The newest arrival at the Hostel in El Paso is a 35-year-old Aussie named Peter Lapis.
Peter convinced me to a group of dudes at the Ramada Inn to drink brews and cruise chicks.
The other dudes are a German, nicknamed the Viking, a Brazilian, Miguel, and a Frenchman, Craig.
The thought of going to the Ramada Inn for anything struck me as perverse; the thought of going to cruise chicks and drink brews seemed excessive.
The feeling I had as we made our way through the sleet and wind of El Paso that night was one of camaraderie.
Peter passed me a blunt and the fetters of gay identity and middle age slipped away.
It was Friday night.
We entered the lavishly orange lobby of the downtown Ramada Inn and commandeered an elevator to the bar.
We lined up and ordered our drinks.
The DJ spun “Sexual Healing.”
“I love these musics!” said Craig.
Craig, Miguel and I made a clump at one end of the bar while Peter and
the Viking passionately cruised chicks at the other.
“You like this music?” Miguel asked Craig.
Craig replied, “Oh yes! I love the American 50s! Elvis Presley, Petula Clark,” Craig beamed at me, “Do you like these musics?”
“I love Marvin Gaye,” I said. “But I don’t think Petula Clark was a singer from the American 50’s.”
Craig winked and sipped his beer.
The DJ spun Jingle Bell Rock.
“These is the best musics,” Craig continued, “America’s gift to the World!” he turned to me and raised his glass, “Don’t you think so?”
The beer made me extravagant: “There would be no American musics without the Beatles.” I proclaimed.
“Ah!” Craig raised his glass, “America’s greatest gift!”
The three of us laughed.
Peter Lapis leaned down the bar toward us: “Dudes! Let’s go into Juarez.”
I was game.
“Too cold.” Miguel said.
“I think there is no adventure in this group!” boomed the Viking, “Den we go to Taps.”
We arrived at Taps to the sound of Linda Ronstadt: “PORE UN AMOR!”
“PORR UN AMORRRRR!” sang the drunken crowd.
Peter chose our booth so he could see the waitress who worked the table. “Nice ass.” he said as she left to get our pitcher of beer.
I noticed that what he said was true when she returned with the beer and left with five generous tips.
I woke at Noon to the stench of stale beer and beans, and the sight of Peter Lapis as my bunk-mate.
“Don’t drink much, do ya?” Peter asked, as I struggled to lift my head from my pillow.
Throbbing memories of the previous night played themselves out in my mind.
Mariana was the name of the waitress.
Mariana and I danced the Samba until her husband, passed out for most of the night at the table across from ours, awoke.
He did not like what he saw my hips say to his wife.
He swung at me, punched the Viking instead, and an international brawl ensued to the tune of Y Andale.
Mariana begged us to leave before the police arrived.
“PORE UN AMOR!” I sang as the bitter winter winds of El Paso blew across my face.
Peter was responsible for getting me safely to bed.
“Don’t drink much, do ya?” Peter asked.
(c) RG 2016