by: Luis Blasini
The dank smell of unwashed penis and bleach assailed my nostrils.
Close to me, a gray queen sat tapping his foot — glistening face a worried mask of sadness fretting over his lost youth — watching in the gloom, the ballet of sex throughout the porno theater. On screen, an Italian hooch was sucking cock twelve feet long. So it seemed. Alex — he said his name was — sat next to me motionless as statuary. Skinny, hawk-like face with black goatee, red cap turned backwards, he sat transfixed on the blue flickering images dubbed in Italian with Spanish subtitles. I looked over at him — silhouette outlined against a green wall streaked in black goo splattered in other liquids now dried and flaking.
Long moment of silence. “Let’s get out of here.” Finally.
Out into the chilled night; broken sidewalk under our feet apparently going nowhere in particular. He pulled his coat tighter around his lanky frame and I lit a cigarette standing on the corners of the world under that navy sky — dashed across street dodging kamikaze taxis and waving away Indians with hands outstretched forever. No word passed both of us. I just followed him.
Under a rusted corrugated awning, white florescent light seared my eyes, he stopped. Pedestrian traffic bumped into us. Alex turned and mumbled, “You wanna coffee?”
Mambo be-bop jazz wailed from the speakers as we sat in a cafe watching the people pass outside. We talked of various subjects from science fiction to the fall of Communism. He was well read, he knew of books that I had never had the chance to read. He took a long drag off of his cigarette, blew it into the air above his head, “So, tell me of this book of yours. What is it?”
“It’s a horror story.” I stated flatly.
“No, it’s a heart breaking romance.”
“Actually, it’s a travel book.”
“Now, wait a minute –“
“It’s a medical report on dealing with schizophrenia and depression.”
He smiled, “How many fucking books is it?”
I sipped my coffee, “It’s a mess. Like me.”
We found ourselves strolling down Revo — the avenue clogged with hipsters in hip hop rags and sad women clomping in their plastic sea through pumps and sad brown eyes looking up up up forever to Guadalupe, the Christmas Tree towered above us dwarfed only by the slash of the Millennium Arch. Somewhere down in Coahuila, the rattle of machine gun fire, screams, a siren wails – typical Tijuana night. We turned a corner past the gay bar where they spill out onto the pavement screeching and shrilling as only us fags can. Alex walked with hands in coat pocket. Me, I am here just for kicks.
Down a dark street, lamp post out and furtive shadows lurk in the cracks. Alex cops some weed from ratty old fuck, coat dirty — shiny over the dirt — and we retire to Alex’s one room flat. Sagging bed, dresser loaded with folded clothes, a small radio that played more fucking ranchero. We sat on the bed, our conversation animated. Alex was a good roller, he made them fat. I watched in lustful silence as his thin tongue glided over the paper. We lit up and both fell into laughing jags. Passed a beer bottle back and forth. I sucked his cock just for kicks.
I slapped cien pesos in his cold hand as we said our goodbyes on the corner. A gray dog covered in soot and mange trotted past, and Alex disappeared into the chilly fog laden night — his tall, lanky body dematerialized into mist. A pain stabbed my heart as it did every time I saw a guy I loved who was going the opposite direction. I lit a cigarette and hailed a taxi — sitting in the back, yellow lights flashing across my face, I took a deep breath and thought, My fault, my failure, is not in the passions I have, but in my lack of control of them. Another night, just for kicks.
Luis Blasini hails from Los Angeles, California. He is a published novelist, poet, and world traveler. You can read more works by this author here: www.borrowedflesh.blogspot.com.