Nicky and her Latin boytoy

Ricky_Martin_-_Enrique_Martin_Morales_Puerto_Rican_pop_singer_(Pop,_pop-rock,_Latin_pop,_dance-pop,_world-reggae,_contemporary_R_and_B)One of the highlights of the modern Internet age is that you never die so long as there is a record about you in a corner of Cyberspace. So, here I come again, writing about a dead person I knew a long time ago. If I Google her name, her 10 years old obituary shows up. I may as well write my short recollections of her here.

Nicky (not her real name) was an ash blond attorney in her early 40s when I first met her. She was a single mom whose son was almost leaving the nest. So, Nicky was fully devoted to her career, being an attorney. She was a sole practitioner who concentrated her practice on poor immigrants. As such, her income fluctuated with their finances. But no matter what, she radiated energy, always active, always with a zeal for the next case or project.

Her private life was no different. During the short time that I knew her, she had a Latin lover by the name of Juan (or Roberto, my memories fades). Let’s stick with Juan. Juan was a charming 20-something man of Mexican origin. As hot as a chili pepper, and with a passion to match. If you could dream of a Latino lover, Juan was it. I could see why Nicky was so passionate with him. She was basically the outline for the sitcom Cougar Town. Unlike the character in Cougar Town, Nicky’s relationship with Juan was also highly strung. In between the high intensities of love, there were also fights that only people involved with Latin lovers would know. There was also alcohol…and I think it was that substance that destroyed Nicky. I believe she became more and more dependent on that drug to calm her high spirits. I don’t really know what happened between her and Juan. The obituary did not mention him at all.

Y para mi querido, como ya llego a mi Otoño, hay veces que pienso que soy un viejito verde. Pero siempre serás el Latinito de mi corazon.

Esperando, como siempre

longingNo se porque continuo esperando tus llamadas. Estaba revisando todo los archivos de nuestra relación. Y siempre es lo mismo; como la lluvia en el desierto, se viene de repente y rápidamente se seca.

Y espero a otra vez.

No se porque continuo viendo tus fotos. Estaba revisando todo los sinapsis de mi mente. Y siempre es lo mismo; como el sol del medio día, se quema de repente y rápidamente se desaparece.

Y espero a otra vez.

No se porque continuo todo de lo que hago. Estaba revisando todas las entradas de mi diario. Y siempre es lo mismo; con la tinta de mi lapicero, la paginas se llena de repente.

Y espero a otra vez.

No se porque te espero. Pero te espero…como siempre.

Y algo para tus noches:

Alone with all the money in the world

michaelI am not sure why I am writing about experiences that I went through during my past, specially my relationships with long, gone dead friends. Like Autumn, I may have reached an age when melancholy sets in, as if I am rewinding the video tape recorder of my brain and checking synapses of memory long gone.

It was during one of my trips to Amsterdam that I met a guy  whom I shall call Michael Grinder. This was my first time in Amsterdam, and my first time flying East to the other side of the world. I kind of felt lonely, not knowing what to do next in the middle of the gayest city in Europe. On the other hand, Michael was already a seasoned traveller. He was the youngest child from a well-to-do family. Dad was a doctor who knew how to invest in real property. By the time Michael became a young man, he was appointed the manager of all that wealth. Michael knew how to have fun with it too; making friends all over the Southwest United States, including repressed queens from that strange place called Texas. If you were a friend of Michael, you knew you would have a great time. Private plane rides, dinners at expensive steak houses, partying in the darkest cruise bars of Amsterdam, whoring all over Western Europe. It was fun, fun, fun. Or so it seemed.

I still vividly remember one of my trips to Amsterdam with Michael. He got together a bunch of us queens (mostly from Texas) to spend a week whoring through that city. Some of them rented a boat house at a canal and flew this huge flag of the state of Texas. I am sure the natives were used to the explosions coming out of tourists long repressed in their homelands. Still, the sight of semi naked young guys drinking, smoking (yup) and showing affection under that symbolic flag of fundamentalism, may have been a sight out of this world.

Another incident that is stuck in my brain involved his friend Ruddy. Ruddy originally owned one of the tawdriest  piano bar in San Francisco. He was a self-made wealthy man and was in constant semi-competition with Michael as to who can top whom. Michael used to say that unlike his airplane, Ruddy’s was so tiny and underpowered that it would fly backwards in the air. Ruddy was also a snob when it came to European high culture, specially the Dutch. So, one day, when we were waiting at a train station, he saw some Dutch words written on the wall of an old building. It must be a wise Dutch phrase, he said. Since none of us knew any Dutch, we asked a nearby young girl to interpret the Dutch words. She saw them and started to giggle and laugh. “First class toilet,” she said. Enough to say, we teased Ruddy all the way back to the States.

