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Men suffering on the road: the unfinished raw story
by MBa
2014-12-14 12:33:22
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Men suffering on the road: the unfinished raw story

“Do as you preach and ‘confront your fear’” Robot-cop said to the forastero. Antoni, or the foreigner as his driver and his friends like to call him in Spanish, took the bait and got on the motor-concho crossing himself. Ever since landing in Santo Domingo airport from New York, he had wondered what the heck was a motor-Concho. “ Papi, you got to ride a carrito publico and a motor-Concho to save some ‘pesos’” saidthe Anglo-American woman making the dollar sing with her fingers. They have met on the subway ride to the airport from the Bronx. Antoni introduced himself as he purposely bumped into her when transferring from the D train to the A on 145street -Harlem. Her talking to people with a Dominican-accented Spanish got the better of his curiosity since, thought having Venezuelan citizenship and be brought up in the Brazilian culture, his origin were from the Republica Dominicana. It turned out the lady and him were going to the same destination. That was then.

Some couple of days later and seeing how people drove their vehicles in Dominican Republic convinced him that long walks was the sensible thing to do. Our Americano, had one clear goal in mind: “ I’m gonna searched for relatives and people who I have been told to meet without the pomp of a tourist coming from rich country” he promised to the reflection of a broken bathroom’s mirror. But there he was, getting on some motor-concho driven by some Arnold Schwarzenegger-young dude he’s met at a food-cart.

A motor-Concho is motorbike, usually old and fucked up, driven by suicidal guys who, by the grace of God alone, manage to miss hitting pedestrians and other vehicles as they defy civilized regulations and common sense. Passengers wishing to avoid turning themselves into a human salvo ought to pursue the following steps: clinched themself to the motor-conchero, press their’ crotch against the driver’s butt and, last but not least, pray to the Gods or hope for the best.

The danger does not stop there. One must keep one’s feet far enough so they don’t get shredded by the back tire at high speed and close enough so that they don’t get chop off by passing vehicles and light posters. What should have been a 15 minutes ride actually takes the driver less than five minutes so go figure at what speed he drove and how many traffic violation he committed with pedestrian and police with as much as batting an eyelash. Antoni was nearly sent flying when Robot-cop stop outside the stranger’s house.

The stranger, who was spending time with his father in the same New Jersey building where Antoni’s mom lived, asked him to carry some stuff for his teenager brothers. Finding the entrance door wide-open Antoni and his friend went in shouting Buenos Dias. Just like the stranger, everyone but the maid was Arian-looking in that household. Greetings and explanation out of the way, the maid gave him and Robot-cop some icy and overly sweet drink called morir sonando. Antoni wouldn’t drink icy beverage in the States not even in summer time but cultural sensitivity and religious belief prompt him to make a sacrifice when hospitality and the honor of the host is at stake. Thought the coldness ached his throat, one sip of morir sonando and it did feel like a “dreaming death”; it was delicious.

The boys invited the two visitors to follow them down the block where they would open the presents with the whole rich boys gang. Once seated around on the sidewalk outside a white mansion, the brothers fell upon the goodies like vultures, beaming with pride at their friends ‘curiosity. The Forastero turned to see his driver cursing while looking at his wristwatch. “You made me miss the important thing that I had to do at la hora que murio cristo,” Robot-cop said stomping toward the junk he called a vehicle. The group menudo-looking friends called after Antoni to come back soon. They wanted to keep talking about gringos, TV sitcoms and music hits the foreign guy didn’t know a thing about. “ I am like UPS amigos, delivering shit to many people’s houses” the forastero shouted back as the bike took off with his ass barely landing on the seat. The forastero plan was for his friend to drop him off to his auntie Cruz’s house from which he would later on walk his way to a mechanic garage that belongs to his father side of the family to find his half-brother Rolando. Robot-cop would not have any of that, he would go try to take care of some unfinished business and come get the forastero “a la hora que cristo murio”. Antoni inwardly prayed that 3 o'clock (the hour Christ died) would not turn out to be the hour of his own demise.

