Monday, December 30, 2013

the life I dreamed of as a boy...

When I was young, I was quite a day-dreamer - more so than I am now... and in these moment of self indulgence I would find myself trekking through forests and deserts and gazing down on golden valleys from atop majestic rocky peaks. I dreamed of a life of adventure and mystery and wild romances in exotic places... I wanted to navigate labyrinths of dark jungle rivers... decode ancient painting in lonely abandoned caves... and count the stars from the branches at the top of a silent forest...

Before I ever saw my first Indiana Jones movie, there was the Camel Man... and the images of this now iconic figure fueled my imagination and dreams more than any book or movie I had ever seen - except for STAR WARS - and these images could be found between the pages of all the popular men’s magazines... and whenever I came across one of these advertisement I would rip it out for my collection... at one point I had such a collection that I emptied out a folder that was for my school work and filled it up with the adventures of the Camel Man... I don’t know whatever happened to that notebook - but I wish I had it still... for images of such masculinity and manliness can no longer be found... not even in the pages of popular men’s magazines... what a shame...

more images of the Camel Man are here -

Sunday, December 8, 2013

chasing simple moments...

I chase after simple moments... solitary beaches and lonely forests... oceans of clouds from atop a rocky mountain forgotten by time... those places and moments that the devil himself cannot deny -  bring a little peace to the soul... the smell of the rain coming down on Hong Kong... the colors of the setting sun over the valleys of the Atacama... the clouds rolling off that great mountain in Honshu...

Give me an uncomplicated life... a simple cottage by the sea... or in a green valley fortified by tall trees and ageless mountains... let me tend my flock of sheep by day and wonder at the starry skies at night... give me rest in the arms of a young maiden from the east... unspoiled by the modern world and in need of protecting... just a simple romance... built on sly glances and delicate gestures... and gentle kisses that always lead to unforgivable lust...

Give me a long quiet journey on the railways as long as the Trans-Siberian Express... to watch the world fall into chaos from the safety of my cabin surrounded by my books and my maps... pastries and bottles of wine... I’ll lose myself in the drunken fantasies of nights long ago when by mistake I lived as a sultan indulged by a harem in a haze of the forbidden Hashish...

Give me a sturdy ship... come from legend and myth... that carries the echoes of a lonely sailors’ song caught in it’s sail with the fading scent of pipe smoke... and ballads from young maidens left behind on lost islands in those crowded Asian waters... I want the calm before the storm... I want the strength of the solitary victory after it has passed... I want to be lost under constellations I can not name... racing dolphins and wales and mystic creatures in my foolish dreams... under a moon that glows as soft as the light of a candle reflecting off the side of a pearl...

Saturday, December 7, 2013

chasing winter...

I run after your foot prints along the shore on cold lonely beaches...
I chase the echo of your voice through wooded mountains and lose it in the mist...
Down snow covered slopes I tumble after your sighs...
I abandon legions of angels in the blizzard to stumble blind in pursuit of your perfume...

The devil and his brood I leave behind in a forest cave - for the magic and the mystery I might find in your glance...
I have left the warm of the fire and the company of the tribe - for the salt of your skin... the moans of your lust... the desperation and the passion of your tears...

I am a band apart... I am that lonely wolf... the brave lost in the wasteland... the madman on the hill... forgotten by God... rejected by the muse... discarded by destiny...
I have only the strength of this mindless... delusional... pursuit of you...

Chasing your ghost... is chasing winter... in the valley of madness...

Wednesday, December 4, 2013

Dash Deringer: Suspicious Character

WARNING: there is some very hard language in the following post... it may offend and upset some... you have been warned...

I try to avoid traveling to the States at all costs... but sometimes it is just unavoidable and I must make my way back to the North... I am hoping that soon enough I will never have to go back... don’t get me wrong - I love the United States of America... or at the very least... the one I remember growing up in... but that country is gone forever... and is never coming back... it isn’t, so don’t try to fool yourself... it has fallen too far into... well... it’s just not coming back... and I want to have nothing to do with this new America... It is not for a man like me... and it does not want me anyhow... I am a man from another time searching for my place in this world... a world were men can still be men... and free men at that... and the states... just isn’t that place...

Dash Deringer: Suspicious Character

I think for my self, I speak my mind, I’ll give it to you straight - whether you want it or not... and I don’t give a damn if I offend you or hurt your delicate little feelings... I am not politically correct... I throw around racial slurs like I’m throwing away pennies and candy to children and the poor... so get fucking over it...

I wont date American women any more... I just wont... Being back in South America again I have gotten too accustomed to the charms and femininity of Latin women... their passion and vulnerability, their warmth and kindness... their openness and gentle caring nature... they are not afraid of men and strangers that approach them... they are not suspicious and they are not sluttish like their American counterparts... They are women... and do not compete with men... they want men... they love men... and they let the man be the man... and I find myself lately dating very young women... the last five girls I have been with - not one of them has been over twenty five... and being in South America... no one gives you shit about it... this is natural in Latin Cultures... when I date young girls in the states I always get nasty looks from women... I have also decided that I will no longer date anyone over twenty five... ever...  Deal with it...

I have worked hard and sacrificed much to get to the position I am in - I went for years without having much just so that I can have much now... I am not a man that is chasing too many material possessions... but I am thankful and grateful and very happy for the things I do have... I believe that a man is entitled by GOD and the universe to keep what he has earned with his blood, sweat and tears... earned with his time and effort and money... and that a man has every right to protect and keep what is his... I believe I should be able to keep the money I earned and be able to take it with me... but in the land of the free... this just isn’t the case... and if you want to keep what’s rightfully yours... you have to think like a criminal... I just want what I worked hard for...

I like my privacy... This also makes you a deviant criminal in the north... privacy is the essence of freedom... the president feels otherwise... what can one do? I do not own a cell phone... I am not on facebook and I do not twitter... I do not blog about every damn thing in my life... I am quite the anti-blogger... looking for a social network for anti social people... if something important happens and I want to share it with you - I will... or not... I don’t leave too many comment on the sites I lurk around in and try to keep my opinions to my self... I try... outside of the Deringer Files, to keep my opinions to my self...

I do not believe in socialism... paying taxes for things I do not want or need to give those that do not have a more comfortable life... the poor in the united states actually have more than poor in other countries - but they need more... what they need are jobs... and dignity... and pride... they need to be taught what honor is... they do not need to be given free shit that I am paying for... If the government was on the side of the poor and underprivileged they would make it easier for those that can create jobs to do so... more tax breaks and less paperwork... America is a land of privileges not a land of freedom - if you do not have the proper licenses and permits... you are a domestic fucking terrorist... live the way you want to live on your own land... try it fucker... see how free you are... I’ll take my businesses where they are wanted... where they will be appreciated... where I will be appreciated...

I want to be left alone to fail and succeed... to live my life on my terms... I want to be responsible for my self and those I bring into this world... I have given no man power over my life - no bureaucrat knows what is best for me... no social worker knows what I need... no government program can do it better than I can do it for myself... I know how to save money and I know how to make money... I know how to take care of my self... I know how to survive... I have done it before all by self and I will continue and do it again... I pulled myself out of the abyss... out of poverty... out of the chaos... by my self...

I believe in Christianity... I do! I believe that GOD created the universe to work a certain way and that everything in the creation has a purpose... everything was created to work and operate in a given way and nature has its laws... I accept Jesus Christ as my Lord and Savior...  This is my belief... mine... I will not force this on you... do not try to take it away from me... with that said... I believe that by the laws of nature certain things are meant to be the way nature intended them to be... there fore - I do not approve of homosexual behavior... but  - as I will never force my beliefs onto anyone else... I will not get involved in whatever it is you believe in - so...  You can fuck each other in the ass and suck that shit covered cock all you want... it is none of my business what you do with your life... but don’t tell me that I am wrong and don’t make me a criminal because I don’t approve of it nor want to take part in it... you live your life and I’ll live mine...

