Bodega: By Luis San Bispe

Wow, man, I mean, this, this is what I'm DOING every day - this is my job, and it's kinda, you know, it's bullshit, because these old dudes are sitting here beside me  all day not doing a thing except they talk, talk, holy SHIT do they talk so much old dark language that they don't even realize it's nice outside, because they've got the same old stories about their first wives when they were younger and how they picked up these young girls, picked them up in the only new vehicles they ever owned, back when they were young and so horny their thighs would be red from rubbing them so much. They were riled up enough to go out and WORK, honest days and shady jobs for the old commanders, enough to put down payments on big Buicks and Chev-Rolets, with chrome trim and power steering and all that shit, just so they could holler at these young girls, turn them into wives, then turn them into women; so they could move a little weight and make a baby, which means they've got a legend (they mean 'legacy', but these old fuckers call it a 'legend'). So they do all this work to convince these girls to stock them for life, to give em life, and then they get all lazy forever, and they just want to sit here and not do shit but talk about the same shit, and I want to go outside but I can't cause I'm getting paid and nothing would get done if I left. These old fuckers and their women; some of the women, they leave, and maybe sometimes after that the old balls, older balls than before but sometimes they still get jumpy after the first wife and they become productive guys again, productive members of the community; labor poolers or janitors or working a deli, plus side jobs, even, for the commanders if they didn't fuck up too bad when they were younger. And they maybe they buy a little potential and get an act going enough so they can convince the girls, or A girl, not so young, maybe a woman (already once or twice, maybe now she's a pig, or a tramp), they convince SOMETHING to get back up on those balls and hitch a ride to the long life after together. And the dance stops, the balls stop bouncing before the song ends again, probably, but everyone's a little older this time, and maybe nobody's going to leave the party because they're afraid now, now that they've seen some days and lost the balls that would have put gasoline in their ambition. They are afraid to go outside again, and in the literal way too. Fuck, it's so sunny. Some of these dudes - the guy with the never-changing wardrobe: yellow short-sleeves shirt tucked sloppily into his faded jeans, with a Puerto Rico belt buckle and wearing slippers like he's enjoying comfort time in his living room (when actually he's sitting on some kitchen equipment at the back of the bodega) - this guy either owns five of each of the things he wears, or he washes his cloths every night after or possibly during the Eyewitness Sports wrap-up at 11. Or else he, this guy I've called Sanjo for years but who's real name I've never known, he just doesn't smell ever because his skin is made of plastic or something (his skin IS pretty shiny). He smells a little sometimes, Sanjo, but he'd smell much worse if he didn't do something to his clothes all the time, because I've never seen him wear anything different, except to church. Pepe smells WAY worse, and he wears a different Mets jersey to work (it's not work for him cause he just talks all day with Sanjo and Elia, but it's my place of work and he's here when he should be working, and I don't know maybe my uncle pays him, so I'll call it that), but Pepe wears a different jersey every day of the MONTH - he must have a walk-in-closet full of these smelly-ass jerseys, that he probably doesn't wash because he's superstitious, and thinks it's bad luck (and it's bad luck to work too, for this fucking fan). So he smells, and so does Elia, but not as bad because Elia, at least he cares a little bit about not being a total creepy fucker, and wears regular old man clothes, and changes them usually, and buys new shit once in a while. HE even helps me cook eggs or bacon or ham or whatever if it's a busy morning. And Elia's got the most energy, and talks the least bullshit, and HE's the one who's not been able to keep a wife for more than a minute, and he's still alone after like three marriages. He also has no kids, so maybe he shoots blanks, or maybe he's got no balls or something and that mellows him out a little (a little too much, so the wives run off with someone who smells worse but says nice things and can fuck, and make babies). But regardless, I'm stuck back here every day cooking these eggs and making these sandwiches, and it's SO NICE outside, and although I'm thankful to my uncle for giving me a job, and I get to hook this one fine girl up with free shit sometimes so I think she's maybe warming up to me (she is fine), this ain't no player's life, this ain't no life even for a fat video-game-player, and although it's my life for now, I hope it won't be for long. 


(I didn't take this picture of a bodega, I found it on the internet)