Imperator for a Day

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Imperator for a Day

The first thing I remember is a guy leaning over me in a surgical mask whispering, “Don’t worry Madame, it’s all just a dream.” Of course this statement instantly sent me into a nightmare panic because I am not female, in fact I never have been since birth—and on top of that had no idea where I was. Not one clue. The shock of it all caused me to sit up bolt-upright, on the hospital gurney where I was lying in what looked like an operating room and smack my face directly into the doctor. The pain was real enough. The bed felt real enough. The doctor’s face was fleshy and moist and real enough. He yelped in pain, feeling the magic, too.

Yeah. This was not a dream.

It looked a lot like they were about to operate on me in this place, wherever it was. I was peeved and was not polite about hiding it, “What the fuck, guy?” I said looking around. Yeah, this was an operating room; shiny green tile walls, institutional white ceiling and floor, metallic table with sharp instruments, adjustable medi-steel bed with all the plastic-tube trimmings, and of course myself—clad as I was in a surgical gown, my bare naked ass nestled with care on disposable foam-plastic linens. I was comfortable, in fact too damn comfortable for comfort because obviously that warm fuzziness, that quintessence of calm inside me, was not serenity, not fulfilment due to a happy sex life, and definitely not yuletide joy—no, it was a sedative, a powerful one designed to keep me fast asleep as they gutted me like a fish.

Whatever goofballs these jokers had dosed me with were wearing off. The doctor had not reacted at all to my question and just stood there stupefied—looking at me like he needed a firmware upgrade. Still clumsy, I reached a hand over, grabbed the front of his scrubs like an apex predator, and dragged his surgical mask face right up to mine, and screamed: “What the actual FUCK, guy? Who are you, where are we, and what are you doing? Answer now.” I got right down to the nitty-gritty, just like that.

I heard him mumble and sputter but it wasn’t mumbling at all, but some weird language: “Nygh ghrm phra anyi’mywen alhg’lip pa quanda f’taghn!” and then over it a second, softer, calmer voice interposed itself: “It is always asleep, pardon, she is usually sleeping becalmed, please repose!” and without a second thought I ripped off his surgical mask and figured it out. Right there, on the inside of the mast was a little Noiserock™ speaker and a Google™ amplifier—without a doubt he was one of those new-fangled GoogleDocs, half-trained med-techs from Central Asia or rural Indonesia that performed medical procedures, lived, worked, and played all using live translation apps. They worked for free and were entirely advertising supported.

I rolled my eyes. “Fuck this,” I said getting out of the surgical bed, unlatching heart monitors, doodads, and beeping buzzing things from my naked body. As I got up a nurse entered, a non-nonsense big burly woman wielding a tray of disposable syringes. The doctor, meanwhile, was scrambling around on the ground for the translating surgical mask that I had kicked across the room and under a cabinet at the far end of the operating room.

She looked at me with the authority of a middle school teacher: “Is there a problem?”

“Yeah.” I responded, “can I leave this dump?”

Before the nurse could respond, the doctor chimed in. It seemed he had chased down his mask rather quickly and put it back on his face. Maybe he had practice. “Certainly, you bête noire! Beat it!” The nurse set down her tray on a cabinet near the door. “Cover up your ass bro.” she said with a sigh as she let me through the door. “Your clothes are in the silver locker in the green room. And if you change your mind, go somewhere else. Frankly, I’ve had enough.”

“Well I have no future plans to return,” I replied and she slammed the OR door in my face. Is this customer service, I thought? My head was already putting together the pieces of just how I got here and what the hell was expected of me. I think it started with a show? A game show?

The green room was hard to find, but my clothes were not. They had thrown down my shit in a corner—not even inside a locker. The fancy lockers were left reserved for paying customers at the clinic, medical tourists they called them, people who came in for age-reverses, gender transformations, race-switches, or more exotic surgeries like having their faces turned into the likenesses of unicorns, gorillas, or famous stars. Procedures were god-awful expensive, from everything I’ve ever heard about the subject.

It wasn’t even 10 minutes after throwing on my clothes and exiting the clinic that my cell phone began to toot and send me the gentle electrical shocks associated with a premium™ cell phone call, causing me to consider if I had potentially fucked up badly in some manner.

Wait. I thought. Did I sign something? It was still hazy in my mind, the drugs were still floating around somewhere inside me, making my memories into multiple choice tests and myself a student completely ignorant of the answers. There had been a game show, sure as shit, at least that I knew.

I answered the phone.

“Jackie!” said the voice with false jollity, “Jackie Perez, right? We need your help. We need you to go back to Doctor TheFacePlace.com’s office. I mean, you have to, you’re our winner.”

“Huh?” and then I asked for an explanation, politely. He said it wasn’t unusual to forget. I won a game show Imperator for a Day. Everyone here, reading this on the form, will know what show I am talking about. It is the usual stuff: You audition, you work out, you get abs and learn the capitals of Europe and brush up on your Brazilian Portuguese, you fly down to Rio, and you do the quizzes and the dares—and if you are lucky the viewers acclaim you Imperator for a Day. They sing FELIX IMPERATOR and DOMINVS ET DIEUS NATUS and throw a big orgy filled with product placement and a cash prize along with one government policy you put on your civic wishlist way back when you first auditioned.

Now it came back to me. Yeah. I thought. Wow. I won. The quantum superposition question. The hoola-hoop contest. The sniper-rifle disaster relief race.

Then the man on the telephone, João Doente, explained the catch: after we filmed the contest, the singing, the dancing and then the win—including the throwing of the donative gold coins to the Praetorians, and the ritual filatio—all of it, the producers decided, down in their heart of hears, they were not happy. They had seen the raw footage. They had meditated on the daily rough cuts, and resolved it was just not good enough. Sure, maybe it would fly in the Latin market but definitely not in Eastern Europe and definitely not in the Lunar Colonies. No way.