I will not apologize for these words... and will not respond to e-mails like I did over the Executive Assistant post...

You see... how very un-American of me...

If you are one of those delicate readers... whose feelings are hurt... that is your problem... I lose readers all the time and have been blocked from visiting sites - simply because someone did not like something they read here... at this silly little poetry blog... and it turns out that I actually have more readers than I thought - thanks to feeds sites... those RSS reader sites - or whatever they are called... well. Thanks... for coming by... Thank you to my readers that keep coming back and to those that always inspire me... and thank you to the one that has been following me since the beginning...


These are my thoughts and feelings... and they really shouldn’t have any effect on your thoughts and feelings... because really... why should you care or let it bother you... There are more important things to invest your energy in...If your life is not as wonderful and beautiful and carefree as mine... do something about it... What makes my life so wonderful and beautiful... the things I believe in and the simple fact that I don’t give a fuck what you think about me... I don’t... and that is how I find freedom in an unfree world.

So why write this... because I can...

Sunday, November 17, 2013

a muse in the making

She reads her magazines and news papers on the floor... laying on her stomach...
 
She walks around barefooted and always says her feet are cold...

She will not wear her glasses or contacts and squints to see everything too far away...
 
She collects books of puzzles... and tries hard... but... she has never finished a puzzle...

She talks to the television screen and makes loud comments when she reads the papers... mostly about how stupid people are...
 
She orders the same food every time we go out to eat...
 
She takes me on long walks around Valparaiso... after dinner... and makes up stories about events that never happened in some places... like the stories I invent about places I have never seen...
 
She loves dogs... but doesn’t want to keep one...
 
She gets emotional over babies... and says she wants a big family...
 
She loves to visit big cities... but needs to be close to nature...
 
She loves to go sailing... but the sea actually frightens her...
 
She is thin and delicate and very, very feminine...
 
She can talk for quite a long time about whatever is on her mine... and there have been days when we never said a word...
 
She sits at the edge of the tub and watches me shave in the morning... but she is to scared to shave me...
 
She stresses the importance of after noon naps... I couldn’t agree with her more...
 
She doesn’t ask about my business... she says it is not important... but I know that it really is...
 
She is practical and uncomplicated... so far... and she says I think too much and am way too complex...
 
She handles my perversions and insanity quite well...
 
She looks out at the sea and she looks like she wants to cry behind her smile...
 
She gets excited by the rain... and the thought of snow... and thunder and lightning...
 
She dances for me in the study... not very good... but I like it...
 
She bakes cookies... and cakes... and we have been known to eat cookies and cake for breakfast...
 
She can not hold her wine... and tries to seduce me when she drinks too much... but she just ends up passing out in my arms...
 
She doesn’t like going to bed alone... and she does not like waking up without me there...
 
She looks great without make-up... but I have never told her...
 
She wears my shirts and my boxers around the house and not much else...
 
She makes love slowly... on top of me... and stays there for a long time when she has finished with me...
 
She whispers my name at night... as we lay in the darkness before we fall asleep... and when I respond to her and say  - yes, baby... she just sighs and moves in closer to me... and settles in for the night...
 
She leaves letters and photos of her in my bag when I have to travel... so when I find myself feeling alone in North America... I will remember that she is waiting for me in Valparaiso... and I miss her...

Monday, November 11, 2013

she doesn't like cowboys

She doesn’t like cowboys - because they always break her heart
She doesn’t fall in love because it always falls apart...
She doesn’t trust in angels - for they always fly away
And she’s left alone with the devil - at the end of the day...

She doesn’t listen to love songs - because they always make her cry
Reminds her of the life - that just passes her by...
She doesn’t dream of pirates - come to take her out to sea
Her paperback romances - shattered like her dreams...
art by Rafael DeSoto

Wednesday, October 23, 2013

esas viejas canciones Francesas...

inspired by something Isabel said

The day is grey... the colors fade and it smells like rain...

The evening's dark... the grass is yellow - in the city park...

The night is cold... she's not here to hold and the world has left me feeling old...

The season's too long... where did we go wrong... and these old French songs...
          are the only things she left me...

video

Tuesday, September 24, 2013

moments of the night - part lll

But then... something happens... and in the loneliness and the darkness of the night... I whisper her name... and like a predator in the night I listen for the echos to come back to me... I stumble in the black and the empty and the cold of my corridors sniffing for traces of memories that know not these dwellings... I search for her scent... for the talcum powder... and perfume... her breath covered in coffee... her hair buried in spices... her lips... hiding behind lemon peels... I hunt for her like Azrael tracks a wayward soul that refuses to go back home... like a legionnaire crawling through the mud in pursuit of his papers of freedom... I chase her in the stillness and the quiet and the forgotten hour of my madness... for a simple... tiny... insignificant sign... that perhaps... if she is at all inclined... in that far away place in which she dwells... she remembers that she once promised me love eternal... kisses and wishes without end.... desire without a price and loyalty without question... does she remember that I cared for her... that I looked out for her and protected her... that I changed my world for her and built my life for her... does she remember that I shed my armor for her... I peeled of the past for her and lived only in the moment with her... that I let go of my fears for her and the regrets of the life I abandoned before her... does she remember that I climbed out of a nest of dragons for her... and... when she slipped through the grip of some drunken demon... I was the one that caught her... and hid her away... and bartered what was left of my soul... for a few moments more with her... one last breath for her... one more heart beat for her... one more kiss from her... a whisper... a sigh... the taste of the salt... from a tear of  her eye... but then... something happens... and I find myself alone... on the floor... making deals with the devil... in the blindness and the deepness and the overpowering calmness... the unostentatious elegance of these moments of the night...

bulldog

BULLDOG
multimedia collage

***
a thousand miles from nowhere...

Thursday, September 5, 2013

...wishing the morning away...

I laid on my stomach and tried to wish the morning away...

She laid on top of me... kissing my neck... my shoulder... my ear...

I ignored her... I thought of  Veronica... Carmen...  Diana... this moment just keeps repeating itself... the women are different every time... but it keeps coming back to me... or I keep running to it... either way... this moment is where I find myself in this morning... she says she is in love... I ignore her and try to wish the morning away...

She whispered her plans for the day in my ear but I started to think about an autocross race I was once co-pilot for... It was  in 1997 - I think... and David - who was driving almost flipped the car on a curve... I remember wishing at the time that he had  flipped it, and that the car would catch fire and we would go up in flames before anyone could get us out... oh the cars I have flipped over... and I am still here... the cars that have caught fire and still, I linger... all those accidents and near misses and I still walk among the un-dead... I do not drive too often... not too often in these many years since I called the Plymouth my home... but... sometimes... just sometimes... I want to drive off a cliff... but I know I would survive... why this was going through my mind as she spoke gently into my ear... I do not know... I haven’t seen David in so many years... who knows what became of him...

She gets off me and leaves the room... I closed my eyes for an instant and dreamed of Veronica... riding in taxis and buses and rented cars with Veronica... the way she would look at the world through the windshield or out her window as we blazed down the city streets or down a country road... I would watch her even as she stared out the windows of a bus... she looked at the world... at the city she knew so very well, as if she had just arrived... it was all new and marvelous for her... every time... I believe... she would have been happy if she could have stayed in a moving vehicle forever... looking out the window as the world passed her by.... I never asked her how she felt or what she was thinking as we traveled through time in our gas powered machines...  But I knew she was thrilled and happy and content all at once... I would often borrow Frankie’s car at night and take her for long rides around Asuncion.. ‘round parks and new neighborhoods... driving in circles with no place to go and let her look up at the lights that filled the streets with Christmas... with magic... with some kind of awe that I will never be able to experience or understand the way Veronica knew it... and I long for it... or at the very least... one more ride in a moving vehicle with her...