Back in the Southwest United States, Michael had a nice upper-middle class life style.  A nice big four bedrooms house with the cursory swimming pool. He was also one of those who had a cellular phone in his SUV. Those were the days when portable cellular phones were like a brick and were priced like a brick of gold. Most sensible, spoiled upper-middle class kids had a cell phone installed in the car. Michael was the model of our current cellphone addicted youth. At home, he was a normal guy. Inside his car, he would be on the phone forever. He reminded me of my current addiction: Holding my Iphone wherever I go, even if I am not doing anything with it.

Given what I have written about Michael, one would think he was a great catch, right? There is a phrase from a song that says “money makes the world go round and round.” Like Walden in the TV show Two and Half Men, Michael’s wealth was a blessing and a curse. He was blessed with lots of guys seeking his attention because he was a nice looking blond. The fact that he had money was just extra gravy. Like eligible wealthy bachelors, Michael could never  know for sure if it was him or his money. While he was generous, he also used his money as a weapon to control others. So, in a society where we value equality between the partners, how much equality could he find with a potential partner?

There was actually one who almost reached that level. I’ll call him Evangelos. Evangelos was just a normal middle class kid. Not very good-looking but totally innocent. Michael found him charming, specially on an occasion when the service workers at the airport filled up his airplane. Evangelos flashed out his credit card to pay for the fuel; not realizing that a single filling of fuel would cost around $500 (early 1990’s Dollars). Of course, there was no way Evangelos would be paying that. During my phone calls with Michael, it looked he finally found someone with whom to settle down.

Well, this is not a cinderella story. What I failed to say till now was that Michael was also HIV positive. The word “bareback” was not yet in existence at that time, but that was what happened between Michael and Evangelos. If my memory is correct, Evangelos willingly played Russian roulette with the virus. He lost. After that, I am not sure what else happened, but the happy relationship became an unhappy one. Evangelos used the only weapon available with him and sued Michael for being infected. I don’t really know the details of the court action but I think it was settled mainly in favor of Michael. Evangelos continued to haunt Michael, destroying his property, assaulting him. Michael had to get a restraining order.

As time went on, my communications with Michael became less frequent. Phone calls were not returned, emails unanswered. The few times that I was able to reach him did not show anything amiss. He was happy that his period with Evangelos was over and was moving on. Then, a year later, a common friend told me Michael killed himself. He went to a hotel in a questionable area of town and overdosed himself.

I don’t really know what is the moral of the story that I just wrote. There may be no moral but just something that my brain wanted to put down in a corner of cyberspace.

Being drunk because…

I posted on Facebook a picture of me drinking a glass of beer. A Facebook friend (yes, you mi querido) asked why I was drunk. The answer is obvious, no? Because either I am trying to forget about something sad, or trying to enjoy something happy. What an oxymoron!

I don’t know. We humans need a drug to alter our state of mind so as to avoid reality or enhance fantasy. I bet all societies have a legal drug so that its members don’t get rebellious. We have alcohol, some Muslim countries have hashish. Never tried hashish, so I don’t know how it may affect my mental state. As for alcohol, well, I am happy to say that it makes me a happy, frisky drunk (Y mi querido, saves como se dice “frisky” en Espanol? Pienso que para tus paisanos son todas las palabras tras  “pinche”)

My memory of drunks harks back to my childhood years in an Andean country. Los campesinos were born into a harsh life, with nary a peso (or sol or escudo) of inheritance. Whatever tierra they possessed was long stolen by the conquistadores from the madre patria. What remained was work in the haciendas for the descendants. While everyone claimed to be mestizo, in reality some mestizos were more equal than others.

So, what does a hard-working, money-less campesino do? Besides the numbness of chewing coca leaves, there was the harsh clear liquid fermented from sugar cane. That drink produced the typical borracho who was angry but so drunk that he was mostly harmless. Any fiesta celebrating the endless parades of saints brought the excuse for drinking and drinking and drinking. Just to forget the harsh existence of everyday survival in a land close to heaven.

Y para mi querido, algo para que te emborraches: