Monday, July 29, 2013

Trail of a Lonesome Gringo (IV): Coming off it at El Hostal

Ugh.  Ugh, ugh, ugh.  Pulling away in turmoil, through turmoil and from it, hopefully not to it.  Physical causal reasoning, whispering like a devil; taught so well, while fresh, like a language—not easily forgotten.  So easily learnt.  Pulling away.  Loss of everything.  There are distinct moments, lasting often longer than just one moment, where I feel insanity.  I know exactly what it is.  It’s simple and not foreign at all.  It’s where we come from.  It could even be quite tasty, like cheese with wine.  Which addictions am I pulling away from?  Doesn’t matter much, unless they were blockages in some form; how the fuck can that be ascertained, though?  It can’t.  Back to Go again.  Two hundred pesos.  Not much.  The Tree, in which I lodge, with the Velvet Underground, somehow comforting me, though I’d never have picked that one, despite my long, never-lost love for them.  Waitin’ for my man…that’s pretty much it.  Hey white boy, whatchu doin’ uptown?  Good question, Lou.  Not sussing out my heroin dealer, but something that could be related.  What if I died alone here?  Ah well, there’s two two litre beers I’ll likely have finished before it happens.  Christ, who’d he actually thought that these cat claws would start scratching after things again.  Phasic organisms, we are; well, this one can only speak for itself, I suppose.  Nah, we’re pretty phasic ey.  Absolute.  Scared to speak because now all you hear is, ‘You can’t be right or wrong.’  Isn’t that a muddled philosophy when applied blindly?  Alright.  Who cares?  Nothing happens, nothing matters.  No right, no wrong.  Simple as that.  I don’t think that’s what the Zen Buddhists mean though fellas.  Again, not so simple.  Take it and run but don’t go too fucking far.  The baton must be passed to an other; another.  Living.  Organism.  Have I been pulled completely out of my introversion?  Because of course that would not feel right.  Ugh.  Unlikely.  More like a scab picked and picked and picked, infected.  Lovely to pick though.  A real god damn pleasure.  Yum.  THE FOLK HAVE GATHERED IN THE HALL, THE FEAST AND TALK HAVE BEGUN; RELEASE US.  Donde esta mi guitarra y mi amigos?  Singing never sounded so prosaic.  But I love them all still.  Todavia.  This was a blog once.  What did I do today?  Well, regular words would be like a long showing of holiday photos, terribly boring.  So I woke up.  Got out of bed—after fucking ages tossing and turning and wondering if my dorm-mate had choked on her vomit in the night (alas, she had not) —did not drag a comb across my head, my hair would simply engulf it; then I ate breakfast.  Gracias, senora!  I got all my own shit out to eat only to see that fuck it’s provided, felt like a weirdo foreigner guy that didn’t know what was going on, ‘cos I was.  What of it?  Ate it, told her I was a vegetarian and that’s why the jamon was still on the plate, and the adjoining cheese because it was touching the ham, a weird phenomenon, because I don’t really know whether I’m cool eating something that’s touching meat, I mean, the other half was probably fine, but fuck, do we get particle-ular?  Particle…particular.  Party cooler?  Jesus, I’m losing it.  Went walking around with the ladies, what a vibe, said goodbye to English and visited a magical beach with some street dogs too, biting and running and chasing things—not without purpose, I think.  Without purpose seems to be a thing we might project onto animals.  Dumbness.  Cute dumbness.  Endearing.  It’s great though, seeing in them so much of us.  Their beauty not withstanding.  The beach was grey and muddy and wavy, a giant cannon pointed toward the ocean and I thought maybe pirates were coming and I was right, there were pirates.  I manned the cannon, the girls searched for shells.  When they finally arrived I’d actually left the cannon, which sat below the lighthouse, which I was now in.  But it was broken so I couldn’t guide the pirates into the rocks; and it was also daylight and there were no pirates.  So after that we went back, coursing through some dirty streets, idly chatting (or chatting idly).  Next thing I knew my stomach had been turned inside out, like a godforsaken ghoul.  That voice: what are you doing?  Over and over.  Like a bastard, it was.  I knew once that the answer to that question doesn’t exist; it is a void question that makes no sense and eats its own tail.  Somewhere along the line my mind returned and began defecating on my soul again.  Not for long.  Finally got some great food but mi estomago seems to have shrunk and I eat like an infant now.  Going to try to stretch it out, give it an iron, maybe clear all the shit bits out and then put it back.  Rough and tumble, my friend named a dishevelled bird once.  The name was spot on.  The language has begun to take to me, cheeky beast that it is.  It’s been giving me tips, letting me in on a little more; I think now that if I want to, I can befriend it fully, allowing me to contact its people more easily.  They’re a lovely folk and their words reflect their beings, their take on this big gnarly beast called life; more practical, but also more soulful; more living and human than, say, those of us raised on Friends.  Why can’t I stop watching it though?  I’m learning Spanish from the subtitles.  Killer excuse.  So: do I see Eduardo in the mountains, solo-gringo it way out to the indigenous foothills; or do I waltz down tourist valley and sleep amid new age folk and grapes?  Or both.  Or should I consider having money to go anywhere else?  See what tomorrow morning says.  Haven’t showered in a bit again.  Dirty as a slime.  Over and out.

1 comment:

  1. The following is one of the few existing excerpts from the book I never ended up writing, which was not-written under the very loose working title:

    Rehab in Mexico: Trying to go on student exchange for six months without using Facebook or a mobile phone in an attempt to digitally detox, learn a new language, and get off the bongs.


    I found out what she was saying five weeks later from the subtitles of an episode of FRIENDS.

    The unsettling echo-clank of a police siren sounds out now and again, usually at quiet and poignant moments when we are watching the roof together, or watching the walls over each other’s shoulders, or just watching each other.

    The next morning, snatches of street conversations, bins slamming, car horns, truck brakes, the sounds of children playing in the street (occasionally), the whistle of the dog owner, the stray sounds of honking, brassy norteño ballads escaping from taxi windows. They create an aural cubist work of art, a collision of suggestions. I can’t think of anything except for the smoothness of the skin of her left shoulder.

    Reorganise the unorganised noises of the street, a railroad station, an airport... Play them back one by one in silence and adjust the blend... Noise of a door opening and shutting, noise of footsteps, etc... for the sake of rhythm. The machine guns that KLAK-KLAK-KLAKed just down the street a few nights before; the warbled notes made by the slightly warped record that played, quietly, in the corner while we played scrabble loudly with the girl with the photo-realistic human heart tattoo on the other side of the ocean; the chatter and laughter of other people in the front room; the tread-tread tramp-tramp of the street band or the used-chair salesman or a feathered funeral procession going by... I can’t focus on anything except the softness of the skin of her shoulder.

    I’m laying in bed by myself, smoking my 32nd cigarette for the day, staring at the TV and trying not to think about anything, as always. An old episode of Friends is on. I’ve never really liked the show, but when you have 55 channels and only about 3 in a language you can really understand, you start to learn to love stuff you never thought you would. Like MTV specials about the death of Tupac Shakur. What the fuck am I going to do? Why am I doing this? What the fuck AM I doing? For what feels like the fifty millionth time in five days, I push the thoughts to the back of my brain. I leave them to sit there and stew amongst the dark clouds of dope and tequila hangovers that have been steadily getting thicker and less funny for as far back as I care to remember. One of the characters is about to walk out the door. No te vayas. The subtitles burn holes straight through my retinas all the way back into my brain. I’ll never be able to look at anything ever again without seeing those yellow words floating in front of my face. I found out what she was saying without wanting to find out, entirely by accident and through no effort of my own.