Thursday, July 04, 2013

Mexico 1987, Part 8: Coffee & Cigarettes

Nov 15
Spent most of the day daydreaming, the rest of it with Raoul Roquet and his friend Antonio de la Plata, a once-great Spanish tenor. We had lunch at his house; Aidee is sick with a bad flu. My daydreams were - are still - romantic ones. Reading an article in Harper's about detective stories, I recall what Roberto says about his smoking filterless cigarettes: "I smoke Lucky Strikes. Marlowe, Tom Waits and I smoke Lucky Strikes." Scorpios are so naturally poetic, so in tune and intertwined with romance, life as romance, as poetry, it is no wonder that I am so feverishly attracted to them, more than any other sign. Leo's are fiery, true, and the other water signs are romantic, but none can match wit and emotion with such intensity as a Scorpio. Ay, lassie, there are sharks in these waters. Those shark bite bruises on my thigh and shoulder serve as candid reminders.

That last night in Merida, when we celebrated our birthdays and our farewell under a full moon, I, in black, with sharp black eyeliner and all my witch jewelry; he, looking so handsome, freshly shaven but still you could see the dark shadow on that soft face. I gave him my big amethyst because he admired it so and we talked about other realities, that sometimes he thinks he's a bit crazy. His sharp criticisms of U.S. imperialism and his fervent devotion to the revolution, to communism, made me feel ashamed and a little stupid, naive. We ate salad and drank a bottle of wine and two daiquiris, then sat in the park, still talking, still necking. We could become brother and sister, if we lived in the same place, so easy it was for us to communicate, to relate and empathize. I'm not sure that we could survive long as lovers - his fullness of self would soon suffocate me. He is engaged, but the girl doesn't want to marry yet. I picture her with big, dark eyes and thick black hair to her waist. She is prettier than me, obviously. It's the hair. One day I'm going to buy a wig. Roberto gave me a list of suggested readings, even offering to send me the one he was sure I wouldn't be able to find. Communist writers, of course.

Werner was standing at a table full of people outside the bar on the lawn of the Hotel Maria Cristina when I walked up. I had called when I arrived at the bus depot, early, and woke him up, so he knew I was back in Mexico City. Unfortunately for me, his ex-wife and daughter were also expected later and the people at the table were mostly colleagues, partners from Germany, and he had no time to spend with me. He kissed me cordially, the polite German, on each cheek as greeting and delivered the sad news, but I could see in his eyes that he was a little sorry, too, for the bad timing. I sat inside the bar with a margarita, thankful that I had planned to only spend one night and therefore would not be waiting around, hoping to see  him. When he learned I was only there for the day he said, "I'll make time." But I know it was just wishful, lustful thinking. He said he'd finally received my letter - it took about 2 weeks - and in this throaty, grunting voice he said, only loud enough for me to hear, "Very sexual. I almost got a hard on." Which, of course, was my intention. He bought me 2 more margaritas and insisted I call him when I got back to my hotel room and give him the phone number so he could call if he was able to get away. I knew that wouldn't happen, what with his friends and family being there, demanding his presence, and I said so. "I don't want to want you," I said. "No, please, " he rasped. "I want to see you. It's beautiful making love to you." And with a kiss and a grin I was off into the street to find a taxi.

Imagine, after 3 margaritas and nothing to eat, I decided to get out and walk. I ate a steak in a semi-fancy restaurant and then set off in the direction I was told my hotel was in when it started to rain. But RAIN!! I stood in the doorway with a few other people, in the dark wetness, and asked which direction Allende street was in. Per usual, I was given 3 different directions. Finally an older man came along and escorted me to my doorstep, but not before offering to get us a hotel room for the night in which we could stay together. I declined.

