on the go 5

I hadn’t noticed it before but, everyday, in the dark of the night there is a whore in the corner of my street. also, a few blocks ahead, after that one restaurant whose name I cannot seem to name, but that has a low ceiling and that sells whiskey and salmon until late in the night, there is this really white, tall marble place with dark skinned, tall gentleman that stand in the front the building, hands in pockets, until morning that I am pretty sure that are drug dealers. but I don’t care. I pass them by just fine. they don’t bother me nor make me think. but the whore, in the corner, she is there. I care. I can look out my window and safely see her, leaning against the wall of a closed liquor shop smoking yellow-filtered-Marlboros. and it’s so late into the night, and it’s cold as fuck, and there she is, dressed in a short skirt and fishnets, a flimsy top – all in black – while it’s so goddamn windy. and her black Cleopatra hair moves in the breeze, and she smokes and smokes and smokes, closing her smoky painted eyes and I can’t help but feel sorry for her. I always feel sorry for prostitutes and I can’t help but wonder if she is one of the pamphlets that I’ve been collecting from all around the town. anyway, I turn off my light and watch her for a little while, up until she whispers something in an old man’s ear and decides to go for a walk. poor girl. god bless her soul in a world with no places for working, underprivileged women like her.

and again, off I go, leather jacket black hat, into my late night walks. I go out hunting for a snack that isn’t pizza or meat, because everything here is either pizza or steak and I’m pretty tired of the same flavors. and I really could use a beer as well, maybe some ice cream – ice cream is always good. so, feeling pretty frisky and a little childish I go, directed by my sole wishes, until there! on the corner of the main street my eyes shine, bight, yellow and red, a McDonald’s and it feels just about right, in my guts, at three am… perfect! a shake and fries. so I accelerate my step, mouth watering until I get to this palace of sugar and late night happiness. and outside, on the sidewalks, leaning against the main doors, legs on the walls, cigarette hanging from full red lips are some three or four pretty, skinny boys… all of them effeminate looking, hair bleached blond, almost white, and so young-looking. it almost feels like Bahnhof Zoo station, like a scene from a movie, with this gang of white, druggy boys sizing me up like I’m a piece of meat, trying to bait me into it… I stop and stare for a little while, I’m a little fascinated by the aesthetics of it all, but I don’t know, really can’t figure anything out. their intentions. maybe it is just my brain frying from the lack of sleep. it’s late and I’m a little buzzed, and I really can’t tell of they are really sexing me up for a paid fuck or if they are coming onto me and flirting in this dangerous, cocky white boy way. maybe they want to mug me. I really can’t tell and really can’t care. my mind is muffled by sleep. all I know is that their eyes look a little soulless and the hour is perfect for drunk munchies and, really, regardless of those boys intentions, they looked pretty and interesting and I’d like, maybe, some other time, to stop and photograph them in a room with little light.

on my way back to my room, satisfied from the views of the world and of a bellyful of deep-fried junk,  I see people sleep on the larger sidewalks and, of course, it is really bad. here I am, full as a stuffed Christmas pig and those people here, living off scraps. I toss my last few coins to the beggars and can only imagine how they survive in this fucking cold from hell. also, I feel extra bad as I remember the outskirts of the city and how everything really hits close to home: the poverty is the same anywhere, with the same worn asphalt, the same crooked, unpainted houses alongside the road, all too close to the traffic, and the children, this immensity of fatherless and motherless children, playing ball on the neighborhoods, carrying bags home, shoe-less and dirty.

and here, in the downtown part of the city, less homeless children – at least I haven’t seen many of them – but with other things also so very similar to home: the boredom of teenagers on the parks, underage drinking, that boiling mischief of youth, the need to misbehave… all of them, pretty boys and pretty girls, ripe and flush, barely fifteen in age, rebelling against nothing and everything, sharing secrets and making out with the instant loves of their lives, sadness and heartbreaks so short-lived and meaningless that tears will dry on their own. and that makes it beautiful, both here and home. their attitudes and how life and the world is revolving. it is all so good is infuriating. anyway, difference here is that they all smoke, heavily, right in the middle of the squares, under their hoodies and atop their skateboards… smoking smoking and smoking, like the whore on my street and the business executives outside the Hilton hotel and the young mothers strolling past the bus stops. everyone smokes a lot here.

this isn’t helping my will to not smoke, but I’m handling. just bear with me, Buenos Aires. bear with me.

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