So they needed more. First of all, they wanted raw bareback sex, lots of it, and the needed Jackie Perez to embrace his feminine side. They needed an Imperatrix not an Imperator to get those viewer eyeballs really wet and greasy, really drooling and ready for the new season, and for this reason they invoked an obscure part of the Imperator for a Day contract: all contestants will make themselves available for free cosmetic surgery, so far as they show demands and under the penalty of non-participation in the show, should they choose to otherwise.

“Look,” said João, after all the pleading was said and done, “the produces have shareholders to think about.”

“No way in hell am I getting a sex-change and reshooting the episode,” I replied.

“It’s just a reshoot,” he continued to plead, “You won. You already won. Square and fair.”

“Yah,” I interrupted him, “I burned off my eyebrows in that flamethrower unicycle challenge. I’m not doing it again, and much less am I doing it while recovering from a sex-change, it’s a non-starter.”

“You’re unreasonable.” João soured. “Look, we’ll change you right back after the show is done.”

A little pissed, I told him to do the surgery to himself it he was so hot to find a star, and then to and fuck himself right in his brand-new pussy afterwards. He hung up before I did.

I thought that was the end of my experience, but six months later sitting in the community room of the Dr. Diet Cocaine rehab centre where I was chilling out in Santiago, Chile I switched on the wall screen only to see that fucking asshole, that nobody unit producer João Doente was fully transitioned into a woman and passing out solid gold Roman coins to Praetorian guards as if she had won the right to be Imperator for a Day and not me. Turns out the producers decided reshooting was too much of a hassle, tapped João to do the surgery, and then simply edited all the footage to make it appear as if she had won all those challenges—and not yours truly.

To say the least, I was beside myself with fury. The achievement was mine, and they had stolen that from me, not even allowing me to keep any prize money or public recognition simply because I wasn’t willing to film the whole thing all over again as a woman.

I hope all you readers out there on the forums understand my frustration.

I know my story is not a unique one—a lot of potential contestants get lured into game shows thinking they can just win and that is it, but the producers often come back to the winners and ask them to do it all over again as the other gender, as double amputees, or even a talking dog in one case, but personally I am drawing the line here, I think enough is enough and I believe the public should be made aware.

In the future, I urge each and every freelance actor or athlete to carefully revise the content of his contract with a licensed entertainment lawyer and an accountant, and no matter what you do—never get taken in by those big bright shining showbiz lights.

Please, please like or share this post to share the truth!

Plastic Stars

Luces-LED-flotando 

In the far north of the Bronx, on the outskirts of New York city where street numbers end and canals with lime-green waters begin – a wooden house rests, long abandoned by people who have moved on to better places. Here, the trash man of New York City arrives each night with trinkets fished from cruel wet streets to give his young daughter, who knows no better. With a face of simple joy, she receives the glowing wands, blinking plastic rings, broken Christmas stars, and strings of soiled lights, then hangs each and every one in a secret room where toys discarded by wasteful become a thousand countless lights of intoxicating colour.

Many years have passed now, and the trash man and his daughter are long gone, but the house remains amongst the maze of lime-green slimy canals. For the brave or foolish few who still attempt the hazardous journey, it is said that on certain starless nights when fierce winds rip from the icy Hudson, a visitor to the house may still find the little girl’s room – a sad place made wondrous by a thousand cheap stars.

Market Value

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Market Value

A tall, pale man shuts the door of the little closet safe where his cellphone vibrates to unanswered calls, and moves away, smiling. The man gathers the clothes from yesterday’s big meeting – an oxford shirt and brown slacks, and dumps them over his safe. Deciding the heap looks unnatural; the man fetches a pair of fine leather shoes from the bathroom floor, and throws them on top for good measure.

            Now that’s a mess I can take pride in.

But this is a lie and he knows it. The rest of the closet, thanks to the nana who comes on Tuesdays and Fridays from the outskirts of Santiago, remains a harmony of pressed shirtsleeves, neat sweaters, and fancy leather shoes. Camouflaged within the closet rests an open blue box with a handsome man’s watch that glitters in the light like a patiently watching eye.

The man takes out different things to wear today: tee shirt, jeans, sneakers – a second cell phone. “Good clothes,” he says while remembering a day long ago when he had no money for fun clothes or any clothes – when he gave away his last pesos to an old friend who only laughed at his poverty, his rags. Now the friend is long gone, a vanished shadow of a buried past.

Never again.

The closet slides shut without a sound.

Moments later in the mirrored elevator, where burning lights give no chance for flaws to hide, the man takes the measure of himself with methodical honesty. He sees a balding man with some wrinkles who looks 32 or 33 but is in fact only 25. His body is lean, hard, and tall. The combination of age and fitness projects a calculated air of discipline, trustworthiness, and responsibility. This is helpful in Chile. Here in this new country he is always someone’s fantasy – a rich overseas gringo, an investor with white skin and a big smile. No one needs to know more.

In the private car park the man’s second cell phone rings once, then quiets. A number flashes on the screen. LLAMADA PERDIDA.

He texts back: “Me pinchai?”

A text: “Oye, como estay? vai a llegar?”

He responds: “Ya voy.”

$$$$$$$

On the toll highway, a midnight-black Renault reflects the light from streetlamps lit at twilight, scattering their light along the oily black surface of the road where colours form, then vanish. Night falls quickly, and soon the starless sky is completely black. Only the Renault’s broad yellow headlights provide evidence that the car is there at all – that it moves between dark spaces. Once arrived at the outskirts of Santiago between faceless warehouses and dingy concrete slaps thrown down like unwanted toys, the Renault rumbles and purrs alone over pock-marked asphalt and discarded newspapers. A cold wind blows from the mountains.