I rolled on to my back and open my eyes... I was confused for a bit... the way you are when you first wake up from a long sleep in a new room... but this was my room... my room...

Valentina stood at the edge of the bed folding my freshly laundered t-shirts and shorts... and socks... I rose up on one shoulder to watch her...

“Was I sleeping...”

She smiles at me and I watch her fold my shirts... she folds them delicately and precise... and carefully calculated like a mathematically complicated geometric design... and after every fold she runs her hand over it to flatten out the fabric... she stacks my shirts on top of each-other and lays them side by side in rows arranged by color... watching her do this inspires something in me... and I speak...

“Let’s stay in today... we’ll cook and eat and... drink... and make love...”

She smiles at me...

I continue...
“we’ll get some movies and lounge around...”

It was on the third time she had visited my home that Valentina did my laundry... I didn’t stop her... and I let her cook for me and clean for me... and she irons too... I had to fight with her not to iron my dungarees or t-shirts... I never have, and don’t want her to do so - I always felt it was stupid and a bit gay for a man to iron his blue jeans and t-shirts... they were made for working and roughing it any way... not to impress anyone...

I wait for her reply...

She picks up my clothes and puts my socks in my sock drawer the way I like them organized - by color and fabric... and my shorts in their drawer... she walks to the closet and puts my denim in their shelves and my tees in their... she turns to the bed and crawls back in...

She cuddles up to me and buries herself  into the bed with me... draped in my arms and secure in my chest... she lets out a soft sigh and begins talking about what movies we should get and what she will make us for dinner... I stare at the ceiling and ignore her... 

and try to wish the morning away...

Thursday, August 1, 2013

Executive Assistant Needed...

Is that the  politically correct term for number one secretary?
Because that is as politically correct as I will get - besides... the job is in Chile... and I am Latin American and we are not politically correct people  - it just sounds stupid... and you agree with me... you would have to agree with me as I am the boss...and you are not being hired for your opinion... unless it concerns lunch...

I find that the most urgent need to travel has come upon me the way madness creeps up on certain men of genius’ but there is work that needs to get done... and it must get done... but I must travel or the insanity will take over... with that said my personal assistant must have experience in dealing with unstable-artistic-creative types... that start projects and move on when boredom and creative dry spells set in - but if you can help to keep me motivated and the artistic juices flowing you will be greatly rewarded...

What you will be doing:
Typing... lots and lots of typing... and transcribing hours of dictated tapes and digital recordings of ideas, stories and random thoughts - you will have to organize all of these and attempt to make sense of it all. 

You will review business plans and sort out what looks like a proposal worthy of my time as a financial broker... though I am slowly moving away from this business... I am going to keep milking it for as long as I can...

You will help me expand my art collection and help me to keep it archived along with my collection of first edition books - help to sort out what will be kept and what we should put out on the market - you may also have to attend auctions and bid on items online... every once in a while I will represent an artist... so you will have to have knowledge of the art industry - who’s who and who’s buying who... what’s moving and what’s shaking...

You will need an understanding of the stock market and dividends - this is not complicated and I will teach you if you don’t understand how stocks and bonds and funds work... for this you will need to speak Cantonese, Mandarin, Japanese and German... and Spanish as we are based in Chile...

You will mostly be dealing with my associate at The Celestial Elephant Paper Co. Based in India and for this you will have to have experience in graphic design, layout, pre and post printing production, public relations, advertising, editing, sales, and promotions...

You may be doing some traveling and it is recommended that you do not travel on an American passport - in fact, I am not hiring Americans.  Your expenses will be taken care of and you will be staying in house - that’s my house - so you may have to make the coffee and cook, but most importantly be able to run off the over night guests before they make themselves too comfortable - for this you will have to be strong and firm and not a bit afraid to treat them like common whores... this will not happen too often... but it happens... note that I tend to stay up for a couple of days at a time and not speak - I may ignore you many times but that is simply because my mind is on other things and you should not be too sensitive about this... when my brain has had enough I will sleep... for a very long time... and there will be times when I will simply lock myself away in my room or my study and not come out for days... at this point it will be up to you to make sure that I am eating and kept hydrated... when I do emerge I may seem irritated and a bit loony... again you must be strong enough to ignore this behavior as it has nothing to do with you... But when the madness has taken complete control - I will vanish without warning or explanations and will not make contact until I have found myself at my destination - wherever in the world that may be... but of course you will have to keep close track of these times as I might also have been kid-napped or abducted... if it is a kid-napping - pay the fuckers... if it is an abduction - you should quit and find new employment... I will write a letter of recommendation before hand in case I never come back - or you could stay and manage it all in my absence since that is basically what you will be doing anyhow...

Your attire:
It is a man’s world and you will mostly be dealing with men - old men who are not American and appreciate feminine women - that means no pants and no masculine behavior - just act like a woman, behave like a woman and dress like a woman... you will be representing me so you will have to be confident, firm, sophisticated, well read, well dressed, with a touch of class and elegance... but always remember that you are feminine... you are a female... working for a madman... you type, and edit and sort... you get coffee and scotch and clean the study... you pick up the mail and send the mail and once in a while pick up from the cleaners... you file and you organize and you keep my circle small - you are the gate keeper... you are my girl Friday... keep quiet and keep my secrets secret and respect those in the circle and your opinions to yourself... unless in concerns lunch and you may just learn some things about the world and making money... Turns out I am an old fashion man - and I need an old fashioned no nonsense secretary... to help keep things running smoothly as I wander the beaches of South America...

Only serious applicants please... girls with nice legs will be given first considerations...

Sunday, July 28, 2013

post card from Valparaíso

I watch the clouds roll in bringing new ships to the port early in the morning
the sky is grey and the streets below my window look like a box of crayons

I crawl back into bed and bury myself under a pile of maps and history books
and journals chronicling another adventure I will never take...

The coffee is cold and the bread is hard, the bed is lonely but warm
and the window I left open lets in a cool wind with smells from the world on the other side of the sea 

It is two in the afternoon when I decide to venture out of my winter den
It is summer back in Mexico, but here winter is falling on us... the nights are cold...

I stumble down the stairs like a wounded wolf rolling down the Andes
The clerk behind the counter smiles but is indifferent to me... I wander his halls like a ghost

I step out into the street and wander in search of a reason to go back home -
to Mexico, to the States, to the North... but there just are no good reasons... Panama has become the far North for me...

I walked into a café near the pier - I ordered a sandwich and a glass of wine... the sandwich was dry and the wine just kept coming... I sat there and wrote letters to imaginary friends and drank until the sun began to go down

The night is cold... I remember I left the window open... my bed will be cold tonight... I watched the ships in the harbor and thought of my child hood... as I would watch the ships come in and dream of escaping from the world on one of them some day...

Dreams change as we get older... most of them... until we reach a certain age and those child hood dreams come back to us... calling us from the harbor... from the train station... from the banks of a lonely river

It took me eleven years to get back home the last time I ran away... I do not know If I will make it back this time... probably not...

I will head South and get lost in forests and cold rocky beaches... and camp at the foot of the Andes and live like a savage... making my way to Puerto Williams and get lost in the fog and the rains and the snows... lost in the hills and the valleys and the green where I will stay forever...

Forgotten by the world and those I left behind - one day they will just stop wondering “what ever happened to Victor?  Where has Dash Deringer gone...”
Me on the left with my brother Alejandro - when we still spoke to each other
watching the ships come in...

Wednesday, July 3, 2013

Letters to Japan

"Letters to Japan"
Victor Vogt
mixed media collage
scanned image, originally printed in the 
"Deringer Report News Letter"
the second issue - October, 2007.
the original piece is now lost forever, 
the poem overlaid is "To Forget You..."
I forgot just how old that poem was...

Sunday, June 16, 2013

Santiago (with me...)

You can go back to the world you knew - before I came along
When you make up your mind - you’ll find that I am gone...
You can walk away for ever - and never look back to see
If you might be happy here - in  Santiago with me...