The hair trigger speed the junk with wheels took off literally pressed our hero Antoni against the massive butt of this Mr. T-looking guy. Robot-cop did resemblance the 90’s Black-American hulk with a Mohawk who would groan and scare the shit out of everyone in the sitcom movie he co-starred. The forastero marveled at how he became the favorite pet of the guy who 48 hours earlier, could have beat him to death. Antoni closed his eyes reliving how his newfound stardom begun.

The monster and the blonde girl, dismounted the motor-concho; she stood behind while he took long strides toward the hot-dog cart. He has pushed his way past people lining up to get the arm-size hotdogs and burgers, with thousands of toppings on them, Dominicanos call chimichurri. The monster has pushed his way past people lining up to get the arm-size hotdogs or whap with thousands of toppings on them known in the Dominican republic as chimichurri. The blonde, fixing her hair on a building’s glass wall turned and strained her eyes on the nerdy-looking guy who followed her man with resolute steps. The bony skinny tourist, planted himself behind the dude and cleared his throats.“Con ese guevazo y el Culo-azo todos te admirabamos, porque aruinarlo actuando como el mariconazo que no eres pana?”  The food-vendor froze with the two chimichurri he was about to hand over to the brute in front of him. People in the line looked at each other wondering if the ugly boy had actually told the beast that “with a packing crotch, big butt and all that muscle he needn’t be an asshole to command admiration or respect”

The 6” tall guy turned to the crazy who dared pulled his light blue stripe Tommy Hilfiger sweatshirt and tell him the weirdest shit he ever heard. Goateed traced up to both sideburns, bloodshed eyes, the monster’s meaty hands which had been hanging beside his light-blue-jeans-clad tights, balled into fists. The woman, recognizing the man she had traveled with, ran up to the Dominican-turned-killing machine and whispered in his ear, then moved to the side. The dominicano frowned as he looked at our poor hero for what it seemed an eternity. Then the unexpected happened.

Placing a trunk-size-arm on the frail-looking boy ‘shoulder and tossing his buzz-cut black hair with his left hand the hunk started laughing. Antoni, puzzled but relievedand noticing people were in awed at his feast decided to push the envelope a bit further. Antoni snatched the two chimichurri from the vendor’ s hands, took a bite from one, raising the other one up to his new buddy. Robot-cop grabbed the peace offering and nearly gulped half of it in one bite. Robot-cop then swiftly moved to the woman then leaning on the glass wall of a hardware and department store called El Titan. Robot-cop lifted the woman up in the air then let his thick lips slip up against her tanned breast to her rosy lips as he slowly brought her back to earth. Antoni big brown eyes widened like fry eyes, recognizing who seemed to have tipped the balance on his favor.

It was the same gringa who has gotten in the subway in Fordham stop in the Bronx and boarded the same flight to Santo Domingo airport. The brute he had confronted was the novio she kept saying would fuck the New York stress out of her during the hour and a half long flight. Cocking her brunette hair toward him, the woman solemnly informed her novio that, Antoni was the nerdy-gay guy she’d been talking about. “Excuse me!” our hero exclaimed casting bewilder eyes at the gringa who just giggled. Antoni face heated up and started turning red, as Robot-cop rested his arm around his flimsy neck saying it was all right. He asked for his name and told Antoni he could call him Robot-cop. “Oh God please send me some damn angel who would prevent me from slapping this bitch” Antoni yelled in English while the aforementioned lady winked mischievously at him.

