lunes, 26 de mayo de 2008
Summer of a Secret
Juan Carlos Rodríguez
“Trust in tranquility” – I tell Charles. It’s a secret that came to me out of nowhere – perched as we are on solid ground, on a plate of earth that lies as volatile as two men smoking after midnight. He’s just told me he does heroin. “The hard stuff.” He says those words, stroking his black Chilean hair, a string mop, with his hand. “Don’t judge it,” I say – “If you’re doing it why you gonna call it something.” It’s better to burn out is what the wise man told us, than it is to rust. Charles was named Charles, not Carlos because – he told us two weeks ago over beers at Churchill’s – his mother met Charles de Gaulle when she was pregnant with him. The French president touched her belly, placed his hand just layers of membrane from her son’s head. So they named Charles, my neighbor, Charles. CHAR–LES, is the proper pronunciation. He sits in the portal of his apartment unit across the courtyard from mine. He smokes and watches. Tonight, he told me, he borrowed five bucks from this chick, his roommate. He lives with at least two other people - the chick he bummed five bucks from and a fat Colombian guy in his thirties. There may be another tough big Colombiano, I’ve seen them returning from groceries. It seems unreal to me this living situation in a two or three bedroom apartment. Tonight I bum a smoke, lightly stoned, returning from a bike ride to bars and to glory. It’s a steamy night in our gated community. Charles and I smoke on the sidewalk under the security light. “This place is so quiet – too quiet” he repeats, looking out at the row of two story apartment houses across the street. Not one car. Not one loud drunken girl. Nobody but me. “I’m used to more action,” he says. “This scares me.” “Don’t be afraid,” I say. I speak in the voice of the devil. A reassurance borne of dancing with wild young beautiful girls in hotpants. Rooted in my viejo verde with an illuminated bike helmet on my head and in my hands the Vagabond Bar. Jack Keroauc is painted on the wall along with Henry David Thoreau. A quote I can’t remember as I write this. The devil’s voice from impossibly beautiful Sonya and her bleached girl, Lisette – both in hot pants, midrifts, high heels - surrounded by more and more beautiful girls coming and coming everywhere I turn. Modern Miami 20 year old girls. Trust in tranquility stoking slow flames. Wandering and laughing all the while. There’s a slow roast that begins this year in late May. Soon all we’ll know is the swelter of June and endless August. My friends the musicians save me. Marco, the Afro white percussionist who has been touring with Pitbull. Jesse Jackson entering Churchill's in spaghetti western fashion – arms akimbo like Clint Eastwood wrapped in a pink Palestinian scarf, and a tan polyester concoction. A vision among the visions, among the endless visions that transpire in the night this night.
Juan Carlos Rodríguez is a performer and a writer living in Miami.