If it is love you require - I  have plenty left to spare
And the pretty words you desire - I  can pull them from thin air...
But the passion that you wanted - and  the hunger to be free
Might not be here when you return - to Santiago with me...

You can argue all night - you can scream until you cry
Wouldn’t you rather make love - until the gods are satisfied...
I’m not going to beg - you know I’ll never get on my knees
Hate me if it helps to forget the nights - in Santiago with me...

Sunday, May 12, 2013

like a star exploding in Heaven...

And I feel just like a star exploding in Heaven
Like a snow flake falling into the sun...
I’m nothing without you girl
There’s no place left in this world
For a man like me - who doesn’t have any one...
Like an angel with a broken wing
Elvis Presley with no song to sing
There’s nothing girl - and no place left to run...

And I feel just like the devil tumbling down from Heaven
Like a comet burning up in the sky..
I’m nothing without your love
Like the desolate moon above
For what will I be - without you by my side
Like a wolf  that’s left out of the pack
And a ghost that can’t find its way back
There’s nothing girl - and no place left to hide...

Wednesday, April 24, 2013

Damaged...

“I’m damaged...” I said to her...

She ran her fingers through my hair and kissed the back of my neck...  “I know...” she whispered...

“I got demons chasing me... and the phantom shadows of the words I never got to say to another haunt me...” I take a drink of scotch... and  breath out... the way you breath out the fog of the reefer... “I’ll go for days without eating or sleeping or speaking... and some nights I’ll stay awake staring into the darkness... when my brain can’t take any more I’ll collapse and sleep for a couple of days...”

“I have noticed this...”

Her kisses move to my shoulders...

"I will leave on short notice sometimes and never give you an explanation... and will never answer your enquiries... about my whereabouts and what I have been doing... you will just have to trust me... or ignore my absence...” I drink... her hands are on my chest... her legs wrapped around me from behind... I sit at the edge of the bed and she keeps me from falling...

“Are you trying to chase me away?” she asks... she stops kissing me and I feel her cheek against my back...

“I think you have already decided on what it is that you want from me...”

“What do you think I want from you...”

I drink... “this...”

She laughs... “this?”

“This... this is what you wanted... this is what you get...”

“I don’t understand...”

I look into my glass and see that I have one last swallow... I stare at it for a while... the amber glows and shines as the light bounces off it...  And reflects back onto itself in its cradle... I rock it gently back and forth the way I imagine angels play with the early morning light... It didn't take me too long  to close her and get her in my bed... not too long at all... she was a virgin... twenty years old... small, fair skin... long black hair... brown eyes and full lips... not long at all... I wasn’t even gaming her... when we first met... when we first locked eyes on each other... I knew she would be mine and even though she denies it... she knew it too... and I knew... this night was coming... this conversation... I knew then... and... she did too... I did not seduce her... I did not play games with her and I never gave her any come on lines... for the first time in a very long time... I let this one unfold by itself... and she chased me... she charmed  me and seduced me and trapped me... in her stare... in her legs... in her delicate youthful embrace... “This moment... baby doll... this moment...”

She thought for a while...
“This is what I wanted... This is...” she lets out a sigh... and I feel it rise up my spine and gets lost in my hair... “sometimes... daddy... it feels like my heart is breaking...”  - she calls me daddy... and papito...

“Why...” I look into my scotch... not too sure I really want to know why...

“I have never been with a man before... I don’t want you to hurt me...”

“I don’t want to hurt you... I would never mean to do that... I want to give you pleasure... “

She giggles... “sometimes the pleasure is a little rough...”

“You like it...”

She giggles...  “am I a bad girl...”

“You are not here with my... because I wanted a bad girl... but... by the time I am through with you... you’ll be just as damaged as I am...”

She laughs... and then stays silent for a long time before she speaks again...

“You are my first boy friend... my first relationship... the one I will compare all others too...”

“Those poor dumb bastards...”

She giggles - I like a girl that giggles...

I offer her the last of the scotch... she reaches around to grab it...

“Oh yea...” I whisper... “by the time the next one comes along... you will be damaged... too”

Saturday, April 13, 2013

Carla

She says nothing... she stands in the entrance to the den in one of my shirts and leans into the wall... the light from the room behind her creates a silhouette of her figure... she moves her right leg over her left and I get a glimpse of the gold from her skin... it sparkles for an instant... I catch it in the corner of my eye... my head twitches but I keep my face buried in the file I am studying... she disappears... like a ghost.... but I hear her footsteps in the creaking floor boards of this old house...

She sold me three shirts the day we met... a blue shirt with a straight collar and french cuffs and two white shirts - both with french cuffs... I  began to collect cuff links many years ago... but I don’t have too many shirts that need them... I asked her to help me pick out a couple of ties as well... a solid red tie... that actually is the color of rich dark blood... and a black tie with red and white stripes that angle down - in the style of a school class tie... I didn’t need any of this of course... but it was a good excuse to chat her up... what the hell... I had her measure me for a couple of blazers and I left her my number to call me when they have been re-fitted for me... a couple of days later we were having drinks... two days after that, we met for lunch... the next day... she cooked for me... I closed the deal that night... tonight... she’s in the kitchen picking out a bottle of wine... and I am playing hard to get... I didn’t really have to check that file... I had checked it and triple checked it until I was satisfied it was ready to send out... but I want to make her work for my attention... because I like the way she seduces me... and I think she likes it too...

She comes back to the entrance... she’s holding a bottle of wine... MONDAVI - something we had picked up earlier today... she also has a couple of glasses... tumblers... I don’t have any wine glasses here... she speaks... “I can’t find the wine opener...”

It’s on my desk... I wait for a few seconds to pass before I respond... I reach for the cork screw with my left hand... I feel for it until I find it and grasp it firmly... I wait for a few more seconds before I raise it into the air... she speaks... “is it alright...”

I look up at her... her head is tilted down and she looks at me like a school girl asking for permission...

I nod... slowly and subtly...

She walks to me... like a panther... before she strikes... calculating her steps and anticipating the reaction of  her prey... she pauses mid step at the sound of the creaking floor boards... she breaths in and holds it... and takes a gently step forward... her toes press the floor but she keeps her heels high... she takes another step and the floor squeaks... like a mouse... she giggles and I look up at her... she pretends to be embarrassed... I put down the papers in my hand and slowly lean back in my chair... and gaze at her... her smile fades away... “sorry... I’m sorry...”

I tap the cork screw on the desk and watch her walk to me... she’s shy and girlish... she’s delicate and fragile... She is the kind of woman I want... and don’t want... She is easy to fall for and hard to let go... I want to protect her and make her mine... and I want to devour her until she has nothing left to give and leave her a broken and empty women... ruined for any other man...

She stands in front of me and sets the glasses down on the desk and hands me the bottle... I take it with my left hand... cork screw between my fingers... I reach out with my right hand and stroke  the outside of her left leg... soft... firm... I reach around to the back of her knee... delicate and fleshy - like an oyster... I move my hand back around to the front of her thigh... I squeeze... I release and begin to move by hand to her buttock... but stop and raise my fingers to feel the bottom of my shirt which she is wearing... like so many before her... it’s always the thin ones... the young ones... the delicate fragile ones - that end up in my shirts... I  rub the material between my fingers... I close my eyes and study the weave and the threading like a blind tailor... I can feel the dip and the rise of the weave... the stretch and the flow of the threads... the bounce of the cotton and the fading grip of the starch... she runs her fingers through my hear and brings me out of my trance... I tilt my head up and open my eyes like I was waking up... she looks down at me... we are almost at eye level... she is petite... she raises her right leg up and brings her foot down on my left thigh... I close my eyes again and lower my head... her fingers are still trapped in my hair... I open my eyes and am facing my shirt... her breast rise and fall as she breathes... I think of Carmen... Carmen in my shirt... I shake the shadow of that ghost from my head... she asks... “what’s wrong?”

