tolerate cold. That cinched it. I will be leaving south in two week’s hell or high water and unlike Lot’s wife, I will not look back!
Tuesday, April 14, 2015
I began writing a story...this is as far as I got:
The yellow sun exploded over the skyscrapers on a cloudless, Wednesday morning. Kyle lay wrapped in a matted, pink blanket which he found lying discarded next to a trashcan. It still held that funky reek of vomit and beer, but not as overpowering as the smell of dried feces and stale urine which permeated the alleyway he slept the previous night.
Kyle silently squinted, the sun rays bathed his face. He looked up into the sky above and it glowed a bright blue. The distant sounds of the city coming to life drifted down the trash littered alley. The whispering of cars, the pounding of air-hammers from construction sites, the wailing of ambulances. Kyle fell into a coughing fit and vainly attempted to shrink back under the blanket. He did not want to face whatever insidious shit the world was preparing to throw at him today.
Kyle was twenty-three. Fair skinned and ruggedly handsome. Thick, black eyelashes enveloped steel-blue eyes. His shaggy, blonde hair was tucked under a red baseball cap. It was summer and he wore his regular seasonal uniform of white tank top and blue basketball shorts with sneakers. He had a lean and athletic build. Not tall, in fact, he was rather short. Which was commented on repeatedly, but Kyle kept a confidence air about him.
At first look, one might think that he held a high position of a clean jock in any major college sports team. A closer inspection unveiled the fine layer of dirt and grease on his face and arms. The dirty teeth, chapped lips and black grime under the fingernails, fingernails which had been chewed raw. The smudged clothes emitted a waft of unclean genitals and rectum. His sneakers, once white, were now smeared in black dirt and mud and stank from odor.
Moans of the living dead. The thirty or so others who shared the alley began to stir. Followed by an orchestra of coughing, sniffing, hawking, intermittent yawns. Kyle didn't want to see them. To look at those poor souls who shared his destitution. But, he had to wake up and grab his gear. Soon the police would cruise by and herd everyone off.
Monday, April 13, 2015
It has been a bit since I chose to live this path. Wondering amongst the outcasts, the homeless, the insane. The current shelter holds a sprinkling of each: You have the obligatory wind-bag who will garrulously blabber from the time the lights snap on until lights out in the evening pinning anyone down to hear his over bearing problems it being either health or personal, the wild-eyed invalid shuffling about in a lithium induced stupor, the arrogant 'tough guys' going on about kicking everyones ass yet who cry like infants strictly from loss of all they've attempted in life behind the closed doors of their case workers, the drunks, the dope addicts, the perverts...all present and as common to any homeless shelter across this great land of ours. I could care less about this sulky, petty lot.
I awoke at the mandatory 5am this morning with the theme to the 2014 Godzilla in my head. I vaguely remember having a lurid dream concerning it. Anyway, I woke up and staggered to the canteen for coffee, scrambled eggs and chopped potatoes - quite toothsome. The resident wind-bag sat dominating the room bellowing out insults - ahem, I mean, humorous jabs to whoever he deemed needing it. He turned his tripe on me in which I retorted that reserved respect to others is something he should adhere to in this sort of place otherwise he may be murdered in his sleep. I might have referred to him as a "worthless bag of shit" among other choice nouns which didn't go over too well. Ho-hum, it was a great start to the day.
After cleaning up, I dashed out into the frigid morning air and jumped a bus to the far side of town to pick up my depression meds at the pharmacy. To my dismay, I arrived at 8am and they opened at 9. I stood in that cold chain smoking until the two senile old fucks who ran the joint decided to arrive five after the hour.
I snatched the two pill cases and headed out. Still attempting to find my way around, I located the bus stop going downtown. The bus arrived, the driver allowed two kids to debark, yet snapped the door shut before I could get on and drove off. Fucking cunt. So, I stood in the cold another hour for the next one and made my way back downtown to speak with the shelter's caseworker. Last Friday evening he mentioned that he would be in his office from 11 to 3 and I should come to see him for general intake.
It being ten in the morning at this time, luck would have it that I would get on the wrong bus which meandered slowly through every barrio and residential neighborhood in lower Santa Fe. To add insult to injury, after I asked the driver to notify me when we were close to the intersection nearest the shelter, he doesn't and deposits me ten blocks past my station point.
"I'm sorry" he sighs, not actually caring one way or the other.
I simply pass him uttering, "You don't know what sorrow is."
I eventually make it to the caseworkers office five after eleven in which he explains that he usually does intakes after three in the afternoon. "I don't know who would had told you to come in at eleven."
"You did." I state without the slightest hint of emotion.
