January 12, 2013

Words and Paragraphs


 

After two hours I leave the bonfire on the beach...walk a quarter-mile in the dark to the outlaw bar... okay I can drink a beer...place I know...my kind of place...mostly men...one pretty gal playing pool with her lover...what woman would want to be there alone at a pool table?...mind drifting...I stare at the stars..at the.mysterious surf where we urinate..."Hey!"comes the familiar, tiresome refrain from across the rectangular bar..."Where you from?"...I answer like an FBI agent, "Where are you from?"..."Guatemala!"...I laugh at him and look away...another North American liar looking to get over on somebody...likely a fugitive from from child-support payments in California...he is astonished...the feeble old man didn't answer his question...what's it to you where I'm from man?...another asshole looking for someone to impress and dominate...I lower my head and he thinks I'm looking at the bar...I watch him through small holes in my straw vaquero hat...he looks me over and looks me over not realizing I am doing the same to him...just as I thought...another sucker taking me for a sucker...I've been around the block so many times I don't even know where I'm from...I've been so sick of their bourgeois meeting rituals for so long I don't even pretend to participate...another guy is talking politics to an alien from Europe...he explains that the US government sucks but "most of the American people are good people"..."They are wonderful people, he explains...I want to choke...most of the American people elected their stinking governments...what if I walked over and threw up on his lap?...uh...they make me sick...everybody's a politician-expert...even me, once in another life time, when I thought that I was one of the wonderful people.

The bonfire was nice for awhile...mostly Europeans...a fine woman from Spain with a boyfriend or two offers me a hit...I take it...she engages me in conversation...I engage her back...says she's a writer...I say why?...what?...why are you a writer?...she didn't expect that..."I want to teach secrets to children," she says...okay...I'm considerate, don't ask her what secrets?...I tell her I'm a writer too..."What do you write?" she asks...I write words and paragraphs, I say...what?...how can I tell her what I write?...she says she's writing a book...good luck with that...I ruefully tell her the only thing I've produced was some early journalism and a blog and hardly anybody reads more of than a page or two.

The stars are still there...I listen to the ocean...it's whispering to me but I can't make it out...voices...I can't distinguish a word...three different languages...why do people talk so much?...at least the ocean has a reason...everyone but me sits on the sand...I bring a plastic chair...my back is killing me after three days awake and six hits of acid...weak stuff here and overpriced...I'm wearing a back brace beneath my shirt...I drill my bottle into the sand so it won't fall over and fix the fire...they are all loving each other...men caressing women laid out as if for a massage or being subtly felt up...I watch them through my hat...I look at every one for a long time...who are you?...what are you?...do you like to be caressed?...you get enough of it...four women and eight men...men like dogs on a scent...the women know it...the men look ridiculous staring at the women...but they must breed...one pants with lust...I look at the stars, at the fire, at the sand, at the dogs...not interested...every memory I ever had races by like an accelerated filmstrip..I try imposing names on them....impossible...these memories of my life...ha ha...my life...I'm ready to go now...how about it?...is this enough yet?...how much more must I endure?

"I'm not looking for anything in anyone's eyes"...I feel them looking at me...I look at the fire...the flames are green before they turn yellow...red coals white-hot inside...fire with smoky heat...pretty but so what?...the European women are interesting though...why are they so different than our American versions?...education and freedom...feeling equal...jobs that pay well...families that care...governments that must perform..laws commanding respect and equality....men who actually like women...a relative absence of recent war...better films...longer history...I don't know...you tell me...better parents?

Three outlaws wondering if they can mug me...I laugh inside...no you can't mug me I think...I keep thinking it...one looks like a cop out of uniform...they shake their heads and leave...mind control works...when I walk on the dark beach I carry a beer bottle...believe me I will crack your head...not worried...but my back is hurting...they would have to sneak up on me and that's not too easy since I stand for minutes in shadows and watch my back when I can...when I turn a corner into a dark street or alley I stand and wait....turistas get robbed on the dark beaches sometimes...people drown regularly in the fierce undertow...swim in the deadly dark ocean at night?...shark food.


Then I went to the faraway bar down the beach and talked to Yvonne and tall boyfriend Paco...she owns it...he seems to run it...nice people...always a little drunk...she likes me...I'm the only dude at the bar who is not trying to screw her...we talk about writing...she wants to write too...sometimes she tries...but it is so hard...doesn't know what to say, where to start...she wants to go to Aruba where a relative owns some property...I tell her I want to go to Cartegena, Colombia, because it is ancient...she likes that...asks me to take her picture...I turn off the flash so no one will see.


They start closing at 4:30 and everybody leaves but me...I say I want to stay and watch the sunrise...they give me a free beer and say stay as long as you want...indicate a hammock if I want to sleep...lower the security gate to the kitchen and head off to bed ...I watch the lightening sky...stars disappear...the sun rises like a distant forest fire revealing a long column of gulls gliding above the breakers for their favorite fishing waters...an early running woman goes by like a shadow...people lying about zonked in the sand...I walk slowly to the water's edge and listen to the whispers..I urinate...a nude man approaches and offers to help...I wave him off....it gets lighter...then the sky burns redly..a few photos and I'm off to town...but I stupidly walk in the deeper sand, which brings on the back problem...will I never learn?

A 50 peso taxi ride home...the store is open and I buy supplies...Miguelito is surprised to see me up so early...I tell him I spent the night in Zipo...he disapproves without letting on...probably wondering if I'm homosexual...takes his Christianity seriously...I take my munchies home and stop for a last picture of red hot ball of Star.


Finally the A comes on full-strength...my heart pounds like a drum...everything looks normal and has all night...thoughts return... memories mercifully depart...I try to write...part of this emerges...trivial but true...suddenly I must go to bed...heart subsides...a shard of a Dylan lyric pierces: "Any minute now/I'm expecting all hell to break loose."...they say it changes your chromosomes...what does not?...they say it produces hallucinations...I say bring 'em on...they say it's bad for you...I say maybe it's bad for you..they say it's not normal...I say, and you are?...they say psychiatrists are using it finally to explore cognitive, mood, and personality disorders...I say it's about time....they say it's a kids' thing..I say it is criminal to give it to kids...they say you can go to jail for it...I say I've already been to jail for it....they say a lot of crap...that is one thing it taught me a long time ago: they say a lot of crap...jail is only a higher level of insecurity.

An old friend revealed to me his lifelong but functional autism...it has tortured him to be so...I told him that I hadn't known about it...what he knew as a lack of feeling and distance from people and found a label for I thought of as a calm, dispassionate personality...it was what I liked best about him ...it might be a disease for him, but it has been a blessing for me...to know my non-judgmental friend...yes, I have a few friends...only friendly acquaintances on the beach though...nice people...but when I left I thought, all those nice people so alone together...do people still make love? was it a whole night of European foreplay?...no wonder I never found a real girlfriend.