In the distance, three bums crowd a metal can with a fire, warming themselves. Getting closer the man sees the bums are just young men, teenagers. He rolls down the window.

“Hola, buenas.”

A skinny guy from the group looks over and moves towards the car door, long dark curls spilling over his face.

“Wenas.” He responds.

“Dónde está el Fáiser?”

The skinny man looks away. “No lo veo hace raato.”

There is a silence, but within seconds a shadow emerges from the side of the shapeless buildings and move towards the car.

Skinny speaks up: “Ah… Ahí está po, aquí viene el Fáiser.”

Fáiser gets into the car without a word and both of them take off as the moon rises and little pinprick stars begin to make themselves known, now unobscured by raggedy clouds.

Fáiser speaks first: “Evan, you look thin. Are you ok?”

“I’ve been busy, very busy… and stressed,”

“Maybe you should relax then,” says Faizer placing a hand between Evan’s thighs, “maybe you should call more.”

“I don’t always have the time,” Evan responds, looking away from the hand, “You’re quick. Is that why they call you Phyzer?”

Faizer laughed. “Yeah. They called me Viagra at first. But Faiser sounds better.”

“Sounds German,” they said at once.

Chile knows its fantasies.

            Then the pleasure took over, and Evan drove in circles, not trying to get anywhere but simply hoping not to crash. The big palms on Alameda swayed huge and out of order against the chill winds.

Evan placed his hand over back of Faizer’s head when he was almost done – his hair was black and sticky with gel, his mouth hot. Pulling him up gently his face was revealed in the faint glow of crude yellow streetlamps, open apartment windows, dingy neon signs, and the distant but insistent light of the stars and moon above, and he was beautiful – golden, pale, delicate, fine, spotless, thin, a piece of china, captivating. Evan kissed him even though Faizer’s mouth was still sloppy, and said, “Come home with me.”

“Sure.”

$$$$$$

In the apartment there was already an envelope with Faizer’s name on it written in red marker resting face up on the kitchenette table. Gringos could be strange like that.

“Here, take this,” said Evan, handing it over.

Silently, Faizer opened the envelope, and counted money as Evan asked a question: “do you always want to do this?”

No thought Faizer, but that is something he would never say to a client. He’d been asked rude questions like this a thousand times, but answering rude questions was better than being forced to listen to the typical problems of rich and closeted faggots. The distant wife, lazy sons, slutty daughters, and money problems – they always felt the need to tell everything.

But Evan was not like those. He always paid generous and he was never cruel or nasty. He was business-like. He never told stories about his life.

“I want to be a dancer some day.” Responded Faizer. It was the truth.

Why not tell the truth? Thought Faizer. Does this rich gringo with envelopes of cash want to make it happen?

Evan chuckled. “A dancer? Are there dancers in Chile?” He then abandoned the topic and started babbling about banking in Chile, businesses, and marriage.

Faizer wondered if there was anything so different about gringo Evan after all. He couldn’t see beyond his money and prestige any more than the fat old men with small cocks and tiny brains crawling all over Las Condes.

“Wanna fuck?” said Evan.

Still, there was something to like about his directness.

“Sure.” Faizer answered.

Let’s get to work.

$$$$$$$

Hours later, the vibrations from the closet safe grew bothersome, and looking over with a sigh, Evan declared in English he was going to shower. He lumbered to the bathroom and Faizer rolled over on the bed, tired, his eyes wandering the room, and daydreamed.

Observing Evan’s half-concealed pink shadow behind the frosted-glass shower door, he wondered if he could ever land a big rich guy who might also be kind and nice. In a fantasy spanning seconds Faizer – whose real name was Diego –imagined Evan was a lawyer who sold real estate to other rich foreigners, and that on days when Diego was not teaching dance at his school or performing in the theatres in Lastarria and in Providencia – they would take trips to the south – seeing farmhouses in Chiloé, vineyards in Curicó, and houses in Valparaiso. In Valpo they would travel the mad tangle of switchback roads to find multicolour homes dangling over huge cliffs between the sun and sea. Then Diego, who would no longer be called Faizer by anyone (not even himself), would decorate and beautify the houses with the talent for art lurking somewhere within him.

The shower steam filtered into the bedroom as Diego fantasised about different lives possible with sufficient money, love, or both. He did not want someone who would hit him or surround him with his muscled arm in the night, whispering threats – like that last one, the jealous one.

Those days are over.

From the mist where Evan’s hid somewhere in the haze, a voice came out: “you might need to go soon.”

Without a word Diego got up and started gathering his clothes, which had each fled to obscure and invisible corners of the room, like little mammals seeking warmth. First he searched out his underwear and pants, then his socks and shirt, and gathering them all into a little pile on the bed. Enjoying the feel of the air on his skin, he decided to stay naked and take a look around the apartment. In the hall near the door, he found a big mirror, and took a careful look at himself, observing his tight little naked body, clean clear skin, sharp defined muscles, and thick, small penis.

Time to go. He thought

As he dressed his belt clinked, the buckle cold against his skin. Diego’s clothes hugged him in all the right places, enhancing his necessary beauty.

Evan would call again.

A voice interrupted from the shower: “When you leave use the stairs to the garage. Not the front door.”

Diego felt anger. He’s ashamed of me. He doesn’t want the nosy old men at the door to see.