"I'm sorry..." He says.
Yes. Everyone is sorry.
So, I trudged to the local library to pound this out. I realize it is simply a post in petty grievances, but hey, here, enjoy some pictures I snapped on the way:
Sunday, April 12, 2015
Who knew a town this small would encompass a waiting list to receive a bunk in a fucking flop house. For a week I meandered around downtown Santa Fe mingling with the resident hobo culture, we sitting in the main plaza, smoking rollies and mocking the flabby, dislocated tourists clogging the streets. Santa Fe is a nice town and I wouldn’t mind staying here, but at the moment it is still fucking cold! A bitter iciness cascading down from the Rockies which chill my very marrow even on the most sunniest of afternoons. The locals are quite bland and overtly vanilla for my tastes. Except for the occasional drunken Indian, there seems to be a vacuum as far as a hip culture is concerned. I do pine for the days when I can take a walk and be accosted by speed induced prostitutes or conning shoe shine boys or the shifty eyed ex-con. It's too clean here.
I did run into a twenty-three year old blond train jumper named Cody. He confided he was taking a break before his straight shot jump to San Francisco to wile lazy afternoons in Haight Ashbury in a hallucinogenic haze. A handsome, learned man with strikingly good Aryan features. His lanky body draped over in sooty jeans, gray turtle-neck sweater, naval jacket and red baseball cap. He carried all he possessed in a ruck sack flung over boney shoulders. We sat in the Railroad Park drinking 40 oz. Coors from a paper bag and smoking weed discussing each other’s cross-country travels. Far after the alcohol kicked in and a little after the sun set over the pine covered mountains, I gave Cody a hand job as he was wrapped warmly in his dingy sleeping bag. His penis was long, thin and circumcised…like him. He sighed and smiled with crimson tinged eyes after he discharged a squirty mess all over his sooty winter outer wear that the release was much needed.
I couldn’t sleep, so I spent the long frigid night aimlessly wondering dark silent Santa Fe streets wishing I had went to Tijuana instead. Wrapped in my thick Dickies coat, smoking cigarette after cigarette, I gazed up into a clear navy sky awash with stars and regretted my dire decision to come here. I feel like a fish out of water, a dislocated alien. This American culture – though born into – is no longer mine. Long days slide by as I sit and listen to the clean white tourists striding past and I cringe…I can’t become like that. Or at least I do not wish to.
Anyhow, back to business: After walking over to the shelter every day at 3pm and signing up for a bunk, I was finally awarded entrance last Friday. A clean establishment with a pleasant staff and unlimited coffee in the canteen. Unfortunately, the place is populated with the most bland and boring citizens I had ever encountered throughout my interval as a hobosexual. A sulky, whiny crew of real ugly. Not one holds promise of any type of friendly association during my stay. Either be Santa Fe or relocate to Tijuana, it will be at least a two months holed up in this shelter before I make my move and I will have to put my tolerance on over drive to deal with these dreary bores….ho-hum.
Saturday, April 04, 2015
In the middle of the night I tossed my belongings into my suitcase and before dawn, dashed out into the still, silent Mexican night before I had a chance to change my mind. I quickly marched through sleeping barrios with the loud clack-clacking of the cases wheels causing the occasional dog to bark. I wasn’t worried about attracting roaming thieves or the chance of encountering a trigger happy drunk cartel, I kept my eye out for the police patrols. As a fact, I reached the border without incident and was amazed that the customs kiosks were void of anyone. I was certain it would be clogged with early morning commuters even at five in the morning. The officer scanned my passport and asked weary eyed what was in the suitcase. I nonchalantly shrugged and mumbled, “Stuff.” He simply waved me through.
I sat in a Burger King on the corner of Paisano and El Paso Street munching on a greasy sausage and egg sandwich contemplating what the fuck was I going to do. The rational thing was to return to my apartment, unpack, and pay rent the following day. But, I had grown weary of Juárez. That old bitch had not been kind the year I resided there and my gut instinct told me it was time to lay tracks. Under the steady glare of the lone old pervert who shared the lobby with me, I made the decision to head to Santa Fe, New Mexico. I had pondered the location for quite some time as my final destination for my ‘retirement’. I have grown weary of the life I lead and secretly desired a tranquil existence to simply write and live out my remaining years in relative peace. If that makes any sense. I was originally going to return to Tijuana, but I have changed (as I am certain Tijuana) so much over the last few years. I seriously do not think I could take living there again, mentally and physically. No more adventures.
