Monday, November 5, 2012

An awkward moment...

I will begin this story by saying that I am currently residing in the city where I was born.  For me it has become strange and does not resemble the city of my youth - I have no memories of this fascinating  new place, which makes it perfect to start over again... The violence here has been curved and I am not worried a bit about what feud a couple of drug traffickers have between themselfs - it’s really none of my affair... I have absolutely no fear here - it’s not like I am in Africa or any country in the Middle East in which the U.S. is currently bringing Democracy to - that Democracy sure is fucking bloody... I have chosen to be here, for how long I do not know... but it is a temporary base camp until I tie up some loose ends at which point I will depart for Panama...

This City is where I spent my nights and most of my days in the closing of 1996 and the beginning of 1997 when  I  had left Elsa behind in Lubbock and returned to El Paso to go back to school - I did not really want to go to school but did so only for Her - Elsa. I thought I could get some sort of useful skill that would help me find a respectable occupation and show her that I could be responsible and provide for her the way I though she wanted - then again - I never ever really knew what it was that she wanted - from me, at least - by the way, to this day, I have never worked in the field in which I studied nor have I ever used any of the skills I learned in school -

When I had returned to El Paso, women were the furthest from my mind, all I wanted to do was finish school and find a job... and... be with Elsa... you see... she was all I knew... she was all I wanted... and at the time I always believed that she and I were destined to be together - in spite of the fact that we were both changing into different people that no longer knew each other, for some reason I thought she would wait for me while she was off at school and I was in mine.  I was actually pretty good in school, I was highly motivated and eager to learn, just to get it over with... but when I found out that Elsa had married... things came crumbling down... I did finish school but reluctantly did I carry on... and  I  had fallen into a self destructive pattern of one night stands and drunken nights as I gathered me a harem of willing young ladies on whom to waste my reckless, loveless passions on...  And, here is where this story begins...

Yesterday, I rose from my restless slumber before the sun could make its way through my window... greeted by the low humming glow of my computer, reminding me that Singapore is waiting for a reply... I stumbled out of bed hungry and grumpy and in need of the warm tender flesh that only youth can satisfy... I think of Thailand as I make my way to the bath room... and as I try to gather my thoughts together in the shower... the ghost of Veronica comes to me once more.. she wraps her arms around me and places her lips on my back... and fades away with the steam before I can whisper her name...

I walked out into the morning like an angel looking to pick a fight... I need sugar... I need coffee... and I need it now! A few blocks away from my place is my bakery and I can smell the fresh scent of pastries waiting for me...  I sniff it out like a wolf in the forest tracking a rabbit in the snow... in my mind I can already taste the cream filling and the fruit exploding in my mouth as I will bite down on freshly baked dough the way a vampire bites down on the delicate breast of a sleeping teenage maiden in his parlor... my head spins with lust for powdered sugar and chocolate cake... I calculate my options and try to make up my mind as to what I will chose before I arrive so that I can pick quickly and leave but I already know that by the time I reach the counter I will be walking out with entirely different goodies than what I had in mind when I arrive... I think of Bruno’s and my mouth waters... I have come to the decision that pastries is something I choose not  live with out... I may give up Asian girls before I give up pastries... and I really love Asian girls... As I opened the door to the bakery the smell of freshly baked bread and sugar filles my lungs and my blood races up to my brain in a fury and almost knocks me off my feet... Don Carlos behind the counter laughs at my dramatic entrance... I march like a zombie to the racks of doughnuts in front of me as a choir performs Wagner in the opera house of my mind...

Don Carlos prepares me a small cup of coffee with cream and I walked out with two apple filled enpanadas, a sugar doughnut, and a croissant... plus I ate a pumpkin filled enpanada and a croissant at the counter while chatting with Don Carlos...

I made my way to a major street where I knew I could find  a cab that would take me to an electronics store... where... unknown to me... I would find Elena...