Diego quickly gathered all the belongings he considered his before leaving. Softly, the door clinked shut.

$$$$$$

Evan took his time washing Faizer off his body. When he left the shower the boy was long gone. One of Faizer’s best qualities was that he always knew when it was time for him to exit the stage, to disappear.

Laying down in bed, Evan questioned if he wanted Faizer to disappear. Unbidden, a fantasy came: coming home some day after a meeting, after working, after smiling and saying yes at the right times to the right people – Faizer – or whatever his real name was, was waiting for him – all 5ft 3 inches of him. Evan would pick him up and brutalize him with a kiss and learn each and every one of his many parts, including his mind, and begin a journey towards a growing life where both of them could share a soul – an honest life.

Evan was ashamed of himself and his faggoty dreams.

The safe soon interrupted. The phone inside had now vibrated itself against the metallic side of the safe and was emitting a constant:

KRRRRR KRRRRRR KRRRR KRRRRR

Annoyed, Evan moved over to the open door of the closet, and with a little shock, noticed that the men’s watch was now gone. Faizer made it to the fifth visit – a record.

We almost had something.

Less angry than sad, he grabbed and crushed the little blue box that once contained the watch and threw it in the trash.

Sweeping aside the pile of clothes from the safe and throwing them on the floor, he opened the safe and reached a hand in.

12 missed calls. Jesus Christ. And all from the same one.

Evan put on his smile and called the number back.

“Evelyn! Hooola! Si es que lo tenía apagado, si…. Tranquila! Tranquiiila! No no es así. No es imposible. Si, se me mandaron un paquete de trabajo bastante grueso, si parece que el mitín de ayer salió súper….”

And while talking to this woman interested in shared bank accounts, advantageous marriage, and children, Evan stuck his hand into the open mouth of the tiny cold safe, and still smiling, still nodding and repeating, “yes, yes,”– he took out an identical men’s watch from an identical blue box – and positioned it in just the same way, half hidden but wanting to be seen – in the recesses of his own personal closet.

Cotizar

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Cotizar

Un hombre alto y pálido cierra la puerta de la caja fuerte en su clóset donde su celular vibra, apartándose de allí en silenco con una sonrisa. El hombre recoge la ropa del mitin importante de ayer – una camisa oxford y unos pantalones marrones, y se la echa por encima de su caja fuerte. Al decidir que la pila de ropa no parece nada natural, el hombre agarra dos finos zapatos de cuero desde el piso del baño, y los arroja por encima de la pila por sí acaso.

            Eso sí es un verdadero desastre de hombre.

Pero eso es mentira y él lo sabe. El resto del armario, gracias a la nana que viene todos los martes y los viernes desde las afueras de Santiago, sigue siendo una armonía de camisas planchadas, suéteres de cachemira y sofisticados zapatos de cuero. Una cosa más, bien camuflada, queda dentro de su armario – una cajita azul abierta con un bonito reloj de hombre que brilla en la luz como un ojo paciente y mirador.

El hombre saca ropa distinta para el día de hoy: una polera, un par de jeans, unas zapatillas, otro celular extra, y pronuncia las palabras – ropa buena – mientras recuerda de un día hace tiempo cuando no tenía ningún dinero para la ropa divertida o la ropa de alguna estirpe. Ése día, ése mismo día, el hombre prestó sus últimos pesos a un amigo que más tarde se rió del grino, y especialmente de sus -harapos-.

Ya hace mucho tiempo ese amigo se ha ido, transformándose en una sombra desaparecida de un pasado enterrado.

Nunca jamás.

La puerta corredera del clóset se cierra sin emitir sonido alguno.

Unos momentos después en el ascensor cubierto de espejos, cuyas luces ardientes no dan ninguna ocasión para ocultar defectos, el hombre se examina con una sinceridad metódica. Ve a un hombre con algunas arrugas leves, y que está perdiendo su lustroso pelo rubio y parece tener 32 o 33, aunque sabe que sólo tiene 25. Su cuerpo es delgado, duro y alto. La combinación de madurez y buen físico proyecta un aire de disciplina y responsabilidad que inspira la confianza. Esto es provechoso en Chile. Aquí en este país nuevo, piensa el hombre, el hombre del espejo es capaz de hacer cualquier papel de cualquier cliente, es capaz de convertise a la fantesia del otro, u otra – el gringo rico del extranjero, el inversionista que ostenta su pellejo blanco y sonrisa grande. Nadie tendrá que saber más.

En el garage privado del edificio, el segundo celular del hombre apenas emite un tono y se calla. Un número de teléfono aparece en la pantalla. LLAMADA PERDIDA.

Le textea de vuelto: “Me pinchai?”

Un texto aparece: “Oye, como estay? Vai a llegar?”

El hombre responde: “Ya voy.”

$$$$$$$

En la carretera de peaje un Renault de negro profundo refleja las luces de los faroles encendidos al crepúsculo, y las dispersa a lo largo de la grasosa carretera, formando colores de arco iris que aparecen y desaparecen instantáneamente. El cielo se ennegrece rápidamente, y por alguna razón, las estrellas no aparecen. Solamente las amplias amarillas linternas del Renault proporcionan evidencia que el coche si existe y que si se mueve entre unos espacios muy oscuros. Una vez llegado a las afueras de Santiago, entre almacenes anónimos y bloques de concreta sórdidos lanzados abajo como juguetes indeseados, el Renault viaja, retumba y ronronea en el asfalto marcado con baches y hojas sueltas de periódicos desechos hace tiempo. Un viento frío sopla de las montañas.

En la distancia, tres vagos se amontona alrededor de un barril de metal con fuego prendido, calentándose. Al aproximarse, el hombre observa que los vagos no son vagos sino jóvenes, y más encima – adolescentes.

