Sunday, December 25, 2011

The Nondenominational Tourist

By Matthew Dexter

The man was enjoying his vacation so thoroughly that after pontification, he decided it should never end. In the lost decades which followed he found seven Mexican wives, lost all his teeth, burnt out his lungs, gave up frozen margaritas, took up warm-aged tequila, and pitched his tent on a different beach every evening. In America he was considered odd and unattractive; south of the border he was exotic as a mermaid. He made love to currents, dreamed of buying a sailboat--though he knew his finances and decrepit credit rating (all three scores) would weigh down his sea-drenched catamaran until it was no more than a leaky kayak. The man understood all too well that his consumption was nothing more than delusions of grandeur and a fledgling case of tuberculosis.

He was shitting in the warm starry moonlight. He cracked open a bottle of Casillero del Diablo wine stolen from Mi Casa Restaurant from a disillusioned busboy in exchange for a small gram of marijuana and a large rock of cocaine. This defecation of Australopithecus was sleeping inches from a sandy used tampon and a rusty needle. He never got pinpricked--so it did not bother him; the crabs are a different story.

The wives and mermaids wax as he pops his warts with a sombrero. Alone tonight, he busts most of them--the large ones anyway--pus slithers down his shaft. A good man despite his misery, as pigeons listen, a survivor howls amid the pain of the nightly procedure.

Familiar with fishermen, drunken captains often indulge him on sunset cruises.

    There is an uninhibited island that enchants him in the Pacific. Rocky and rough, he fantasizes about being immersed in this oasis. They say it´s too dangerous to land. He will prove them wrong; knows it’s only a matter of time, and luck. The stratosphere is his overturned hour glass.

The man gambles his wine for a fine lady tourist searching for her hotel in a nervous stupor; ends with another mediocre whore with an enormous mouth that never closes; legs always open; scabies and hairy, she chews on the man’s mustache during negotiation. As if studying the menu of a steakhouse after a month of Ramadan, unfastened bloody stained blouse, she exposes herself like a lobster trapped in a cage. Lost in the labyrinth of tent fabric, they become the moons of Jupiter; a gassy planet orbiting the sun.

As the crabs bite and fish fall from the sky, crimson bodies dripping lust for something neither can understand, embracing the carnal ecstasy already fading, they ride the already cresting atavistic wave to shore, unsure of the outcome as always.

He ends with a boat; she a crack pipe stuffed with wet rock, four bottles of wine, and a varicose spider nest of throbbing misery. Grinning toothless, she amuses the nipples of the nondenominational man and hands over the keys of the panga. The man does not bother pulling up his pants; tripped by shredded khakis, he rips them from swollen ankles, gives them to the woman, her fluorescent lighter aimed at the Big Dipper. The zipper hits her in the cheek, doesn´t faze the beast focused on her rock as if it were a hidden constellation: Ophiuchus.

His satellite is the decrepit boat tucked into the cove. Hers is the melting yellow snow of paradise. Both avenues are escapes in their own. The woman disappears. The man hits rock on his island, guided by the waxing moon. The panga sinks within minutes, so weakened by butt cheeks of women. The man swims to shore with crabs.

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