Friday, 6 March 2009

06 March 2009

daughter. When I saw that I was too ashamed to try for the one I really wanted. I let the leech take me off to the back, where as in a dream, to the din and roar of further loadspeakers inside, we made the bed bounce a half hour. It was just a square room with wooden slats and no ceiling, a bulb hanging from the hall roof, and ikon in the corner, a washbasin in another. All up and down the dark hall the girls were calling “Aqua, aqua caliente!” which means hot water. Frank and Neal were also out of sight. My girl charged thirty pesos, or about three dollars and a half, and begged for an extra ten pesos and gave a long story about something. I didn’t know the value of Mexican money, for all I knew I had a million pesos, I threw money at her. We rushed back to dance. A greater crowd was gathered in the street. The cops looked as bored as usual. Neal’s pretty Venezualan dragged me through a door and into another strange bar that apparently belonged to the whore house. Here a young bartender was talking and wiping glasses and an old man with handlebar mustache sat discussing something earnestly. And here too the mambo roared over another loudspeaker. It seemed the whole world was turned on. Venezuala clung about my neck and begged for drinks. The bartender wouldn’t give her one. She begged and begged, and when he gave it to her she spilled it and this time not on purpose for I saw the chagrin in her poor sunken lost eyes. “Take it easy baby.” I told her. I had to support her on the stool, she kept slipping off. I’ve never seen a drunkener woman, and only eighteen. I bought her another drink, she was tugging at my pants for mercy. She gulped it up. I didn’t have the heart to try her either. My own girl was about thirty and took care of herself better. Still with Venezuala writhing and suffering in my arms I had a longing to take her in the back and undress her and only talk to her---this I told myself. I was delirious with want of her and the other little dark girl. Poor Gregor, all this time he stood on the brassrail of the bar with his back to the counter and jumped up and down gladly to see his three American friends cavort. We bought him drinks. His eyes gleamed for a woman but he wouldn’t accept any, being faithful to his wife. Neal thrust money at him. In this swelter of mad-

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