Baja la ventanilla del auto.

“Hola, buenas.”

Un tipo flaco, un integrante del grupo, le echa una mirada y se dirige hacia la puerta del auto, sus rizos largos de pelo negro derramándose sobre su cara.

“Wenas.” El hombre responde:

“Donde está el Fáiser?”

El flaco mira para el otro lado: “No lo veo hace raato.”

Pasa un momento de silencio, pero dentro de poco tiempo una sombra emerge del lado de los edificios enormes y va hacia el coche.

El flaco habla: “Ah… Ahí está po, aquí viene el Fáiser.”

Fáiser entra en el coche sin decir nada y los dos se van, mientras la luna y unas estrellas que parecen alfilerazos de luz comienzan a salir, ya que por fin las nubes se habían marchado.

El Fáiser habla primero: “Evan te ves flaco, estai bien?”

“Muy ocupado recientemente, muy ocupado… y tensionado,”

“Entonces usted debe relajarse,” dijo Faizer mientras introduce su mano entre los muslos de Evan, “y aprovechar de hacer más llamadas.”

“No tengo tanto tiempo libre,” Evan respondió, intentando de ignorar la mano entre sus muslos, “Te entras en el asunto muy rápido. Es por eso te llaman Phyzer?”

El Fáizer se rió. “Sí. Primero me llamaron Viagra. Pero Faiser suena mejor.”

“Suena alemán,” dijeron a la vez.

Chile conoce bien sus fantasías.

            Entonces el placer asumió control y Evan condujo su auto en los círculos, no intentando de llegar a ningún lugar sino simplemente esperando no estrellarse con nada. Las palmas enormes en Alameda se sacudieron desordenadamente en el viento frío.

Evan colocó su mano detrás de la cabeza de Faizer cuando ése casi terminó. Tenía su pelo negro todo pegajoso con gel y su boca sintió bien caliente. Suavemente, Evan elevó su cabeza, revelando su cara en el resplandor débil procedente de los faroles amarillos, los carteles de neón, las ventanas abiertas de viviendas y la insistente luz de la luna y estrellas arriba. En esa luz, Fáizer era hermoso y pareció ser de oro amarillento, pálido, delicado, fino, intachable – un pedazo de losa china, cautivador. Evan le besó aunque la boca de Faizer aún seguía empapada, y le dijo “ven conmigo a la casa de nuevo.”

“Como no.”

$$$$$$

En el apartamento ya había un sobre con el nombre de Fáizer escrito en marcador rojo puesto en la mesa del kitchenette. Los gringos solían salir con estas rarezas específicas.

“Aquí, toma esto,” dijo Evan, entregándole el sobre.

En silencio, Faizer abrió el sobre y contó el dinero. Mientras contaba, Evan le hizo una pregunta: “¿Siempre quieres ir juntando plata así?”

No, pensó Faizer, pero nunca le diría eso a un cliente. Mil veces los clientes crudos le habían preguntado groserias, pero en sumo prefirió eso a escuchar los problemas típicos de los maricones ricos y enclositados: la esposa distante, los hijos perezosos, las hijas promiscuas, y el tema del dinero. Ese tipo de cliente siempre sintió la necesidad de decirlo todo.

Pero Evan no era como ésos. Evan siempre pagó en abundancia y nunca estuvo cruel o repugnante. Era muy pragmático. Y nunca contó historias de su vida.

“Algún día quiero ser bailarín” Así respondió Fáizer. Era la verdad.

¿Y por qué no decir la verdad? pensó Faizer. ¿Y si este gringo rico con sus sobres de efectivo lo quiere hacer realidad?

Evan se rió entre dientes. “¿Un bailarín? ¿Hay bailarines en Chile?” Evan abandonó el asunto y comenzó a farfullar sobre asuntos bancarios en Chile, los negocios y los matrimonios.

Faizer se preguntó si, al fin y al cabo, había algo tan diferente acerca del gringo Evan. Él no podría ver más allá de su dinero y prestigio no más que los viejos gordos con picos y cerebros minúsculos que pululan por todas partes de Las Condes.

“¿Quieres tirar?” Dijo Evan.

Pues, de todos modos, había algo en su franqueza.

“Como no.” Contestó Fáizer.

Ya trabajamos.

$$$$$$$

Unas horas más tarde, las vibraciones de la caja fuerte del armario se pusieron excesivamente molestas, y mirando al lado con un suspiro, Evan declaró en inglés que iba a ducharse. Se mudó pesadamente hacia el baño y Faizer dio una vuelta en la cama, y ya cansado, inspeccionó todas las partes de la pieza mientras soñaba despierto.

Observando la forma rosada y semi-ocultada de Evan detrás de la puerta translúcida de la ducha, se preguntó si sería posible agarrar a un hombre rico que también sea bueno y agradable. En una fantasía que duró segundos Faizer, cuyo nombre verdadero era Diego – imaginó que Evan era un abogado que vendía propiedades inmobiliarias a otros extranjeros ricos, y en los días cuando él no enseñaba danza en su escuela ni tuvo que salir a bailar en los teatros en Lastarria o Providencia – los dos compartirían viajes al sur – para ver haciendas en Chiloé, viñedos en Curicó, y casonas en Valparaiso. Allí navegarían juntos los ilógicos caminos zigzag para hallar los hogares multicolores que cuelgan como ornamentos sobre los acantilados enormes ubicados entre el sol y el mar. Y después de todo esto, Diego, a quién nade le va llamar Fáizer nunca jamás (ni Diego a sí mismo), adornaría y embellecería a esas casonas con el talento para el arte que acechaba oculto en alguna parte de él.