I was in search of new desk top publishing software and graphic design software... something new... I am always on the look-out to try new design software... I never studied art or design in school... but I should have... perhaps I would have actually enjoyed school more if I had learned something I actually wanted to... but I did go on to start my own design studio and eventually I would become a partner at Celestial Elephant - though they were not a design studio until I came along... that is a story for another day... I will say this... I failed... a lot... boy did I fail... but I paid my dues, there is no denying that... the thing is, I had failed so much when I was younger that I lost my confidence and faith in my self... I listened too much to people telling me that I couldn’t do something instead of surrounding myself with people that would push me to reach for the things that I wanted... but then... I did not know what it was that I really wanted... and that is half of the trick... to know what you want... Designing (of any sort) is something I rarely do... it is not my main occupation - I am a Business Finance Consultant - I find money for companies in need, whether they be established businesses or start ups... basically I am a broker, selling other peoples money and getting commission from putting others in debt... I am good at what I do... I don’t play games with people and I make an honest living and live with out quilt what-so ever... but I don’t just broker money... I’ll broker anything... anything you are looking for or want to sell... this is how I came to become a partner at Celestial Elephant - it was a printing company looking for a loan to expand. It was not enough money to attract any investors but it was perfect for me... it had just been taken over by the grand daughter of it’s founder - whom herself was in marketing... I convinced her to make me a partner and we turned her business into a design studio and small publishing company... and... we also do printing... I don’t make any decisions nor do I do any actual work there... I show up once in a while to give some input and look over the books and see what is going on but rarely will I be asked to help out on any design or layout work... I did come up with the idea for a couple of news letters that we published... but they are no longer in print... I am pretty much useless for them... even when I think I have found some new amazing software... they are one step ahead of me...

You know that feeling you get when someone is staring at you... that awkward, uneasy feeling that makes you a bit self conscious... yeah, that one... that’s what came over me... and I don’t usually get that feeling when I know I am being stared at... but I had a feeling that something was about to happen and one thing I have learned in my life - is to listen to that little voice inside my head and to pay attention to my feelings... well being the paranoid type, the first thing I did was look for the exits... a door leading to a back room... try to remember how many people were inside the shop... who looked like trouble... is my knife in my pocket... yes... are my pastries secured... priorities people... not only should you visualize the good things you want out of life... you should also visualize your way out of a bad situation... but there was no threat... at that point... I picked up a box from a rack in front of me and casually turned around as I lifted it closer to my face pretending to read the label as I scanned the room... and there she was kids... a woman... a real woman... not what television or your magazines tells you is a woman... but a real woman... and she was looking right at me... I looked right back at her... I squinted my eyes and gazed at her... she wore a black skirt that covered her knees and a silk blouse the color of peach. Her hair was slicked back and tied in a bun... looked a bit like my professor, Gloria, back in school... and she had a multi colored scarf warped around her neck... she was, I dare say... a Deringer Girl... there was something very familiar about this woman... not only was she my type... sophisticated and mysteries and very, very feminine... she had a look and a shyness which I seem to always find in the women I ended up hurting the most... her stare was not diverting as I gazed upon her... forming scientific equations of seduction in my devious little brain... forming hellos and witty introductions to use on her... I gaze... into her eyes... like a gunfighter in the mid-day sun... on an empty dusty road... in a broke down Mexican village... come to take revenge for honor lost... and she.. The victim of a broken heart... she looks at me as to say... you killed my father... prepare to die... it was quite intense for a moment there... but my thoughts turn lust-full... perhaps it was the skirt... or the scarf... I have always been a sucker for women in scarfs... a strange little fetish... perhaps it is why I loved French girls so much... maybe it was the way my lips form into a wicked half smile when I have decided I want to seduce a woman that shows my intentions... but it makes them blush and turn their eyes downward... I had her... at that moment I knew... I had her... she had made up her mind and she knew that I knew... it was just now a matter of discretion...

I turned my eyes slowly back to the label on the box and began to read... and turned my back to her...

She walks to me... slowly... carefully... calculating every step she took... perhaps a bit hesitant and doubting herself... forming her own hellos and witty introductions...

In Spanish she spoke...
 - that isn’t very good... not worth the money...
 - Have you tried this yourself?
 - (she nods) I wouldn’t waste my time with that if I were you...
 - do you work here?
 - I’m a marketing consultant...
 - (I nod my head almost un-noticeable) do you know anything about 3D rendering? - I asked without looking at her as I replaced the box where I got it from...
 She tilts her head to try to look at my eyes... I know she is smiling... she has a look on her face that I know... I know that look she is giving... she is waiting for something... she wants me to respond... she wants me to reply...
 - are you an artist? She asks... still waiting
 - sometimes...
 - I don’t know anything about 3D... do you mean something Like MAYA?
 - something like that...
 - well... how about trying MAYA...
 - I point a finger up at her and nod...

I look at her... she smiles... her head tilts more... she looks a bit confused... she is still waiting for me to respond... she is waiting for me to remember her... but I can’t... I always wonder to myself in this situation  - should I remember... they are always hurt when I don’t...

