Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Oktober the Seventeenth: The Gods of Convenience

 Here's a trippy little piece for me-- it's a fiction story, although it is based on real people, some real places, some real conversations that happenend when I lived in Indiana, a couple lifetimes ago.

 It was fun to go back there, in this way. Paco's Cantina as it was, is no more; and the food was written as absolutely true, and I still miss it.

 So this one is for Mike. I'd say I'm sorry I corrupted our past, but, hey, it was going that way already.

 Peace, Mari


The Gods of Convenience

By Mari Kozlowski

 Mike pulled into the lot and found a spot right away. I gasped in disbelief— we never, I mean never ever had found a spot behind Paco’s that quick.

“What the hell evil spell got put on you?” I asked him.

 He smiled and pointed to a plastic lizard sitting in the broken open glove compartment. It was cheap, painted flat greenish brown, but well detailed anatomically, with a long tail broken off at the tip. I'd wondered about it.

“I got me a parking god,” he said, “and it works. Yesterday I parked in the resident lot for my 10 am French Lit class and I didn’t get a ticket.” 

“Impressive,” I admitted, “especially you making it to your 10 o’ clock on time.”

 We got out of his beaten up Skylark and headed towards the back door of Paco’s fast. It was freezing, with a brutal wind chill.

 Once we’d gotten our usual-- two quesadillas for Mike and one for me, with three hot sauces splashed inside it— we began to warm up. Paco’s was always about a thousand degrees inside. It was such a tiny hole in the wall, with an open grill, no real ventilation and usually five more people eating there than the maximum allowed by law. And one whole wall was taken up with shelves full of hot sauce from all over the world.

 Eating there in winter was heavenly. Summer wasn’t, but we still managed to end up there by 2:30 am at least once a week. We walked a lot at night, and hung out at a few bars, and then got starved.

 At Paco’s, the quesadillas were huge, delicious and filling. They didn’t just use cheese: those big fuckers were stuffed with rice, asadero, chopped olives, jalapenos, salsa, and sour cream. Mike could only eat two because he made up for all the other appetites he couldn’t satisfy that way. The one time I’d tried I regretted it. If I was hungry afterwards, we walked some more first, then grabbed a donut at the Stop-n-Rob.

 When I finished, I waited till Mike had a huge bite in his mouth and then asked if he prayed to the lizard, or just sacrificed virgins on the dashboard. He wiggled his eyebrows at me and swallowed.

“What do you think?”

“I think virgins are boring as shit.” I said. Although at that point, neither of us had fucked one yet. “What I want to know is, are you turning religious all of a sudden, or is it just for the parking spots?”

“There’s 3500 students at B--, and 2500 places to park, including for teachers.”

 He finished his last quesadilla and belched into his hand. "But don’t mention it in the car. You don’t want to anger the parking god. Then we’d have to walk farther the next time.”

“Right.” I got up and dumped the plates in the trash next to us. “Let’s see if there’s a pool table open at the Alleycat.”

“There won’t be.” 

“You never know… since your conversion, it could have changed. Maybe the Almighty Lizard controls more than parking.”

 Mike stood up and stretched. He looked tired and kind of pasty in the sick light of Paco’s, but then he was pretty pale anyway. What he really needed was to get laid; we both did.

“Maybe. I’m afraid to push it. But pool sounds good. As long as we don’t have to wait for a table.”

“Like you’re not used to waiting.” I said, as we left the way we came in.

“Can’t wait every night.” he argued.

“We can if we have to.”


Mike said...

Hell, the only corruption I noticed is I never drove a skylark. *g*

heavy hedonist said...

Well, it IS fiction.