El vapor de la ducha se filtró al dormitorio y Diego fantaseó sobre las diversas vidas posibles con suficiente dinero, amor, o los dos. No deseó una vida con un hombre que le golpearía o que le rodearía con su brazo musculoso en la noche, susurrando amenazas – como su último novio, el celoso.

Esos dias ya terminaron. Nunca jamás.

Desde la neblina donde quedó la ocultada forma de Evan en alguna parte, una voz emergió: “Puede que tengas que irte pronto.”

Sin una palabra, Diego se levantó y comenzó a recolectar sus prendas, las cuales habían huido para as esquinas oscuras y casi invisibles de la pieza, como mamíferos chicos que buscaron calor y seguridad. Primero encontró su ropa interior y pantalones, y después sus calcetines y polera. Al encontrar todos sus objetos, los dejó en una pila en la cama. Gozando de la sensación del aire en su piel, Diego decidió permanecer desnudo y andar inspeccionando el apartamento. En el pasillo cerca de la puerta, encontró un espejo grande, y echando una ojeada cuidadoso a sí mismo, examinó cuidadosamente su pequeño y apretado cuerpo desnudo, su piel limpia y clara, sus músculos definidos, y desde luego su pene chico pero grueso.

Es la hora de irse.. Pensó él.

Al vestirse, la hebilla de su cinturón le dio un susto de frío. Diego notó con confianza que su ropa lo apretaba en todos los sectores correctos de su cuerpo, aumentando su belleza necesaria.

Evan va a llamarme otra vez.

Una voz interrumpió desde la ducha: “Cuando te vas, usa la escalera del garage. No la puerta delantera.”

Diego sintió algo de ira. Tiene vergüenza de mí. No quiere que los viejitos entrometidos de la consejería se interesen.

Diego rápidamente recolectó todas las cosas que consideraba su propiedad antes de irse. Suavemente, cerró la puerta con un tintineo.

$$$$$$

Evan tomó su tiempo limpiando su cuerpo del Faizer. Cuando por fin dejó la ducha, el muchacho se había ido hace rato. Una de las mejores cualidades de Fáizer era que siempre sabía el momento justo para salir del escenario y desaparecer.

Tirado en la cama, Evan se preguntó si genuinamente quería que Fáizer desapareciera. Sin invitación, una fantasía le saltó a la mente: llegando a la casa algún día común y corriente después del trabajo, después de reuniones, después de sonreír y de decir sí en los momentos correctos a las personas correctas – Fáizer – o lo que sea su nombre verdadero – estaría allí en toda su gloria de 155 centímetros esperándolo. Evan lo levantaría y le robaría un beso y antes de ponerse a besar y aprender cada una de sus muchas partes, incluyendo su personalidad, mente y ser. Desde allí los dos emprenderían un viaje hacia una vida más positiva en la cual los dos podían compartir un alma, y una vida honesta.

Evan tenía vergüenza sí mismo y sus sueños muy pero muy maricones.

Muy pronto la caja fuerte interrumpió. El celular dentro ya se había vibrado contra el lado metálico de la caja fuerte y estaba emitiendo un sonido constante de:

KRRRRR KRRRRRR KRRRR KRRRRR

Molesto, Evan se dirigió a la puerta abierta del clóset, y con un choque, notó que el reloj de hombre ya no estuvo. El Fáizer alcanzó hasta la quinta visita – un récord.

Casi teníamos algo.

Menos enojado que triste, él agarró y machucó la pequeña caja azul que una vez contuvo el reloj y la arrojó a la basura.

Después de barrer la pila de ropa sobre de la caja fuerte y lanzarla en el piso, Evan abrió la caja fuerte y introdujó su mano al espacio.

12 llamadas perdidas Jesus Christ. Y todas de la misma.

Evan puso su sonrisa y llamó el número de las llamadas perdidas.

“Evelyn! Hooola! Si es que lo tenía apagado, si…. Tranquila! Tranquiiila! No no es así. No es imposible. Si, se me mandaron un paquete. Si parece que el mitin de ayer salió súper….”

Y mientras que hablaba con esta mujer interesada en cuentas bancarias compartidas, un matrimonio ventajoso, y – por supuesto – niños, Evan introdujo su mano en la boquita de la caja fuerte fría y chica de nuevo, y aún sonriendo, aún asintiendo con la cabeza y repitiendo, “si, si, si” – el hombre saca un idéntico reloj de hombre con una idéntica caja azul – y lo coloca medio camuflado en misma manera, parcialmente ocultado pero deseoso de ser observado – en las profundas y silenciosas honduras de su clóset personal.

Panegírico capítulo 1

 

hopper_-_Mujer_tomando_cafe

Panegírico
Capítulo 1

Durante la hora de almuerzo, una aventura comienza.

