Friday, September 23, 2011
I'm completely baffled as to when, or how...well, maybe not so much how, but when, mind you, we stopped seeing eye to eye. But, this is a horrible way to start things off. Yes, a horrible introduction to what could possibly be a long winded explanation. Someone in the background, may even alert you to the tidbit that:
"Sometimes if you take a lighter to the end of it, the flame makes it flow better."
But, we haven't really begun. You don't even know these people yet. Neither do I for that matter. So, the ending is completely irrelevant at this juncture.
Paulo and Marissa do not even know themselves in all honesty. At least, they are unaware of how their personalities, which purely revolve around elements of their tumutltous marriage-their lavish expense accounts and exploits within the confines of their fully-comped suites at the Wyndham Hotel and Resort or their vile senses of humor and subtle swinger innuendos-affect those around them.
As far as first impressions are concerned, Paulo ÿ Marissa will shower their guests with over-zealous gifts and cheer. All the wine corks are popped. All the food is cooked and shared. All the sheeshah and sativa...smoked openly amongst new and old friends alike. All is offered under the pretext that nothing is deprived or expected, save for the occasional endurance of their behavior.
'Mî cåsa és su cåstîllo!'
It's soon revealed, and truthfully I had my suspicions from the start, that there are always ulterior motives in such arrangements. In fact, through exposure to such conditions-where the wine is opened, but you/I will soon be suspected of stealing a bottle or two without just cause...where all the food is cooked and shared, only to be weighed, denied and hidden somewhere down the road...where the sheeshah and sativa are smoked openly, until imaginary tabs begin to tally unbeknownst to you/I-then you begin to wonder if all human inter-relations do not come with some hidden agenda attached there with...
like a purple-heart for being injured in battle.
You begin to wonder if the source for all decency, compassion and understanding is not directly associated with a lack of conviction, subversive investigation and ultimately, a timely execution.
"But it's okay. We don't have to get along." Paulo said, hunched over the kitchen counter like an obese citadel. "We don't have to feel comfortable around each other-because we're giving you and Lisa two hours to pack your shit and get out."
There was no change in his inflection. His beady eyes did their best to look in any direction but straightforward as he spoke.
"Are you for real man? It's like that all of a sudden?" I asked, calmly rolling my cigarette on the patio, the sliding-glass door the only barrier between two reinforced egos...wide open.
"Well, we can't trust you guys at the house while we're not here. So, you got until I go to bed so we won't have anymore issues like-"
"Dude! We didn't take your fucking wine bottles okay?" I interrupted, paying close scrutiny to my left hand which had begun to shake slightly. "We drink for free at the Slice Parlor; and we drink beer. Fuck! When's the last time you even seen us drink wine 'cept for when your family was here a couple of months ago?"
"We never said you guys stole them." Paulo's chest began to take in a heavy gust of dog-piss-error as he stepped out onto the patio. "But I saw Lisa's MAC charger plugged in next to the wine rack the night before they came up missing. So-"
"That doesn't mean shit and you know it!" I said. "You motherfuckers misplace shit around here all the time!"
Paulo lifted the top of the grill and furiously poked at the charbroiled chicken he had left to the flame out of carelessness.
"Well, you guys got all torn up and defensive when I asked if you had seen them."
"Yea! Because you called minutes before I walked into work...talking about how you may have to kick everyone out of the house. I mean, how did Edwin (another roommate) react when you asked him about it?"
Paulo sunk into one of the iron-mesh chairs. A cloud of dust and arrogance sprung from his ass. "He didn't take it like you guys did. I'll say that much."
"Well," I replied. "I have to be honest-" As I began, Marissa, who before this moment had been looming at the end of the couch inside, and who had kept a busy ear to the conversation's unraveling, suddenly stepped outside to stand behind her husband's left, crooked shoulder, as a sign, I am assuming, of solidarity in their hasty decision. I continued on, unphased by the display of unison. "I've been harboring some shit against you for a while now. I don't know what Edwin's (who is blacker than an onset cavity) feelings are on the matter, but, I did not appreciate you yelling:
'Where the niggers at? I'm hunting for niggers!'
when I was half-asleep in my room a couple of weeks ago. That was a really fucked up thing to say to us and you never apologized to me, or him, for acting like a drunken, retarded bigot."
Marissa rubbed his shoulders while Paulo glanced over his back and into the East mountains of Albuquerque that lay quiet in the distance. "Dude. It's my house." He caressed Marissa's hand, who still refused to make eye contact with me herself. "I can say whatever the fuck I want."
"I understand that...but if you're going to say that stuff, maybe you shouldn't invite two African-Americans to live in your house, or, if you do, be more aware of how your spontaneous racial epitaphs-"
"Wow! Spontaneous racial epigrams! Breaking out the big words on us 'illiterate' types eh?" Paulo stood forcibly from his seat. "Look Anton, I don't see what the big deal is. I mean, fuck dude, I call my dogs (two poodles and a miniature Yorkie named Joker) niggers all the time man!" Marissa looked me dead in the eye at this, as a crocodile's smile finally revealed itself. "Sides...Why are we even talking right now? I don't see the point. You're wasting precious time that you could use to pack right now."
Paulo went for the door as I jumped up and cut him off at the pass, giving him my back to consider. "Plunge the knife deeper." I said, as I made my way for the room. "Fucking Judas!" I knew right away, he would not understand the Biblical reference.
But then, there were many things that Paulo misunderstood and of course, as often is the case, his stupidity was not all of his own measure, but more or less a by-product of his superfluous upbringing. Once, he had recanted a story from his youth, where he was accosted by the A.P.D. for methamphetamine possession and distribution within 1,000 yards of a local school district. The charges were very severe and in a bout with desperation while incarcerated, he turned to the only person he felt he could rely upon, his father, who had reasonable connections within the judicial system.
"I'll get you out of this one. But I want you to stop fucking around and get your shit straight...or you're cut off. You hear me?"
Of course, Paulo agreed to the terms of his tenative release and as the years passed , tucked safely beneath the wings of famîliå and influence, turned his talents as a meth dealer into hard-nosed sales tactics at a print shop in Albuquerque. Unfortunately, the experience did little for his overall intelligence and made him even more obsessed with the American dollar-its subsequent influence and the almost euphoric sensation he received from constantly counting the odds and ends...