Perla and Pati'

Perla and Pati'

A Story by Tony
"

A tropical depression

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Perla and Pati’

A tropical depression.

 

They strode up the street, these angels, with their hips swaying gracefully. But as they came close I could see the stroll was enacted.  Angry gray clouds boiled behind them, matching the expressions they wore.


Perla is beautiful, tall, green eyes. Pati is short, and plain. Perla seems innocent and curious, while Pati is on edge. She draws circles in the dirt with the toe of her worn tennis shoes. They both seem too young to hold so much in their eyes. These girls have families and loved ones. Who are just as desperate as they are. It is not always addiction or abuse that sends the youngster on a trail of destruction. Sometimes they move on out of convenience. Sharing tiny meals and a bed with 6 siblings becomes inconvenient and intrusive. Poverty is not always fun. Any girl dreams of better things, but these girls have better reasons.



On this particular day I could see the street was getting the best of them. Perla told me of 2 occasions in the past day that she had gotten burned. Seems there is little honor among thieves. The total was less than 30 bucks but that’s a lot to this girl. And not just because she has a heroin addiction.  At any rate, there was no cab fare left after Perla got her medicine, so she and Pati had walked the five miles from La Barca. Perla was nodding off from the opiate as we stood and talked. I felt sad and angry at the same time. And, as is normal for me, I also felt rather elated. I am usually invisible to beautiful young girls, so I was stoked at this encounter.


Pati is a new friend of Perla’s. She is smart and has 3 kids. A year ago she had plenty of work in the tourist industry to feed and clothe them. She also had a nice apartment with hot water and a fridge. That was last year. When the economy fell apart she went down fast. She has sold her few luxuries, and is on the edge of a new existence. It is a frightening and logical place she is headed, with addiction and prostitution financing the dark side of leisure. I have seen many fall from their class and enter a different world. The baggage they carry holds more reservation than anticipation. Pati has yet to acclimate. I observe these things with an ability to compare that adds to my frustration. She holds her dignity in the small of her left hand and hides her sorrow and frustration behind an induced smile. I should tell her that in the passing of a short time, she will see the beautiful side of hell, and it won’t be near as intimidating. I won’t though. Her clothes are colorful and attractive, not cheap and whorish. She still looks a employee of tourism, and I suppose she liked things better before. I can feel her disappointment. It is hot and dirty yellow in color. But I know she will survive and probably prosper in ways most of us would not be able to see as prosperity. I can see this because she has black eyes that hold my gaze for a moment or two, and then away to the left or the right. Never down. It is a thing I have learned about people. She is curious and unafraid. But not content in her skin as of yet.


The wind grabbed a plastic bag and pulled it aloft as rain began to dot the asphalt. “You guys want to come in?” I asked. They were too exhausted to verify my intentions. I had a new set of strings for my guitar, and I intended to put them on. In light of my company I might be tempted to bust out a tune... Best case scenario here, I thought.

My apartment is just one big room divided in half, and the girls sat down in my ancient kitchen chairs. I went to the bakery and got some fresh rolls, and at the tiendita, some tuna. When I got back, Pati’s head was on the table, and she was snoring. Perla slumped in the rickety chair, a serene smile on her lips and a single drool suspended from deep red lipstick. They stirred as I talked to Luna, calmly explaining to her in Spanish what a horrid, ugly dog she is, and that I may need to sell her for medical experiments. She sits down by Pati and looks desperate for attention. The girls rub their eyes and tug at their locks. So I point to the bed and tell them to hit it. “No one will bother you here, you can rest a while.” I told them. “It is for the best, no?”

“Just for a few minutes,” said Perla. Pati was hesitant, instinctively wary of being unconscious in strange places, but exhaustion wins in the end.


I left to help Joe in the shop. We weld a muffler on a taxi using bed spring for rod. It is a crappy job, at best, but the car is a bit quieter. It pays 18 dollars, and we smile and wave. Knowing he will be back in a couple of days.


Four hours later the girls wake up. I heated rolls in the micronda and stuffed them with tuna and salsa casera, ‘tortas’ they are called. They made them disappear. The bags they carry were then opened on the table and girls do the girl thing. I listen to them talk as I put strings on the old acoustic. Their lives would be difficult for those within my peer group to believe, or understand. They speak of foul deeds in a routine fashion. They curse the diseased creatures who violate them and burn them, laughing and swearing revenge. I wonder if they know they will not likely have such opportunity.


As each string is installed on the guitar, I pull them from the center, individually stretching them. I am careful to pull them just a tiny bit more than what would seem sufficient. Doing this tears the strings a little at vulnerable points, and makes the instrument less apt to detune. It is a thing of practice more than method. In the half hour that passed, a sad transformation had occurred. Two bedraggled beauties had changed into their night clothes. They looked absolutely delicious as I found E on the sixth string. When all the strings were harmonic, I checked my work against the pitch pipe. To this day I cannot tell you how I know that note. But I do. I did an exaggerated version of a mariachi. They laughed but I could tell they think I am peculiar.