I smile and look at her... I shake my head smiling at her... she looks good in my shirt... she belongs in my shirt... she wears it as if she had been wearing it for years... I bend forward and plant a kiss on her knee...

I take the bottle and the cork screw and get to working on that... I remember my days as a waiter... every time I open a bottle of wine or pick up a dirty plate... I remember all those damn years as a waiter... I chuckle... and shake my head... those wasted years... were they - wasted years... ?

I pour the wine and hand her a glass... she takes it but lets her fingers linger over mine... she strokes the back of my hand with her index finger... and lifts her glass to her lips... I reach for my glass but my gaze is focused on the back of my hand... the phantom of her touch remains... the hairs on the back of my hand rise and I follow a cold chill up my arm and fades away when I grab the tumbler... I think I am in trouble...

I raise my glass to my lips and take a swallow... a bit smokey... and the after taste hovers on my tongue like a fog from the sea... raping the sands of Tierra Del Fuego...

She sits down on my lap and leans back into my chest as we bury ourselves into the chair

she takes my right arm and drapes it around her waist and we sat there in silence for a long while... drinking and listening to the sounds that old houses make...

She speaks... in a whisper
“did you know this was going to happen...”
“Yes...”
“When did you know?”
“As I was walking to you at the store... I knew...”

She laughs...
“How did you know?”
“It’s what I wanted...”
“Oh...” she takes a drink... “do you always get what you want?”
“Sooner or later... I always get what I want...”

She thinks for a moment before she speaks... she hesitates...
“Have you ever not gotten what you want?”

I take a drink...
“Many times... for a long time I never did get the things that I wanted... but for a long time I did not know what it was that I wanted... but now... I pretty much have the things that I want... and I do not have the things that I don’t want... I have had the things that I wanted and will soon have the things that I am still waiting to get...”
I take a drink... and she takes a drink... she hesitates again before she says anything...

She speaks - “You don’t have the things you don’t want...”
“Exactly... why would I want that?”
“You wouldn’t... and you have had the things that you wanted... and you will soon have the things that you are waiting to have...”
“Yes...”
“What is missing...”
“Nothing... there is nothing missing from my life...”
“Then why do you need... more things...”
“I don’t need anything... I said I wanted a few more things... but I do not need them... I want them... but do not need them... If  I  lost everything... it would not matter... everything I have can be replaced... If we burned this house down - I would not care...”
“So what is it that you still want?”

I take a long drink... “something - that I can’t buy...”
She takes a drink... “happiness?”
“You can buy happiness...”
“Love?”
“You can rent love by the hour... or for the evening...”

She laughs - “then what... What is it that Victor wants... that he has not gotten yet?”
She stretches to reach the bottle and pours us some more wine...
“Victor... tell me...”  she hesitates... perhaps she did not want to hear my answer... “tell me...”
She reaches out to pick up an old note book on my desk... “can this be replaced...” she opens it to a page in the middle and waits  for a moment before she begins to read out loud:


I looked and I saw you... sailing away with my heart...
I called  out your name... but we drifted too far apart...

I must have misread... the tears that I shed...
As I crumbled and stumbled for you..
I drank and got high... lost my self  in a lie...
My heart and my soul broke in two...

I looked and I saw... the storm clouds - rolling in
I called out your name... but the pain... was about to begin...


She stops reading...
And takes a long slow drink...

On my knees at the shore... I could not fight any more...
The devil come take me away...


She stops reading and closes the book..
And I whisper...

In a deep pit of hell... locked away in my cell...
Bleeding  for you I shall stay...


 - “That is an old draft...” I tell her... “wrote that... eighteen years ago... still can’t get it right...”

She speaks... in a whisper...
“Who is it for?”
“For whomever wants it... nobody... it is for nobody...”

She drinks down all of her wine...
“How many women have you been with...” she whispered...
“Many...”
“Why... why did you have to have many?”
“Because there are not too many good girls in this world... and I have been weeding out the bad ones... looking for that good one... that I can make my own...”
“Do you think I am a good girl?”
“I was hoping that you would be...”


I drink down what’s in my glass

“Victor... are you a bad man?”
“I have been...”
“But are you... have you hurt women...”
“I have...”
“Are you going to hurt me...”

I reach for the bottle... but she stops me...

She kept her hand on my arm for a long time before she released it and got up off my lap...
She walked toward the hall and stopped when she reached the entrance of the den... she turned to look at me... she stood in silence... a silhouette in front of the light... she un-buttons her shirt and pulls it down from her shoulders... she turns to the hall... and lets the shirt fall from her back...


She pauses for a moment before she walks away...

Wednesday, April 3, 2013

Drinks in Ciudad del este with Cristobal Montes

If I were to tell you that the center of the universe is a city called Ciudad del Este in Paraguay... you would say “Dash Deringer Has lost his god damn mind... where is Ciudad Del Este...?”

Yes... not too many people have heard of it... but it is... the center of the universe...

There are cities in the world that are identified with specific services... London and finance... Singapore and offshore banking... Panama and IBC’s...  Rio and sun-kissed beauties...Las Vegas and sin... Monaco and high priced hookers... Mumbai and cheesy movies...Dubai and the disgustingly wealthy... and then there is Ciudad del Este - a pirates paradise... The Market of Ciudad del Este is a hustle and bustle labyrinth of shops and stalls where everything in the world can be found... whether legitimate, pirated, or counterfeited... you will find it here... and it is not only products that you will find here but also a variety of individuals providing services from brokering to underground banking... prostitution to passport dealers... it’s all here.

Ciudad del Este sits on the Eastern border of Paraguay, bordering Brazil, and Argentina... the borders are a slow moving sea of cars... unless you are coming in by motor bike on the bike lain - leave Brazil and Argentina early in the morning... once you have crossed the border and navigate your way to an open parking space... pay a young man a tip for helping you park and keep an eye on your vehicle - though he might not... you make your way to the market but before you get there you will notice some young men handing out flyers for the various stores which they make a commission on the sales for bringing in clientele... they will even walk you to whatever store you are looking for  - electronics, clothing... what ever.. And if you make a purchase these young men will get paid at the end of the day... It is one of my most favorite places to visit...

And hidden in the chaos... in the back room of a fabric shop I will find my old friend Cristobal... throwing dice and losing miserably... he is not a gambler - but he wants to be... every once in a while... but not too often... he will win at something... but not enough to say he is a professional, or that he is among the lucky...  The night I met this Cris Montes I had stepped out side of a massage parlor and gambling den in a nameless breezy city... for no particular reason... I did not notice him standing a few feet away from me in the dark of the alley... he was smoking a cigarette and mumbling to himself... perhaps he was praying for a change in his luck at the roulette table... he turned to me... And spoke in a Castellano accent... “The night’s not long enough... eh, my friend...” he smiles like a man that does not have a worry in the world and I answer - “not long enough indeed...” he  reaches into his pocket and pulls out a pack of cigarettes and offers me one... I take it... we stood there in the dark and the silence for a good long time and smoked without saying a word... then he began to pray again... I looked over at him and asked if he was from Spain... and  he answered - “ Madrid... but I usually tell people I am from Argentina... people that don’t travel don’t know the difference in accents...”  - he asks where I am from - “ I am from a city called Juarez in the North of Mexico... but I think I will tell people that I am from Venezuela...” he laughs... The peaceful calm of the night was interrupted by Chinese curses coming from across the street... The unlucky gambler walked toward the main street to see what the commotion was... I waited a bit and followed... hidden from the shadows of the alley we watched as a gang of five young Chinese youth harassed another Chinese youth who was walking with an elderly gentleman... We were quite content to stand there in the shadows and mind our own business - “look at these ass-holes...”  I said...