I harbored only a faint glimmer of hope that Werner would call in the morning but didn't wait around, I had errands to run, shopping to do. I had so fantasized a sweaty reunion, but that will have to wait. Werner is not very affectionate. In fact, except for the kisses on the cheek and kiss on my bare (tanned!) shoulder, he didn't touch me again until a little kiss goodbye. With him, it seems, kissing is for making love. And one would have to be very comfortable with sitting alone or with finding others to talk to (although when I did that their attentions made him angry) because one would never be the center of attention, except during those raging moments of union - hours really, with him - and after that, his attention is lost on something else: the T.V. or a shower or his room service. After we made love I couldn't get too close. We lied with our legs intertwined, watching T.V. (the Twins game, actually, the World Series winning game) because, he cautioned, he'd get horny again. "Be careful or you may be very sorry." And he wasn't kidding!! Imagine, after 2 hours of fucking he'd still have energy and lust for another round, when my legs were cramped and I could no longer move my hands from the numbness. But we did it again! For 3 days it went on like this and I needed each night to recuperate from total fatigue and frazzle. I felt, at the end of 3 days, like I was on speed or at the butt of a 3-day acid trip, so much energy had been released, passed between us, and taken in. I felt like the end of a frayed wire, spitting and sparking with electricity. I wonder how a Mexican woman (his ex-wife) could handle that lack of affection? I couldn't, if I were in love with him.

I'll have someone like Roberto, who is always touching in one way or another: holding hands, a kiss on the neck or shoulder when you're both sitting quietly reading, not really paying attention to each other. Even at night when we slept, if he'd half awaken or if I moved and awakened him, he'd caress or kiss me. It made it a little hard to sleep at times but I felt wanted  - and what GREAT FEELING! Unfortunately, the love-making always left me wanting more, which is exactly the opposite of sex with Werner. It's as if they were each half of the whole man I want. Werner is rather successful, dressed with style and taste but not stiffness, lives in Mexico City half the year or more and Germany the rest. He speaks 4 languages (that I'm aware of) fluently, has a great thirst for bars and booze and the society of it all, and makes love with a vengeance. Ah, but he's not very attractive, too much a man's man and, although quite a gentleman, it's probably more out of chauvanism than out of true appreciation. Roberto, on the other hand, is attentive (but tends to focus back on himself too often), in support of women's liberation - so much so that his appreciation  for equality has left him dry of that old-fashioned charm called chivalry - and actually enjoyed spending time talking with me, hugging and kissing, or just reading quietly together. He was a good friend and companion, handsome and considerate, well-read, articulate, bi-lingual and shared many of my interests. And he's a Scorpio who loves to travel and meet new people. But his love-making, although it has passion, lacks the real zest I enjoy.

After more than a month of feeling self-conscious about my shoes, but refusing to toil up and down the streets in 3-inch heels like every other Mexican chick 12 years and older (I swear they are born in them), I broke down and bought not one but two pairs of "knock me down and fuck me" pumps, the kind with a closed toe and ankle straps. One pair in blue and one white. I'm wearing the white ones now and they're killing me, but I feel more like one of "them." My Spanish gets worse by the day so I need something to make me feel less alien. Guadalajara is shoe heaven - a shoe store at least every other doorway, some streets have nothing BUT - and I'm here for 5 days! There's something about a new pair of shoes, even if they are cruel shoes. Mexican women don't shave their legs; Brazilian women do, isn't that interesting?

The Roquets are playing in a club here and I would like to go see them but I can't find an escort. I need and escort, see, because they are playing in a whorehouse. Without an escort I would be assumed to be "at work."

I have a pretty cool hotel room in this place I'm staying at. It's an old building with ceilings that vault about twice as high as necessary. You first walk up a curved, marble staircase to the second floor, where there's an indoor patio with ferns and song birds in cages. My room is at the far side, across the large tiled floor. It's bigger than my place in Minneapolis (which isn't saying much) but with furniture: a big bed with great big mushy down pillows, an armoir, a dressing table and mirror, a huge bathroom and small terrace with huge wooden doors with shutters. I even have a small table and chairs and pictures that aren't Jesus holding his heart in his hand or the virgin smiling deftly down upon me, and a little vase with fake flowers in it.  Quite cozy - and hot water! All for 8,000 pesos a night, which doesn't include breakfast - no place here does like they did in Brazil, which is somewhat disappointing.

But, I found a place with REAL COFFEE, Cafe Madrid, just 2 blocks away: an espresso machine, steamed milk and all. Most places serve hot water and the big, family-sized jar of Nescafe or hot milk and the family-sized jar of Nescafe. This just about drove the Italian to tears. But the toast is the same flat white American variety as most other places, so tomorrow I'm having what looked like scones . . . I hope the taxi driver I invited doesn't show up so I can read my magazines in peace.

[I ran into Werner a few years later on a flight to Frankfurt. Roberto and I corresponded and met in Italy twice between 1988 and 1991. We are now Facebook friends]

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