I ignore the waste as they spray copious amounts of Polo cologne on at two bits a shot. I ask them if they need another bottle. They dance with a tune on the radio, moving in a fashion that makes me feel like a young bull. My vision clears and my nostrils open as hot blood rushes to my groin, and then to my face. They laugh with real glee at my embarrassment, and that only makes it worse. I wondered how they kept from being rich, I felt like offering them my soul. They finished preparing for work by putting on chemical armor. Light bulbs with the guts taken out and one little hole tapped in the glass, are ritually turned up and the mother of bad intentions is poured in. As they expertly heated the crystal until it turned to liquid, then to gas, I thought; “What a strange illumination.” And I knew where my porch light had gone.

Odorless smoke billowed around their heads, and made shapes as it poured from the little hole in the glass. The girls giggled and fidgeted and chain smoked my cigarettes. To my complete amazement, Perla took four D cells and some wire and a little bulb, robbed from a  broken, rusted flashlight. She then laid them on the table. With a roll of black tape and in a flat minute, she had a very functional flashlight in her hand. Her smile was brighter than the torch. This girl was a real cracker jack. Sigh. I have a thing for clever girls. I was starting to think I was going to have the good fortune to be stuck with them for the rest of the night, but at 11:00 they headed out.


 I let them out the front gate and told them to be good or at least beware. As they turned towards the boulevard the street lamp complimented their colorful garb, and I felt their spirits and beauty in the cool smell of the street. At least it quit raining, I thought. Suddenly I felt tired and lonely, and a beautiful voice sang in my head; “Alma mio….Alma mio, por favor, no te vas.” I returned to my room and turned on talk radio. Sipping instant coffee and inserting my flash drive, my mood changed again. I felt content and happy though I had been touched that evening by tragedy. I suppose the fact that I have encounters like this all the time is why I don’t complain much. My problems have so little significance. I talk to friends up north and their complaints seem selfish and trivial as well, though they think disaster has fallen upon them. I stare at the word processor for a while, as bad spirits trigger brain cells.

Lighting a cigarette, I step outside and look up, but it is still cloudy. No Orion tonight. My brain gets overloaded from conflicting emotion. I am burning with jealousy over girls who will never be more than acquaintances.  I feel like choking the life out of men who exploit their innocence. But what do I really know? I can only imagine the course of events that leads Perla and Pati to my corner. I know what is really wrong with me though. I am just very lonely and sentimental and half nuts. Laughing out loud I play a scene in my head, where I take these precious princesses away to my castle, where we could live happily ever after.


 

© 2010 Tony


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Featured Review

The house that Tony built...hot damn I so love getting caught up in your little world. Half of it makes me happy I wasn't there and the other half wishes that it was me. Told with a pace that is so relaxed and a style that is like talking to an old friend. Unbelievable stuff muchacho.

Posted 9 Years Ago


1 of 1 people found this review constructive.




Reviews

A realistic account, sometimes I thought the guy was too good to be true, and was watching for the hidden motives and fearful for the girls, the other part of me could also relate to the guys way of finding company and I loved his honest account of his loneliness. As for the girls and what is often a career for the poverty trapped, I thought they were described very accurately. I like your style of writing and your choice of topics, thankyou.

Posted 9 Years Ago


You have an eye for detail, and fill your stories with the truth of real life, with an honest kind voice. I come away with an impression that each life has a story to tell, a story we could all learn from. Your stories are my favorites.

Posted 9 Years Ago


The house that Tony built...hot damn I so love getting caught up in your little world. Half of it makes me happy I wasn't there and the other half wishes that it was me. Told with a pace that is so relaxed and a style that is like talking to an old friend. Unbelievable stuff muchacho.

Posted 9 Years Ago


1 of 1 people found this review constructive.

This is a sad well written story....and you are correct to many of us (me included) gripe about such trivial crap....thanks for the write :)
Peace
Robin

Posted 9 Years Ago


Very well written. Sad and illuminating.

Posted 9 Years Ago


thats a good story Tony ^_^

Posted 10 Years Ago


I really enjoy these kind of stories that you tell. Our lives and experiences are different, yet we look at things in a similar way, finding value where others may not. Your acts of kindness do not go uncounted, of that I'm sure.

Posted 10 Years Ago


1 of 1 people found this review constructive.

You can tell such a story. The desire coming from this piece is phenomenal. Excellent descriptions and language. When you are telling the story though, you switch from the past to the present tense. The last paragraph reveals the desire and fantasy we all have.

Posted 10 Years Ago


tony, a good story teller, he just copies things down from the pages of life, and he's a little bit humble in the mixing, and honest, and a little banged up...

Posted 10 Years Ago



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568 Views
9 Reviews
Added on August 9, 2010
Last Updated on December 29, 2010

Author

Tony
Tony

Mexico...... Tan Lejos



About
I am a guy, 49. I am spirit residing in a carbon based life form. The god I know can be found in motion and rest. I live in Mexico because it's very free, and community still means something. .. more..

Writing
Born Again Born Again

A Story by Tony