One of the Chinese in the gang punched the kid with the old man... as the others joined in, the old man got shoved and stumbled but he caught the wall... we ran across the street and the fists began to fly... I am not a fighter... I prefer to avoid any confrontation... but sometimes... just sometimes... you have to step in... I have taken many a’ beating growing up and have given plenty as well.. So I can take a punch... I was once jumped by a group of six as one of my closest friends stood and watched... good friends I used to have... we punched... we kicked... and we elbowed the stupid out of these kids... martial arts be damned... youth had nothing against a couple of Latinos who prefer to spend their nights lingering in back alley dens... in parlors where the scum congregate... and walk down unlit neighborhoods where angels fear to tread at three in the morning... I took a good punch to the side of my face that night... that I can still feel... and I got a kick to the back that almost knocked my eyeballs out of my head... Cris got punched by one kid that it knocked him to the wall and he cut his right brow against the building... I did not even notice when a few men from the parlor ran out to help us... a young lady and some man escorted the elderly gentleman back to the front shop of the gambling house... as we continued to fight... when the youth were subdued... we watched the men from the parlor - security guards - walk the boys into the shadows of the alley... may God have mercy on their souls...  And we were walked back in through the front door... and escorted upstairs to a small office... The Gambler looks at me with that disarming smile of his... and says - “Bad news is coming...”
 - “What makes you say that?”
 - “It’s the story of my life... we may have been on the wrong side...”
 - “ Well...”

The door opens... and a well dressed Chinese man in his early thirties walked in... he had cheek bones like a model... and his hair was combed to perfection... he was accompanied by two of the  security men from the parlor that fought in the scuttle...  And I thought - He might be right -

This parlor and gambling den was run by a Chinese family of good standing in their community... the young boy, we learned, was a young cousin to the gentleman in the suit and the old man was his uncle... a real uncle not “uncle” as the Chinese refer to old men... and the gambler and I were now on the respectable list of the houses clientele... The Spaniard  tried to hustle some chips from the man in the suit - who offered my new pal a massage on the house... “know when to quit when you are ahead, Mr. Montes...”
The Gambler replied - with his devil may care grin... “The story of my life...”
Cris was concerned a bit about having won the favors of our new acquaintances... “does this mean that your enemies are now my enemies...”
 - “No... Mr. Montes... our friends... are now your friends...” replied the man in the suit... and we left it at that... but this new friendship - with our new “family” would prove to be quite pricey... quite pricey indeed...

I hand a young lady at the fabric shop a business card... she takes it and looks at it  for a while and reads it out loud in English... “The Celestial Elephant... Paper... Company...” she smiles at me... and disappears to the back... a  muscular gentleman with Indian features walks up to me... In Spanish I let him know that I am a guest of Mr. Montes... and he leads me to the back... and down to a room that really is nothing special at all... a few tables with men playing cards and a crap table... where Cris is willing the dice to roll his way... he looks up at me and smiles... he does not wait or hesitate... he picks up his cash and walks over to me... slaps my arm and shakes my hand... and asks me if I want a drink... before I answer he leads me out and we navigate the crowds of the market to a small café a couple of blocks away... were we ordered a plate of appetizers and cold beers... Cris raises a bottle of beer up to heaven and says - "Legio... Patria Nostra..."

I raise my bottle of beer and reply - "Honneur... et - Fidélité...”

We click the bottle necks together and race to drink the bottles empty... slam them down on the table and laugh...

Cris and I don’t ever really spent too much time catching up when we get together... whatever comes out in our conversations about our lives comes out... but Cris lives in the moment... it is only when he has drank too much that he will talk about his travels and adventures and the days of his misguided youth... He is one of the best story tellers I have ever known... he knows how to pull you in to his fables and leaves you wanting more... fables? Yes... with Cris - as with Dash - you will never know the absolute truth... but I like that... He makes me laugh... and I trust him - though being friends with Cris can be dangerous at times... many are the times we escaped with our lives from some wild adventure he talked me into with his charm and smile... “God and the devil are partly to blame for a lot of that...” he would say... “we... are just victims of destiny, my friend...”

Cristobal has told me many times that I am his only friend and that I am the only one he trust... this may be... but I am not entirely convinced that Cristobal Montes is his real name... many times in a room of people he will lean in close to me and say - call me such and such... in front of so and so... and I have heard him introduce himself as someone entirely different with a personality that he pulled out of thin air like magic... he makes me laugh... and that is not an easy thing to do... we drank all afternoon and stumbled from café to café... from one parlor to another and ended up in the bar of his hotel... and in the lobby... just a few steps away from the hotel bar we made ourselves comfortable in old lounge chairs covered in fading leather.. That smelled of tobacco and liqueur... and old perfume... The whole lobby had  that smell... a musky antique smell - like an old bookstore that doubled as a brothel after hours... this was our world... the only place men like Cris and Myself  feel the most at home... old hotels that refuse to crumble for the memories that linger...

Two hotels earlier we had made friends with a couple of young ladies - Araceli and Fernanda... Fernanda is around 5'6" with long straight dark hair and olive skin and has the body of a dancer... with a very firm back side... she was very friendly with me when we first met them... but by the time we had reached Cris’ hotel the girls switched partners... and now Araceli would keep my lap company... Araceli is a bit smaller than Fernanda... but they seem the same height due to the high heels she is wearing... her skin is lighter and has wavy brown hair that falls to her shoulders... Araceli has quite a big chest... and is thinner than Fernanda... Why they switched partners we did not know nor did we really care... The girls were at the bar and Cris and I were left alone for a while...

He leans forward in his chair to speak...
“You are thinking of Veronica...”

I nod...

“You have been distant all day... can’t stop thinking of her?

I shake my head...

“All the girls... All the women you have had... look at these young girls at the bar... look...”

I turn to look at the girls...

“Why her?”

I shrug my shoulder and say - “I don’t know Cris... I don’t know...”

He sits back in his chair and points a finger at me with the hand he holds his drink with... “yes... yes you do...”

I look at him... “I could have done better by her...”

“But you didn’t... so let it go... you ended up a better man because of her...let it go...” He drinks the last swallow... “That was a long time ago...  I know you get laid... and I know you have had many relations... you just got to let that girl go...”

I drink the last swallow in my glass... and he says...

“Go look for that girl Carmen...
“She’s married...”
“And  how many married women have you been with... Ass-hole?  How ‘bout that girl Kelly...”
“Married...”
“Papa... you’re going to die alone...
“So will you...”
“Not if I die in this girls arms tonight... Mira papi...” he turns to the girls... they are on their way back... with drinks in all hands... and  he says... “pa’ que te digo...” (Why waste my time...)

The girls return and we begin a conversation about a trip to some Beach in Brazil the girls took... and we drank.

A few years ago Cris traveled  for a year with a young woman from Romania... Her name was Tanya... she was twenty two years old and Cris gave her the world... literally - he lavished her with gifts and dressed her up in fine clothes and they stayed in top rated hotels... They traveled by train and cruise ships and hitched  rides on private planes... In my opinion Cris was in love with her... at the very least - he desired her to distraction... It looked for a while that Cris was going to settle down... but she left him... poor girl wanted a house and a man with stability... but she just couldn’t connect the dots... she couldn’t figure that though Cris lost a lot in the gambling dens... he has money coming in from somewhere... she just naturally assumed that he made his money in the casinos... no... Cristobal loses his money in the casinos... but he is a man of means... that girl just couldn’t figure it out... Cris - Like Dash... will settle down one day... 
(By the way... that girl, Tanya... is to this day, the absolute most beautiful woman I have ever seen... in this whole God damn world...)

We drank and we drank... I do not like getting drunk these days but in this country it seems... I am just here for exactly that... to get drunk... We bought a bottle of  bourbon and took it up to Cris’ room... we stumbled up the stairs and rolled down the hallway laughing at nothing - the way drunks do... and collapsed as we fell into his room in drunken laughter... as I stood up I noticed as I looked at myself in the mirror that Fernanda  was wearing my shirt... and I was bare chested... I looked over at Cris and he laughed... “how did that happen...” he asked... and we all laughed...