I extend my hand to her and say  - my name is Victor... and yours is...
 - I know... I know you are Victor... she is still smiling and I find myself becoming quite taken by her... she continues - why did you change your name?

The first thing I thought of was Dash Deringer... she knows I go by Dash...
Now I looked confused...

 - Vogt... why did you change your last name to Vogt...

Now I was a bit scared... shit! She did know me...

 - Victor Vogt... she reaches her hand up to take mine and shakes it gently... her hands are soft and very female...

 - Not too many people pronounce it like that on the first try... (with a silent G)
   I never changed it... I simply started using it again... Vogt is my name... it is... who I am...

 - aaah... she is still holding my hand... waiting for me to remember...

 - How do you know I go by Vogt?

 - Many years ago I tried to find you... but you had disappeared... and then a few  years back you came out of hiding... but your name came up on the internet with a matching name... Victor Vogt... so I looked up Victor Vogt and found some of your writings and...

 - Why were you trying to find me...

 - (she looks away and pulls back her hand... her smile fades away...) I was curious...

I can’t remember her... did I hurt her... I must have... I wish I could remember...

 - ( she looks back at me) I have always wondered about you... and always wanted to know what happened to you... were did you go... I always wanted you to be happy... her smile comes back.... but... it is not the same...

 I think of the Deringer Files...
 - when was the last time you tried to look for me...

She laughs... and says...
 - Deringer Files... (she composes herself... and reaches up to touch my arms with her right hand) I never knew... those poems... I never knew that about you... that side of you... was it there... all those years ago...

I gaze into her eyes... and try to let her know what I am thinking...
 - yes... maybe not those... but it was there...
 - you never showed it...
 - it was there... I assured her...

Her eyes began to water... but she quickly shook that demon off her...
 - Elena... Victor... Soy Elena...

She waited for me to process and try to pull up her face and her voice from the dungeon of forgotten kisses in the crumbling palace that was my heart... but I could not come up with any images of her in those lonely corridors... and my look begged for forgiveness... I was a fox in a snare begging for mercy... “please just let me loose to chase butterflies... and I will leave your chickens alone”... I have been in this situation before... but at this moment I felt like an absolute scoundrel... I was ashamed... that never happens... I could not remember this woman and I could not conjure an apology sincere enough to satisfy her...

I could sense her uneasiness and embarrassment and before she could come up with an excuse to walk way I placed my hands on her fore arms to keep her there
 - you know that I was a drunk... back then I was a drunk... (I assumed we knew each other when I stumbled into hell...) You’ve read the Deringer Files... you know that...
 - I know... I know... you were drunk the night we... and Diana... waiting for you in the next room... I didn’t know that she and you were not together... I just thought... everyone thought... I didn’t know about Chicago... and Paris... and Elsa...
 - how do you know about Elsa...
 - Beatrice told me...
I remember Beatrice... so this narrows the possibilities and time-line down... she knew Diana... and we... apparently... had a relation...
 - I never told Beatrice about Elsa... but Everyone new I suppose... It must have been Javier (Javier was friends with Beatrice and I went to school with him)

 - I am sorry that I don’t remember your kiss, Elena... forgive me, please... for any stupid thing I might have done... and that perhaps we should both try to forget...

She smiles... and her eyes begin to water again...
 - you have changed...
   Why couldn’t you be then the person you are now...
 - then we would not have this moment in time... and this... moment... I will always remember...

She wipes a runaway tear from her cheek...
 - perhaps...

She takes a step back from me...
 - I should be leaving I have a family thing to get to...
 - do you need a lift... we could share a taxi...
 - I have a car... do you need a ride... (she offers)... have you ever had a car...
 - not since I lived in one...
She laughs uneasy... but she laughs
 - I’ll take a ride... I live here now...
 - you do... why... people are trying to get out...
 - trust me... the smart ones will be coming back... I have enpanadas... (I motion to the bag under my arm...