Una ensalada de 14 dólares es uno de los pequeños insultos de la vida. Así pesó Lucky Pack, mientras deslizaba su bandeja de comida hacia una cajera étnicamente irreconocible de mediana edad, con el seño deicidamente fruncido. La cajera, ya aburrida con su nuevo cliente, extendió la mano hacia él a través del mostrador y miró hacia arriba.
Lucky cuidadosamente sacó su cartera Liquiform™ Mowlskine™ de sus apretados Skinny jeans, la cual era una bagatela chiquitita capaz de contener su licencia de conducir, dos tarjetas de crédito, y un par de billetes correctamente doblados, y nada más. Al hacer los movimientos torpes necesarios para sacar su dinero, se lo entregó a la cajera.
Al lado de Lucky, una mujer corpulenta llevando un perrito en sus manos se balanceó hacia atrás y hacia delante, esperándolo.
Lucky depositó una porción de su vuelta en el tarro de propinas y se encaminó hacia una de las mesas desocupadas rodeando el espacio angosto del OK OK Café, uno de los pocos lugares dónde se sintió cómodo trabajar en la luz del día.
Durante la semana laboral de los trabajadores normales – o sea la gente que no trabajen freelance – los comedores de almuerzo en Manhattan, con sus ensaladas costosas, se llenan y se evacuan como bolsas sobrecargadas de colostomía desde el mediodía las 2 de la tarde. Todo el resto del tiempo, los comedores del rango medio quedan prácticamente desiertos hasta la hora de cenar – y aun en ese momento sólo atraen una clientela secundaria y pálida de comensales treintañeros solteros, sentados en mesitas para dos personas sobre sillas plegables, comiendo sus comidas solitarias en un silencio completamente aterrorizante.
Por todas estas razones, más el plus muy importante de Wifi gratis, los comedores son aptos lugares para observar la gente, llevar a cabo trabajos chicos, y sobre todo estar completamente invisible. Lucky, desabrochando su mochila fashion de la marca Phearana™, se puso a trabajar en una esquinita del OK OK Café –desenvainando su bolígrafo carmesí de redacción y empezando a presentar atención una resma gigante de páginas de un manuscrito, el cual requería su edición severa y justa.
El manuscrito trataba de la inteligencia, de la seriedad, de la investigación – o sea de la ciencia pura y por lo tanto no podía permitir las opiniones no corroboradas, las aseveraciones sin sustancia cuantitativa, ni los berrinches autorales. Una y otra vez se bajó el bolígrafo carmesí de edición, como la espada de un ángel vengador, aniquilando todos los errores potencialmente perturbadores a la mente inmaculada de la ciencia.
En 45 minutos silenciosos de edición, Lucky eliminó nada menos que 10 usos de los verbos “Pensar, parecer, creer,” y un uso de la palabra “lamentablemente.”
Normativo, murmuró Lucky entre sus dientes, tachando una y otra dudosa palabra. Jesús lloró.
Mientras Lucky trabajaba, perdido entre sus pensamientos y juicios, no se dio cuenta de que su ensalada – promocionada como un producto artesanal de estilo bistró francés con lechuga belga servido con róbalo chileno y aguacate bañado en delicioso aderezo de higo y manzana – estuvo gradualmente convirtiéndose en abono.
A tres mesas de distancia, islas de distancia, una mujer tosió. Le prestó atención. Observando la mujer, notó que era una integrante de un grupo de turistas, probablemente alemanes. Los comensales se comunicaron en algún idioma nórdico. Lo interesante de ellos era que no gesticularon con las manos, sino con la cabeza – subiéndola, bajándola, oscilándola, frunciéndose sus ceños, y últimamente haciendo mociones de chupar y soplar con la boca.
Que interesante.
Lucky empezó a comer su ensalada, y los alemanes se le escurrió de la mente. Mientras comía, comenzó a memorizar las minucias de la sala enfáticamente – un viejo hábito del aburrimiento. La mesa tenia espirales extrañas de madera, espirales oscuras. Tiñeron las mesas? Como se tiñe una mesa? Los lados de la sala eran hechos de ladrillos. Hace tiempo, probablemente había papel, madera, u otra material tapando los, pero ahora estan expuestos, desnudos, rugosos, primitivos. Le gustó su apariencia, el aspecto de las rocas y el mortero al aire libre. Había algo natural pero organizado en su aspecto. La razón por la que el ladrillo quedó expuesto así, desde luego, era que el material ya estaba de moda y conllevaba algo de energía rústica adecuada para los administrativos de oficinas pasando sus horas de almuerzo – trabajadores temporarios apoyados generosamente por planes de datos ilimitados, computación de la nube, y contratos negociables de dos semanas sin beneficios de seguro médico.
El suelo era otra cosa – una baratija de laminación prefabricada pintada como para que parecía madera o piedra – o algún otro material indefinible, oscuro, y duro. Le hizo pensar en Upstate New York, y sus nuevas, extrañas y baratas gasolineras. Aparecieron de la noche a la mañana como setas hechas de los juguetes lego. Eran geométricas y de baja calidad – rellenas de triángulos estridentes, mesas cuadradas, y paredes endebles de colores mate – todo esto más luces florecientes soñolientas y borrosas provocando el estupor en la gente o posiblemente las compras de bebidas de energía.
En ese momento, casi perdido a sus ensueños de idiota, Lucky vio una delgada mujer de pelo moreno, la que llevaba una falda de tela rojo y verde con una chaqueta liviana. La mujer se dirigió hacia la mesa en donde los alemanes sentaron. Hace tiempo muchos habían llegado y ido tras la partida de los turistas. Normalmente Lucky no era tal persona para notar los movimientos precisos de ajenos, pero en este caso había algo llamativa y lustrosa acerca de la mujer que excitó la atención.
Mientras se tomó asiento, Lucky se dio cuenta de que alguien había dejado un celular en su mesa, la mesa alemana. Fue un iphone. La mujer dejó su bandeja de comida allí, y cogió el celular. Entonces, como sí fuera nada, con el celular en la mano se encamino al basurero a medio camino entre ella y Lucky, y después de mirarlo un momento, le guiñó el ojo a él. Tenía ojos verdes y vivaces con una boquita llena de dientes pequeños y brillantes. Parada allí al lado del basurero, con la sombra de una sonrisa leve en la boca, ella tomó unas servilletas del dispensador, envolvió el celular en ellas, y lo dejó caer en la basura sin que emite ni un sonido.
Después del hecho, la mujer caminó directamente hacia la puerta, dejando su almuerzo italiano en la mesa, pudriéndose.