I woke up to the sounds of the city... Araceli on top of me... naked... and deep in her sleep...
Cris was awake and had showered and cleaned himself up... he always looks good... always looks like he belongs in a suit at the best poker table in town... He is Clark Gable...

He looks at me and laughs... “you doing alright over there...”
I motion for him to help me move the girl...
He rolls her off me and we leave her on the sofa  to sleep...

I walk to the open window to get some air... “What the hell happened last night Cris...”
He laughs... “shower up old  timer... there is a kitchen down stairs... he turns to walk out... but stops to leave money on the night stand next to his bed... where Fernanda sleeps... If they are hookers they will take the money and be gone by the time Cris returns... if they are still there when he gets back... he’ll have himself a good time when they sober up... I showered and dressed in one of Cristobal’s crisp white shirts... and made my way down stairs... I too left money on the table next to the sofa where Araceli slept...

We had a big Breakfast of eggs with potatoes and bacon... I had pancakes as well and Cris had empanadas... we drank coffee and chased it with Bloody Marries... I was hungry that morning... and even after I ate - I wanted more... my head was spinning but it was not a hang-over... or that dehydrated feeling that comes with  the hang-over... it was more like vertigo... the feeling I get before Cris cons me into one of his adventures...

He takes a long drink from his Bloody Marry... and looks at me for a long time with a smile on his face... I know something is coming...

He speaks -
“I saw the devil in Barranquilla...”

I threw him a curious look...

“He made me a very interesting offer...” he paused to give me time to react... I could only raise my eyebrows... I said...
“And yet... here you are...”
“Here I am... Having Drinks with Don Victor... in Ciudad del Este... with a couple of naked girls up in my room...”
“Still...”
“Oh... that son of a bitch can do much better than that... “
“Hold out Cris... young man... hold out for more...”

He laughs... and drinks... I drink...

A woman in her early forties comes to our table... our waitress... she wears a black skirt that covers her knees and a white blouse and an old apron with flowers on it... her hair is pulled back in a tail and it is turning grey on the sides... her face is beginning to show wrinkles and she looks a little tired... Cris orders another round of Bloody Marries for us... she smiles and both Cris and I stare at this woman and try to find the beauty that lingers with in her... before time got his hands on her... you simply had to glance at her to tell that she was a knock out when she was younger... and she is still quite pretty... she begins to blush and walks away to get our drinks... we watch her walk away... she moves slow and self-conscious... she knows we are looking at her ass... Cris turns to me with a smile... “Imaginate viejo...” (Imagine it old man).

I smile... “did he mention me...”
“Who...”
“That old devil...” I say...
“Should he have...” Cris looks confused... perhaps as confused as I was when he first brought it up... 
“what... are you making deals...”

“I don’t owe him or anybody anything... I already made my deal...”

“Fuck him...”

“Should I be worried...”  I  ask Cris with my most serious tone...

“Worried for you...no... worried for me... hmm... no...  I got your back old man... I got your back...”

He begins to laugh... “Do you remember that night...”
“I am trying to forget it...” I did not know what he was talking about...
“I learned something very important about you and me that night...”
“Oh... enlighten me...” now I was curious...
“We thought there was going to be money in it for us...” He was talking about North Africa... He begins to laugh... “What the hell were you thinking...”

I begin to laugh - “I thought you had a plan...”

“What plan... when are you going to stop falling for that...”

We laugh...

“What was it that you learned... Cris?”
“You and I are two crazy mother fuckers...” He laughs... “sure... you got to draw the line some where... but there isn’t much you and I haven’t done to chase that gold... is there old man...”

We laughed... and laughed...  Since the night I met Cristobal Montes... it’s been like this...

“Look at this...” I tell him

He turns around...

It’s the girls - looking clean and fresh and no traces of the night before on either one of them... they come sit with us and the waitress arrives with our drinks... she gives the girls dirty looks and dismisses them as whores... but is polite to them for Cris and me...we invite the girls for Breakfast on us and Bloody Marries and they start talking about the trip we promised to take with them to Brazil... I didn’t know what the hell they were talking about... but Cris Played their game to see how far they would go... he has nothing to lose and just doesn’t give a damn... I sat with them until the girls finished eating and made an excuse to leave... I stood up and shook hands with Cristobal... he stood up to give me a hug... he knew I was heading out of the country...

“Well, old man... I think I’m going to knock around with the girls for a bit...” the girls giggled...

I nodded...

“I’ll see you around, Cris...”
“Hey... you got my back...”
“I got your back... but you’re on your own with these two...” the girls laugh...
“I’ll see you around old man...”
I lean down to kiss Araceli on the lips... and I walked over to Fernanda and kissed her on the cheeks... and I turned to walk out of the old hotel...

“Chiang Mai... “ he yells out... “Chiang Mai...”

“I’ll be there...” I shout back at him... and  I stepped out into the street...

Monday, March 18, 2013

still running...

I arrived on a slow train, tired and hungry... and in need of a bath.  I have been dreaming of Veronica for the last four nights... I dream of conversations we never had in cities we never saw together... I dream of the love we never gave and glances we might have shared had we found each-other in another time and place... in Hong Kong, 1956... I walk up a crowded street in a city called Asuncion in Paraguay... It feels like I am in 1956 sometimes... people smile and nod politely and I in return... I ask a friendly face to point me in the direction of my hotel - have I been away so long that I have forgotten where everything is... This city does not change fast enough to catch up to this world spinning out of control... no... I am the one who has changed... Life is slow here and easy on the soul... it is like that in this part of the world... there may be revolutions and dictators every now and then... but it will always go back to the way it is meant to be... a place where people stay out of other’s affairs and mind their own business and life moves slow and easy on the soul...

My hotel, which will remain nameless, still retains a hint of it’s former glory, corners and hallways glow softly in the night like a memory that refuses to fade away of elegant nights of extravagant parties... of women in Dior and Chanel evening gowns with silk gloves that cover their elbows and hair that took all day to sculpt... I can hear the whispers that still linger of tycoons conspiring to rule the world and lovers scheming to abandon their humdrum lives for a lost weekend in Buenos Aires or Rio De Janeiro... My room still carries the scent of talcum powder and Chanel... and Bay Rum... or maybe it was left behind from last nights tourist and his whore...

I slept for twenty four hours... dreaming of Veronica... If she had more time, would she still be mine?

If you were to make any assumption of my life you would say that I am a man that likes to mix business with pleasure... you would be forgiven for such wild accusations... this trip is more business than pleasure... but the business is more of a personal nature.. It is fine tunning “Plan B”
Every one should have a “Plan B” - a back door... a getaway plan... a packed suitcase with a way to get out and a place to go if the place you call your home falls apart... this for me is not that place... it is just a place where I have come to do business... but I will admit, it has very good qualities that do put it on a very short list of places to run away to... Asuncion is perhaps the cheapest city in the world to live in... people are not taxed for the money that is earned outside of the country and life moves slow... and is easy on the soul... ah, yes... the pleasure... pleasure in Asuncion is cheap and abundant... and you could very well say that pleasure is the reason for everything else in my life... no need to be dark and gloomy all the time... brooding my time away dreaming of places I will never see again with lovers I abandoned forever with no good bye letters or backward glances... I do actually have fun sometimes... unfortunately, I do get my giggles from making fun of the stupid most of that time - and the stupid for me would be most of the world... but here I was... freshly risen from my long slumber hungry and in need of pleasures of the flesh and looking for one of the few I call a friend in the sphere of reality I currently occupy...

