THE STILLNESS


There's a young mexican out in the street breaking bottles against the curb. From the window I can see him as he slowly makes his way down the block, stopping to pick through the trash cans lined neatly along the pavement.
still1a.jpg - 5.59 K Though the street is very dark, I have no problem observing him, no difficulty seeing whatsoever as he extracts a bottle from the garbage and hurls it hard across the black asphalt. Like a series of instant replays, from my window I can watch the bottles as they arc and wobble in the still night air, hear them explode high-pitched and roaring on the concrete curbstone.
Turning, I see the glint of his sharp white teeth against the coffee-coloured skin of his face. Now everything in me wants to yell out at him:
Hey vato, why you doing that?
He looks up, all smiles and tight jean jacket and says: Shove it up yer ass, gringo!
The crash of bottles continues long after he's passed out of sight. The fact is the shattering of glass at two o.clock in the morning is startling and fantastic in the stillness. Despite my trepidation, there is something in this thunderous and gaudy outburst that I find ineffably admirable and even something more, darker. Not long ago the wind blew a trash can lid down the street late at night and I rushed to the window, thinking it might be the young mexican again. But it was only the wind, the dry, hot wind from the desert east.
Then there's the noise of cars driving by. I get up and go to the window, stare out at the street dimly lit by a lamp half way down the block and wonder if it's the young mexican driving that old chevy stopped below at the corner, but suddenly I remember that was before I ever saw him or heard him rummaging through the garbage, long before the first shrill explosion of glass against asphalt and cement. The driver puffs on a cigarette dangling from his lips and the chevy accelerates away, a telescopic blast of light disappearing into the darkness and the gloom.
Then the old man walks his dog and at first I think he's talking to someone. The broken glass near the corner is spread out, forming a tight semi-circle of tiny brown reflective fragments. Across the way some young kid is writing something on the side of an apartment house with a can of spray paint. I hear the low hiss as he depresses the button atop the can and, moving the drapes apart just enough to read what he's writing. The old man suddenly says:
Go potty. Go potty.
Then the young kid turns and grins, shouts in a mexican accent:
Badge? I dun't gotta show you no stinkin' badges!
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There's a young Mexican
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There's this girl I know
still2b.jpg - 7.68 K Then there's this girl I know keeps trying to get me to sleep. My mouth is on her private parts and her hips are moving like crazy. It's the way I use my tongue that gets her and she moans and I start hard humping the bed, grinding my body against the soft coffee-brown skin of imaginary hips.
No hablo get some sleep, she sighs, no hablo I gotta headache.
From the window the deserted dimly-lit street, strewn with broken glass and dogshit, is vastly panoramic, more a boulevard or square or mexican-style plaza. It's a way of stretching or expanding on a field so that its length merges with its width, making it appear in the stillness, in the darkness of the three o.clock morning like a great expanse of asphalt, like an abandoned parking lot or an empty civic swimming pool.
Separating the drapes, I can peer from this room into that expanse where the congruence of dimension and darkness, of space and time engenders an absolute freedom, limitless as a film or rock video, as unconscionable as a commercial for a cruise or new car.
Voices keep interrupting musically:
Now eyeglasses in less than an hour!
Sound and fury? The breaking of beer bottles against the curb or this girl I met whose private parts make a noise like a fart.
Sleep? I dun't gotta git no stinkin sleep!
Now the vacation you always dreamed of!
I keep the drapes drawn all the time now. The mexicans steal like crazy. I almost caught one trying to get in here at night because all the lights were off. He didn't know, how could he? He ran away. I said to him, come on in, the water's fine. I wouldn't have done anything to him. Not anything bad.


The Stillness
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