Dump the Rainbow Flag

Bandera_Gay,_Dia_del_Orgullo_Gay,_Madrid

 

Dump the Rainbow Flag

(español: https://fantasticablog.wordpress.com/2014/07/24/botar-la-bandera-arcoiris/)

A flag depicting the hanging corpse of a thirteen year-old boy explains the experience of being gay better than a rainbow; it personifies the hate, the jokes, and the hollow sucking shame of being worthless and unwanted. While fake examples of loving families overcrowd click-bait headlines, I think my story, and many more like it, are far more typical. My parents raised me on a trinity of Rush Limbaugh, Sean Hanity, and Laura Schlessinger – conservative radio hosts with millions of US listeners. They explained everything to me about the “biological error[1]” that is the homosexual: his perversity, her deviance, its repulsive disease – and the need for a cure. Years later, while driving to a family party, my uncle suggested the cure indirectly by remarking on “the pieces of a chopped up fag they found in a dumpster.” The killer wasn’t caught, but “who cares,” because, “they are cleaning up the city.” There are of course many other stories, like the doctor who asked me if I had “heterosexual or homosexual” sex, then repeated the question twice after my answer, and finally, exasperated, defined his terms plainly. Once he realized I understood what the words meant, he left the room instantly. A long wait later, he gave me a brief, cold examination and kicked me out the door. Maybe he was afraid of AIDS or maybe he was just taking out the trash. A rainbow doesn’t speak to these kinds of experiences, but a hanging body does. Suicide gets to the root of why any of us gays are here– because no one wants us.

The rainbow flag originally signified various undesirable sexualities, but nowadays its application is broadened into mere vanity. Even the “Straight Ally,” a broad-minded Olympian willing to shake our diseased-infested hands, may now claim it. But he shouldn’t. The club of gays may be one of freaks, lepers, and worse – but it is a club membership bought with suffering. At least for me, once one buys something with blood and tears, one will not sell it again for a stranger’s smile, his pity, his condescension – or to be a proof of his goodness. Like all animals, humans work for their own benefit, and the straight ally phenomenon is no different; the trend is to appear accepting, but no straight person in their right mind sees faggots and dykes as equals. Take Jonah Hill, or Barak Obama, the Pope, or whoever – we are occasionally useful as targets for their largesse, but beneath it all, these are the people who laugh at the gay jokes, who make them, who are ashamed of their closet queers, who are confident of their superiority, their worthiness. People do not change.

If the rainbow flag has been transformed into a party favour, the party itself is an ironic and morbid one. Alcoholism[2], homelessness[3], increasing HIV infection[4], drug addiction[5], poverty[6], and suicide[7] are the more likely results of being gay than becoming a straight woman’s shopping assistant. Unmeasured in these quantitative descriptions of LGBT life are the shame-faced looks people who once loved but now despise you, the emptiness of being marginal, the futility of a life that is nothing. I am reminded of an acquaintance, in his thirties and single, who was found stabbed to death in the stairwell of a building in Chile I lived in, a victim of the lawless hell that gay life can become when the outcasts pray on other outcasts. Taken in this light, the rainbow flag and the word “gay” are therefore parodies.

Many homosexuals will disagree with my point of view. Some will offer up the shaky smiles of family as feeble talismans of respect. Forgive me if I doubt. Others discard their beggar’s clothes, and blend with straights, imagining themselves as more than just a walking punch-line. Forgive me if I chuckle. In this life we both define ourselves and are defined by others; and while one can escape one’s own labels – one cannot escape those from outside. For the homosexual there are only two eras of life: the time before people know what you are, and after – a law that cannot be changed by begging for love; you are what you are and what you are is less. A symbol to preside over such people, ones that both destroy themselves and are destroyed by others in so many ways, is hard to choose, but if I had to select it – that symbol would not be a rainbow flag.

References

Centers for Disease Control [CDC]. (2014a). LGBT youth. Retrieved from http://www.cdc.gov/lgbthealth/youth.htm

CDC. (2014b). HIV among gay and bisexual men. Retrieved from http://www.cdc.gov/hiv/risk/gender/msm/

Dermody, S. S., Marshal, M. P., Cheong, J-W., Burton, C., Hughes, T., Aranda, F., & Friedman, M. S. (2013). Longitudinal disparities of hazardous drinking between sexual minority and heterosexual individuals from adolescence to young adulthood. Journal of Youth and Adolescence, 43(30), 30-39. doi:10.1007/s10964-013-9905-9

Marikar, S. (2010). Critics: Dr. Laura’s rant reiterates n-word is never OK. ABC News. Retrieved from http://abcnews.go.com/Entertainment/dr-laura-schlessinger-slammed-word-laced-rant/story?id=11394378

Paul, J. P., Catania, J., Pollack, L., Moskowitz, J., Canchola, J., Mills, T., … Stall, R. (2002). Suicide attempts among gay and bisexual men: Lifetime prevalence and antecedents. American Journal of Public Health, 92(8), 1338-1345.

Sears, B., & Badgett, L. (2012). Beyond Stereotypes: Poverty in the LGBT Community. The Williams Institute. Retrieved from http://williamsinstitute.law.ucla.edu/headlines/beyond-stereotypes-poverty-in-the-lgbt-community/

[1] (Marikar, 2010)

[2] (Dermody et al., 2014)

[3] (Centers for Disease Control [CDC], 2014a)

[4] (CDC, 2014b)

[5] (CDC, 2014a)

[6] (Sears & Badgett, 2012)

[7] (CDC 2014a; Paul et al., 2002)