As I stepped out the front entrance to my humble hotel and breath in the cool morning air... a poem begins to form in the back room of the production factory I call my brain - I can’t remember it now, but it was about how very unromantic my hotel is in the morning light... I chuckled and moved forward.  Cities in South America feel more like Europe than one would expect, it is only the colors of peoples skin and the Indians that remind you - you are in the Americas...

I wandered around with no direction stumbling upon the places I used to know... the places Veronica and I would frequent... from one place to another I subconsciously strayed... and it was not until I arrived that I realized where I ended up... the coffee shop... the paper stands... restaurants... stores... theaters... parks... my hands would tremble... my heart expanded... I reach into my pocket for a cigarette - but I quit smoking years ago... I wander the streets and the markets... I begin to go dizzy... my legs get weak... my mind drifts and I begin to go in and out of reality... I feel her next to me... I know it’s not real - it never is... but this time... being here... it feels more real than it ever has... I hear her laugh... I hear her cry... I smell her... it's just the scents of the city... her city... I wander and stumble.. and cling to the walls of ancient buildings to keep from falling... I never thought this would happen to me... but if insanity is the way I am meant to go out... then let it be here...

I knock on a door... I don’t know how I got there...

It’s Frankie... I  raise my head to look at him... first he is shocked to see me... then he looks worried... I lean against the entrance and he puts his arm around me to help me in... he asks if I’m drunk... I say not yet - what have you got... he laughs and feel I have returned home...

He sits me down in a plush leather chair... I look around the room... It is furnished more like a Manhattan penthouse than a crumbling town house in Asuncion.. There are black and white photographs on one wall chronicling his rise from poverty.. I am in a couple of those photos... so is Veronica... He re-appears with glasses and bottles of alcohol... “bueno, hermano... que sera...” - wine or scotch? The wine is from Argentina - I can’t remember the label now... but we start with the wine... he pours and I look around... I can’t take my eyes from a photo of Veronica... she is smiling... she is happy... it was during a festival that we played at - Frankie and I were DJ’s a long time ago... well, Frankie was the DJ - I counted the money... he turns to look at the photo... and says...

 - She is beautiful there... she was queen of the world that day wasn’t she... (she was)
    And we... we were peasants at her feet...
 - mice turn to coach men... I respond...

I raise the glass of wine to my nose and take a good long sniff... I inhale to drown the oxygen.. And drink... a long slow swallow... and it is gone...
 - slow down there old man... says Frankie...

I look back up at the picture...
He pours me another glass...
He knows... I turn to him... and he knows

 - After all these years?  Your telling me after all these years... now your falling apart over it...
He laughs - You fuck!... you stupid fuck! That girl made you the center of the universe... and you were just a fuck...
 - It wasn’t always a god damn holiday with her you know...
 - I know... I just like calling you a fuck... He looks at me for a good long while with a big smile on his face - What in the hell are you doing here? You always said you would return but you never did... and I don’t blame you if this is what was going to happen to you.. I haven’t heard from you in years... what the hell man...

 - Frankie... my young man... we’re going to need lots of drink... and I  drink down the wine in my glass in one long slow swallow again...

And I told him everything... I told him how and why I ended up in Paraguay the first time and everything that led to that... I told him of my life before... where I was from and the tales of my youth... I told him my story after I left Asuncion... my travels and my life in Chicago... my friendships and my conquests of love... the women and the friendships... the betrayals and the heart aches... I told him everything... Things I have never told anyone and things that no-one other than him will ever know... I told him my deepest darkest secrets.. My hopes and my fears... my goals... my failures and those moments that will be lost for ever... I told him... everything...

By the time I had finished my tale... we had been drunk and sober a couple of times... and we had moved from the front room to the kitchen... and two days had passed... and all Frankie had to say at the end of it all was... - Fuck... get out of here before that old dragon finds you again... you don’t have to come back to be with Veronica... you don’t owe her ghost anything... and here, old man... in your state... you would stumble and fall back into that pit she worked so hard to pull you out of...

And he was right...

I  was on a bus that afternoon to Ciudad del Este... City of the East... “nowhere will you find a more retched hive of scum and villainy... we must be cautious...” or something like that...





to be continued...

Friday, March 15, 2013

until...

It felt like falling...

It was worse than those dreams you get... about falling... that startle you to wake...

It felt longer and darker... and  I  wasn’t waking up...

I was falling...

And nobody was going to catch me... not an angel... no devil there to collect payment for my debts... and not Veronica...

And not Veronica...

I couldn’t walk down the street of her city without feeling like my heart would burst... I had to stop often near the places we used to call our own to catch my breath and keep my balance... I was falling apart... I was going to fall back into the abyss... and I was quite ready to let it happen... sweet angel... why would you not let it happen...

I had received an e-mail from Diana - yes... Diana... for a couple of days we carried on a conversation over the internet and tried to catch up... something I did not really want to do... but I amused her... and she... fed my ego as she always did... She found out through Beatrice - Elena’s sister that I was back in Juarez and that I was involved with Elena... but of course... Elena has left... through this God cursed internet she found the Deringer Files... after all these years... she found me... she seemed... well... not mad at me at all... I fear that one day all I will be doing is apologizing to all the women I have hurt... apologizing over e-mail...

I let her know that I would be in Chile for my birthday - inspecting the property - and that we could get together in Santiago if she would like... though I knew it was a bad idea... I went to Santiago... and arrived early to where we agreed to meet... she did not show up... I waited for an hour... and left... not surprised and not disappointed one bit... I was... in-fact... indifferent... I know she will read this... so it will come as no surprise... what we had was over long ago and there really was no point in trying to get re-acquainted... was there...

I knew my old friend Cristobal was in Ciudad del Este, in Paraguay... but that too was a bad idea... because first I was going to Asuncion  - and that city tears me apart... it breaks my heart and shreds my soul... it was Veronicas city... and though I stay a thousand miles away and calculate magic formulas to resurrect the ghost of her that seems to want to abandon me these days... though I stay away from this little kingdom of hers trapped in time - in my fortress of misplaced melodies and crumbling walls of unfinished poems... writing ballads and sonnets and love letters to the memory of her... to charm out of the loneliness of the night the shadow of her.. Far away from here where I spy the skies for falling angels with wings that need mending in exchange for a simple whiff of her... the sounds and smells of her breath... I remember her skin had  that smoking scent that some french soaps have... and her hair... always filled our apartment with the smell of spices from the market.. A smell that has followed my from child hood... and it was on her... and has stayed trapped in the grip of my fingers since the night she passed away... it does not let me go... or I can not let it go... and I can’t wash it away... and I can’t wish it away...

And I don’t want to...

I am in love with a ghost... I am spellbound by a memory... I am cursed by scents that haunt my nights... like the voice of my father... singing love songs in the night... to what passing angels  happen by... I sing... and I whisper... and I hold on to this pain... and every time I think I am over it... every time...

My old business partner Frankie said - “get out of here... before that old dragon finds you again...  You don’t have to come back to find her...”

Remember in the movie “Rocky” - Rocky says to... I think he was talking to Pauley... She’s got gaps... and I’ve got gaps... and together we fill the gaps...

That is what Veronica was to me... well... she was more than that... we found each other when we both needed each other... and we did fill the gaps... she needed some one to give her love to and I needed to become a man... I let her give me her love and she... let me be her man... she made me a man... she showed me what love could be... and showed me that I could love... though I did not know that what I was giving was love back then... I learned what love is... that...

Was along time ago...

And though I say I don’t need anybody or anything to fulfill my life or to make me happy...

I have... a very big gap...

This song is “until”, the “B - side” to the 45 of “Tragedy” by the Bee Gees... I have had that record since I was a boy... and it is something I have carried with me around the world... in the dark lonely halls of my mind... I cannot listen to it with out thinking of her.. And I can’t stay in Asuncion with out falling apart...

I made my way to Ciudad del Este... and lost myself in the chaos and the smells of the market...

until...
video
a Steven Meisel shoot
DERINGERPHILED