Road was in a gray mood ~ as gray as a sky that doesn’t know whether to rain or not. Road was home ~ and lost. He was always lost when he was home ~ and he hated it.
There was something bad within himself that his hometown, San Diego, reflected ~ God knows what.
Maybe it was love ~ flustered.
Road had a foolosophy. He didn’t believe in philosophies ~ only foolosophies ~ and he had one all his own. His foolosophy was, if you can’t beat ’em, don’t join ’em either ~ but run like hell.
That was Road’s damnation. When he couldn’t beat home, wouldn’t join up with its forces, he’d run like hell ~ for the Long Bar south of the border, in Tijuana, Meh-hee-ko.
The Long Bar on Revolution Avenue in Tijauna is a long bar in a long room, tables down the middle, booths along the wall opposite the bar. It’s the longest bar in the world ~ and the best, as far as Road was concerned.
There’s a lot of earth poetry in the Long Bar. It bubbles in the green tinted beer and the Mexican waiter’s frown. It’s in the rest room where the old rest room hombre will fix you up for a tip ~ with carefully horded toilet paper if you need it. But only for a tip. It’s in the live Mexican music (with trumpets), the mesh of border town slop culture, and carved into the wood of all the booths by a thousand un-stable-ed hands ~ young hands, old hands, bald eagle just out of boot camp hands, queer hands, little girl hands, bad dude hands, AWOL hands, rambling hands, stuck hands, dropped out hands, student hands, Latin hands, whore hands, too many virgin hands, and many drunk hands, carving with a coin’s edge, pocket knife, ball point pen, or finger nail, the message ~ “I’ve been here, Momma. I’ve been here, Momma Earth. My tongue’s getting dirty, but your blood tastes so good. Your Mexican beer blood!”
“And everybody is a Mexican,” said one of the 6 little women drinking beer with Road. “Everybody in the whole world!”
“Right on!” answered a handsome young Mexican hombre in the next booth. He toasted the pretty blond senorita from the United States.
She was fourteen.
Road was no longer in a gray mood. His mood was now black ~ with glory and a grin. Yes, black ~ with a full moon ~ a full moon with a full night ~ a night full of stars ~
And 6 young ladies he’d brought down to Tijuana ~ for the first time, it seemed, in their lives ~ loose!
“Freedom is dangerous,” said Maggie, fourteen years old, gulping her beer.
“Life is dangerous too,” said Judy (or was her name Jill?), who was, with a slurp, also 14 years old.
“I wanna live,” proclaimed matter of factly the daintiest yet oldest of them all, Emile, 18 years old, who didn’t drink, she said once, and now was drunk.
“We wanna live,” corrected sweet Sue, thirteen, and on her way to the bottom of another glass of frothy beer.
“We’re Mexicans,” laughed Mary, the pretty blond who’d spoken earlier of Mexicans. She felt a refreshing numb ting in her flushed, long yellow hair mopped cheeks.
“Right on, senorita!” exclaimed the same Mexican in the next booth. He was liking her more and more. Her and his eyes ricocheted twinkling stars that needed no words ~ just bad jokes.
“I’m too old to be down here,” laughed Morena, also fourteen, cheeks also numb, and a real bad joke just about to dance on her tongue. “I’ve got beer on my thumb,” she laughed.
These 6 girls, with their blooming bodies of bouncy bosom truth, could’ve passed for 25 years old ~ if need be.
In the Long Bar ~ there was no need. Road got up and bought two more pitchers of beer. 15 minutes later they were empty and he bought two more.
One by one the girls teeter tottered out of the booth to visit the ladies room at the other end of the bar. And teeter tottered back into the booth ~ flushed, whimsical ~ as the peoples of thee booths n’ tables n’ longest bar in the world chortled their admiration. Everybody knew what was happening.
The miracle of little girl growth was being anointed ~ and celebrating the womanhood that could not be denied ~ in their eyes and desires ~ lusting thighs and yearning minds ~ for God n’ life n’ love ~
They were ready to start fucking with it all ~ ’til they were part of it all ~ or die trying.
Road sat back in the chair facing this booth, its beer splotched beer dripping table, its 6 patriot heroines of the Long Bar pitcher of soapy suds with a green tint. This was the greatest. When he’d picked up 14 year old Mary hitch-hiking on El Gringo Boulevard, and her thigh bumped his when the truck bumped a bump ~ He knew in his gray mood that he’d do anything ~ especially go to County Jail ~ for jail bait!
They both knew in the moment of that thigh touching, eye opening bump, the time had come.
And piss on Tulip!
Road gently jumped on the blond pretty and too young but so what Mary. Her creamy warm shoulders smothered him into her own entity ~ and she gently jumped back ~ in the rear of Road’s truck ~ parked on the side of the street.
For virgin stomping celebration, the two of them rounded up as many of Mary’s girl friends as they could find. They crossed the border where young ‘uns can drink legally ~ and that evening Road anointed the whole group with beer and cheers ~ to life in the Long Bar.
Run run, Road, run run!
He stretched his arms. Thru his reddened but bright eyes, Road squinted up at the ceiling, thoughtfully studied it.
“You know something,” he said ~ and 6 pert charming heads turned his way and listened. “All those old times I spent drinking down here, I thought Long Bar beer was tinted green because it was the cheapest dirtiest of beers. But that isn’t why it’s green.” He raised his glass and swallowed a good amount. “It’s the reflection from the ceiling!”
Maggie, Judy (or Jill?), Emile, Morena, sweet Sue, and Mary tilted their heads heaven bound ~ and sure enough, the ceiling was green.
excerpt from the
artwork courtesy of Sayara S