I walk through the shack I call home, out of my bedroom and down the small hallway leading into the kitchen. I hear Mexican TV blaring with echoing laugh tracks in the living room. Itís dim in the house. All the shades are pulled down. Itís so muggy I can almost drink the air, drink it like sweat and piss.
In the living room, on that fucking stained, orange shag carpet, sprawled out, is Jerry and Gina. Her smooth brown skin is bare. Sheís passed out. Her shorts, shirt, and underwear lay in a disorderly pile near the TV. Jerryís naked, too. Heís pale and too skinny. He cups one of her large breasts, her dark nipple between his pasty fingers. He snores with his face shoved into her armpit.
I walk over, lean down, slap Gina on the face. ďHey, hey. Wake up. Wake the fuck up,Ē I say.
She groans and moans, rolls over, throwing an arm around Jerry. She mumbles something that sounds like ďFuck off.Ē
Thereís a deep pounding behind my eyes, and my whole body tingles as though it were still asleep. Iím so drained. I feel like I havenít drank a drop of water in days. I donít know what fucking time it is, Iím wondering how long Iíve been out -- two hours, six hours, more?
Jerry opens his eyes, wicked and pleased. ďChill, man. Chill,Ē and he rolls over.
This is not a surprise. Ginaís never been one to pretend she loves me. Sheíll fuck me over the first chance she gets. If she can fuck somebody for a fix, hell, why shouldnít she? This is probably why I keep her around. I know I canít trust her, and thatís more security than Iíve ever known. Of course, Iíd be lying if I didnít say I just keep her around because she still looks good in the morning.
And, Jerry -- Jerryís just like a bitch. I knew heíd fuck Gina the first chance he got. This is the way the world goes round: you take what you can, you leave.
Switching the TV off, I turn and spit on the two. They donít notice, still caught up in a trip.
I make my way back to the kitchen. My bloodís still on the floor, dark and dried in splatters. I see the imprint of the side of my face in it. I open the old, rattling fridge and pull out a luke-warm can of Tecate.
Walking outside, I step onto the small square of concrete set before the sliding glass door. I find the yellow still there, sticking to the dusty dirt road and few other shacks, set sparsely apart and random.
I take a sip of my beer, watch the shaggy black dog chained to a rare, stump of a tree thirty yards from me. He runs back and forth against the strain of the chain as if heís just hoping to snap his neck. Itís quiet and the flat land stretches out into the distant brown and yellow to meet a horizon without mountains. An old Ford truck -- maybe from the Forties -- putts off down the dirt road on its way to the highway twenty miles away. The sky is a diluted blue, dust marring it at the horizon, browning it -- yellows and browns fighting for dominance. I hear a harmonica from one of the other distant shacks. I donít know what Iím doing here. Tumbleweeds do what tumbleweeds do. Nothing grows here.
Downing the can, my stomach goes queasy. A breeze sifts the cow-field smell of Menudo under my nose before the dust can replace it again. I hear Ginaís high-pitched giggle behind me, in the kitchen now.
The Mexican desert sun is still high, the breeze hasnít changed, and I realize it must be the next day, or the next.
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