The guy next door was honking away, clearing something from deep in his head, blowing out his sinuses in the attempt. “What the hell’s that goddamned noise?! Sounds like somebody’s got a sinus full of pussy!” GayOrg Washington yelled through the phone. “I can hear it from here for Chrissakes!”
Waiting in his room, the walls thin as paper, three or thirty Indios sawing wood somewhere to his right, presumably in the next room, someone dragging furniture across the ceiling, and now a guy blowing his brains out: Morrison contemplated the virtues of patience. Sometimes patience was easy because you had no choice. There was no bus till six a.m. whether he was patient or not. How much he suffered was ultimately up to him. Cultivating amusement was a better choice, and in this zoo, it was amusement or madness.
Finally the honking let up. There was a pause, then a sudden hard banging against the wall as an invisible hand seemed to punch the wall each time the bull on the other side thrust himself into a woman who was hanging on for dear life. “Hey! What is all that?” Dolores yelled from the head. “Someone’s really getting hammered!” Her curiosity piqued, she came out adjusting her skirt. She cocked her head. “She’s making brutish noises … like she’s … constipated. She’s groaning her way to orgasm.” Dolores was right. Our unseen woman was emitting shocked grunts and high-pitched gasps and squawks like an alto sax, but mostly there was a bovine moaning at the low end. She couldn’t come, though her phallic trophy ‘nearly split her in two like she was dry kindling,’ mused Morrison.
Nearly split her in two like she was dry kindling: The phrase had come from a drunk in a bar in Oaxaca, who had bragged about one of his conquests. What he had said had struck Morrison as tragic, but for the drunk, floating in a macho pool of mescal, the tale had brought color to his face and his eyes had flashed for a quick second before they splashed softly back into his own personal dead pool. He had a life-preserver made of finely worn pride and he beat his chest vehemently when he insisted, “She cried for mercy! She begged me!” He lifted his glass. “A toast!’” he yelled. “A toast to lust!”
And we drank more moonshine mescal, and we ate the worm.
GayOrg Washington, who was listening to the live broadcast of the twelve rounder and not Morrison’s inner monologue, was yelling in Morrison’s ear. “Man, it’s no fun when you draw one like that, moaning and groaning some horrible childhood agony, can’t let go, can’t come, head flopping from side to side like a fucking frigid beached fish.”
“Yes,” Morrison agreed. “It’s a lot more fun when they shriek to bring the house dick around.”
Dolores put her hand on Morrison’s hip. “When I fuck I go into another world. I’m in a frenzy. The gods ride me, the animal spirits, the ancient ones, the dead.”
Doesn’t leave much room for me, thought Morrison.
GayOrg screamed into the phone: “What that crazy woman saying? What she on about now?”
Then the banging let up, the kindling was split, just the groaning continued but it had a different tone, and the man was moaning now, and they heard the woman yell with a sharp blend of anger, confusion, and sudden fear: “My damn ass is on fire!”
“This ain’t lube, goddammit!” the man yelled. “It’s a bottle of fucking anti-septic ointment – menthol super! And my cock is on fire! Mother! Fucker!”
“Aiieeee!” yelled the woman. “What you on?! Get off me! Get me outta here!”
There was a lot of thrashing around as they both jumped from the bed and ran for the bathroom. “Wait!” yelled the woman. “There’s baking soda in the ice box.”
GW was cawing Morrison’s ear to shreds from his end of the phone. He’d heard it all and was guffawing near to death with laughter. Morrison heard him crash to the floor, still laughing hysterically, and then the phone cut off.
Dolores was perched on the edge of the bed, her legs crossed high, the crossed leg swinging with nervous energy. Morrison got up and took out three shot glasses and a bottle of mescal. He poured one for Dolores. He poured the second one in honor of the visit of the drunk from memories past. The third one he poured because somehow you had to love mankind – they were such fuckups. One hand doesn’t know what the other hand is doing. How much chance you got?
“Salud!” he said to Dolores, holding his shot aloft. “Bottoms up, honey.” Dolores swung her legs and grinned. Six a.m. was a long way off.