She gave me a ride home and she asked about Paris... Diana... on the way to my place I tried to give her a full account of that story as best I could but I was more interested in hearing what she knew... what did Beatrice know about Diana... more importantly what did Diana say about it all... since I never saw her or spoke to her again... Beatrice had taken a trip to Mexico City where she saw Diana But Diana did not want to speak about me - in fact According to Elena, Diana was over me by the time she had returned to Mexico City - she was seeing some one new and had nothing kind to say about me for leaving Paris and not waiting for her or be willing to chase after her like a hungry dog looking for scraps... but also according to Elena... no one even knew that Diana and I had finally gotten together - of course she also says that everyone had thought that Diana and I were together even when I was with Elsa... they thought I was cheating on Elsa while she was in Lubbock... I never told anyone in that circle that I was leaving for Chicago when I did... I just left... and it wasn’t until Beatrice had returned from Mexico that anyone found out what happened to me and Diana... She never did return to El Paso or to Northen Mexico... not that any one knows of... Diana still has Family in El Paso... but she will never return... Elena asked what was in the letter I wrote Diana when I left her flat... and I told her I could not remember... she laughed... honestly and emotionally... laughter without apologies...
 -  poor Victor, the drink and the drugs have taken their tool, haven’t they... how have you survived....
 - by the kindness of strangers my dear... the kindness of strangers...

We arrived at my home and I asked her to come in for a coffee and pastries... she wrote down her phone numbers for me and I told her everything about myself that she wanted to know... and I felt like I was making a new friend... little did I know... she was laying her trap... and I had let my guard down...

She had to leave... and I led her to the door... but as I reach to open it she jumped in front of me and my arm lassoed her waist and I pulled her with out resistance to me and we kissed... long and slow... deliberately and carefully calculated on both sides... she knew what she wanted when we first gazed at each other back at the store... we both knew this is where we would end up... we both knew this is the moment we wanted... I breathed her in... in between kisses I inhaled every part of her and filled my lungs and my soul with her... the taste of her... the sighs of her... she would not escape my dungeon again... I would build her a cell of her own in the fortress of unfinished poems and kisses I locked away for the ghost of love that comes to haunt me less and less these days... and at the moment I was ready to tear her blouse open she leans into my ear and whisper... “I have always hated loving you...”

The soft sound of her voice swirled in my mind like a drop of ink in a glass of water and the words she spoke punched me in the side of the head... and I came out of a dream like a boxer rising from the matt  before the referee calls the fight... I rise up to take another beating... but what is that I have to prove to a crowd of hungry spectators laying down their money to see me bleed some more...

Elena...

It was those words she spoke...

I was drunk the night we made love... I don’t remember making love to her... but I remember those words and I remember her... that night she said to me - “I hate being in love with you...” and yes, Diana was in the next room... Elena is Beatrice’s younger sister and would sometimes be around when that circle of friends got together... she wasn’t always around though, at that time Elena was eighteen and the rest of us were in our mid twenties... but when she was around I remember speaking with her and trying to get friendly - but I was seeing Elsa and then there was, of course, Diana...  I drifted away from that circle - they wanted me around less and less but tolerated me only for the sake of Diana and Javier.  Elena, I remember ended up going to school in Monte Rey in Mexico and ended up never seeing her again... and Diana and I never actually got together until several years later...

Elena was the first woman I made love to After I found out that Elsa had married... I was very drunk that night... a big group of us had gotten together at a place called Electri-Q... and I was drunk when I got there... this was still a full month after I had found out about Elsa... I still hadn’t been with a woman... but that night I remember Diana was ignoring me because I was being a miserable drunk so I danced and drank with Elena and her friends all night long when they showed up at the club...and now as I write this... I am remembering more of that night... but I remember those words...

When I realized who she was... I pushed her away...

 - Elena!.................!!!

She knew that I remembered...

 - you look fantastic... it was very hard for me to be cool at this moment...

She started to blush  - perhaps a bit worried about what I do remember from that night...
But I did not want her to leave... and I knew that she did not want me to let her go... not lot this... so I grabbed her... and kissed her... and tore that God damn blouse off and took her there at the door...



- well... she panted... her shirt torn to shreds and skirt ripped from the side up to her hip... her hair tossed in a mess like a leaf storm in Autumn...  - I hope you remember that one...

 - that I will remember... did you really have some family thing to go to...
 - yes...
 - please don’t tell your sister about this...
 - how will I explain when I show up wearing a man’s shirt...
 - you’re in marketing... you’ll think of something...

We kissed and made slow delicate love until the sun went down... and she finally convinced herself that she had to leave... and get to that very important family gathering...

She asked if I was going to disappear again... I said not too soon...

She asked if I was going to write about this... I said I had no plans to do so... but I might change my mind... perhaps you might want to check the Deringer Files on Monday I told her...

Now that you now where to find me...
























art work by 
Dmitry Shorin

2 comments:

M. eMilia Pavón said...

Wow! What a story! Let us know how it goes on!

dash deringer said...

well... it will be a week tomorrow and we've been together every day since then... so far things are good... and she has forgiven me for having such a bad memory...