On that note, I made my way to the Greyhound station and booked a bus to New Mexico. Luckily there was a coach leaving at 9:25 that morning. As I stood at the boarding gate chatting with an overweight and feminine ex-correctional officer heading to Albuquerque, my mind raced with the loathsome memories and letdowns of the past year. All my friends of this town and south of the border – any whom I cared to associate with – had left to better locales…Austin, San Francisco, Paris, Mexico City. The only ones remaining were the ignorant fucks who lacked any drive for betterment. They remained, bitter and self-loathing in their lot. I certainly did not want to become like that and I found myself slowly doing so.
The bus ride was uneventful and pleasant. I sat listening to be-bop jazz as vast southwest prairies dotted with sage brush and the occasional biscuit colored butte drifted past my view. Small towns of rusting cars and squat adobe buildings lined with barbed wire fences, great orchards of grapes, walnuts, chilies, garbage…we headed up into Northern New Mexico. An old Native American, stooped and weathered wearing a large brimmed black hat slowly watches the bus roar by. He spits tobacco onto the yellow, gravelly terrain.
We come to the teeming metropolis of Albuquerque where I debark and dash out to take a train toward my final destination. I find out with dismay that the next arriving coach was in four hours, so as many others around me, I shuffled about the vast station, chain smoking and silent, listening down to myself. On a steel bench, I pass some time chatting with a bitter old fuck from Australia, but he bored me quick with his bleating negative balderdash and I simply meandered away.
Eventually, the Rail Runner train arrived and I sat in a comfortable seat. North, up through Indian villages and reservations and rotting farms of rolling hills and crumbling mesas, I arrived at the station in Santa Fe in late afternoon an hour before the sun set casting the southwestern town in fiery amber. I wandered and took a room at a nearby hotel. Excited and someone racing with maddening anxieties, I went downtown and ate a delicious steak dinner at the Plaza Café. Afterwards, as I stood on the corner in the chilled evening, I was accosted a huge drunken Indian mooching for smokes. This blue jeaned titan gives me a bear hug when I hand over two requested cigarettes. Lifting me off my feet, he yells, “Welcome to Santa Fe!” and then staggers off into the night to fight off phantoms of cowboys long dead. A ver…
Indeed, I am here. And to acquire the things that I need, it will mean I will be forced to go underground. They have a shelter here where I will reside as I apply and wait for housing to kick in. Well, that’s the plan, anyway as vague and by the seat of the pants as it may be. But, at this moment, this is where I make my stand…this is where I will make my final home.
Thursday, April 02, 2015
Time passed. Winter turned to spring.
The climate became insidiously hot one morning and I awoke in a pool of sweat. Fan didn’t work - spins, but had little effect with the heat. I prepared a cup of joe. Clicked on the laptop and spent the day pounding out more prose on another damned manuscript I was certain no one would ever read.
As the sun boiled below the horizon there was a knock at my door. I was pleasantly surprised to find Oscar standing there. I invited him in and we shook hands.
“You hungry?” I asked.
He smiled, “Always.”
“I was about to make steak burritos. Want one?” I thumbed towards the old stove.
I prepared our meal and we sat at the wobbly, metal table in the kitchen. Oscar looked about the room in silence. I did have to admit, though he visited regularly, we knew relatively little about one another.
I decided to make small talk, “Did I ever tell you the time I chauffeured Shelley Winters…”
“Who’s Shelley Winters?”
“An old actress. She’s dead. It doesn’t matter.” I grinned.
“No,” He pleaded. “Go on with your story. I want to hear it.”
“At one time, back when I lived in Los Angeles, California, I used to do volunteer work at the Teen Canteen on Hollywood Boulevard. It was a shelter of such for homeless and teenage runaways. Anyway, once a week, Shelly Winters used to give free acting classes to the kids. By this time, she was going blind and constantly complained about driving around. So, I offered to do her errands for her and take her anywhere she wanted to go in Hollywood. No charge. I was studying film at college, so I got the idea to use Winters to my advantage and attempt to make contacts in the film industry.”
“Did it work?” Oscar asked as he chewed.
“Not really.” I continued. “The ordeal lasted a week. I tell you, she was a demanding and cheap woman. One day we were cruising down Sunset Strip and she asks, ‘Hey, ya hungry? Let’s stop off in Musso and Frank’s for a salad.’ So, we go to the restaurant – and, I’m telling you, Oscar, Musso and Frank’s was the place in its heyday to be seen. When we get there, she orders one salad between the two of us. One. And, she didn’t even bother tipping the waiter.”
I glanced at Oscar to register the weight of my words or if at least he understood. The look on his face explained it all. Confusion and boredom. We sat in awkward silence for a few moments as we ate our burritos.