Saturday, December 04, 2004


I suppose that it is the change in the weather that brings out the bleak sadnessness of it all. Little flashes of human folly that illuminate the present. Last night I found myself surrounded by serious drinkers: middle class boat people determined to hurt themselves. Elaine obliged them by making triple Long Island Iced Teas and following them with straight shots of Jose's cactus juice. Needless to say, things got wierd... then ugly... then dangerously close to criminal.

I blame the change in the weather. Today the sky is overcast and the temps are in the 60s, promising to drop down into the 50s then the 40s with the fall of the sun. Windy, bleak. Like something out of a Cormac McCarthy novel. Frozen hovels next to the spent corpse of a riverside town full of broken promises. The food is good but the bar is full of women with names like Candy and Sugar... names of doughnuts... smelling of diesel. Flesh grey in the bar lights, dimples of soft fatty rolls of unclean laundry, smelling of unwashed nightmares but still determined to give the unsuspecting the ride of their lives.

Two middle aged women burst into flames: fighting, pulling their hair out in clumps. The sodden men stood and watched, faces blank until one of them managed to push the other down, then the crowd cheered before turning back to their shouted conversations. Tired juke box rock and roll, Meatloaf at 100 decibels. Bat out of Hell backdropping older men trying to hustle the younger, hungry shopgirls. Chubby waitresses out looking for a retirement plan, holding their cigarettes like post-Deco movie starlets, rolls of fat pouring over their beltlines. Stumbling men in their dock shoes and catalogue windbreakers. Captains of industry, to the man... retired shopkeepers.

Outside, the wind blows through streets unprepared to this northern bleakness.
This is a community unaccustomed to needing shelter from the wind. Outside, the bird spirit whistles through the streets. A cold and bloodless, bony claw of cold indifference that pits one human against another. And even in the false warmth of the night time pulque madness there stalks the shadowy beast of the bird spirit. Whisshhh. You feel the gentle touch of the wing as it brushes past you and you feel your blood run cold. We are all going to die. It's just a matter of when.

But what the hell. Tequila always does that to me.