The angel came in the form of a Julio Iglesias-looking gentleman waving at Antoni from a Cadillac slowly leaving the Titan parking lot. The distinguished guy, who looks like the famous Spaniard singer, greeted Antoni while sizing up the gringa as an art cognesseur would an art piece he’s considering to buy. Robot-cop coughed for attention. Lazily turning his head, the gentleman told Robot-cop he had left his dad trimming the garden of one of his ex-wives house. “Don Pedro Rosario, that guy is my stepfather” Robot-cop corrected the august man who smiled his understanding then asked who the lady was. While the gentleman and the gringa chatted amicably Antoni kept staring at his friend. Robot-cop was upset for some reason. Antoni wish he could ask him what was wrong but he understood the context was ill suited for that. La gringa, looked at her wristwatch, lamenting she was late for her English teaching duty at a camp she was volunteering across town. Don Pedro gallantly offered to drive her there. Without waiting for a response, Don Pedro ordered Antoni to open the back door for the lady and for him to get in the passenger seat.  La gringa kissed her man goodbye and slid in the backseat saying gracias, while Antoni told Robot-cop to meet him the next day “same corner same time bro”. The copper color Cadillac sailed off, Antoni seeing a waiving Robot-cop disappear from view.

“Las Calles son para Buenos para nada, delinquents, prostitutas y hombres pajaros” Antoni’s auntie, Señora Cruz, declared, one hand resting upon an Italian version Bible. El forastero, imitating the little kids, laid down on the dying grass, tracing figures and English words distractedly with a rusted nail he’s found on the fudgy ground beneath a flowery bush. If the reader were to be standing over el forastero, would read the words his devout Christian auntie uttered: Good for nothing, criminals, prostitutes and faggots. El forastero looked toward the street and whispered, “So those are the kind of people you are made up for”.

Following siesta-time custom common in Mediterranean and Tropical cultures, Tia Cruz’ household spread around like lazy alligator under a blazing sun. Some of them cuddled on rocking chairs in la galleria, others lay down on hammocks hanging from two facing trees on the side-yard, chit chatting while dosing on and off.  La galleria is the porches found mostly in middle classes and wealthy classes houses in Mediterranean and tropical lands. Las Acacias, the house of Tia Cruz in the D.R is one such house. Tia Cruz, who lives in Switzerland, flew to D.R when told this nephew had come unannounced to spend a week reuniting with family member. Auntie Cruz’ grown up daughter, two sons, their respective spouses and children all were living in this house, when el forastero showed up. After two days of catching up with people he kind of knew from his childhood days. They were all grown up then and mostly living at Senora Cruz expense for what el forastero could tell.

La galleria had four rocking chairs facing a small table, all made up of bronze with traces of yellow on them. An all around knee-height cemented hand-rail that encase the gallery into a square with an opening, come handy for people to rest amid the potted plants dotting it. Whatever the family wouldn’t learn from Antoni accounts of his adventures, they would clearly get it from other sources.  Milerdy, the maid’s daughter who has lived and worked in Las Acacias at intervals since being a child, has been popping up everywhere Antoni has gone, seemingly mesmerized by his charm and accent. Senora Cruz, who has turned evangelical in her declining years, would give her nephew moral lectures and advices whenever he was heading out. The way she sees it, Antoni is a naïve, well-educated and religious boy wasting his time and energy with strangers. “Who knows of the harm he might be exposed to with some of them?” she would gossip over the phone with his mother in New Jersey.

“Have you seen one of these booklets before?” Antoni said, sensing dark clouds in the eyes and in the voice of Robot-cop as he said he needed to take care of some unfinished business. Robot-cop stop at the view of what seemed to be some bleu booklet held up to his face. The trick worked. Robot-cop snatched the American passport, sat down on the sidewalk and flip through its pages like a little kid with a toy he always knew of but never had seen before. Antoni, squat down beside him, and tracing the outlines of the imperial hawk he launched into a telling of how the US is the modern version of what once was the Greco-Romano Imperium. “Well without the taste for class”. Seeing a look of awe sweeping away the misery out of Robot-cop’s mind, Antoni elaborated on this point. Antoni taught him about US American worship of the  ‘underdog’, their obsession at splitting things (and their great nation) into right and left wings, so-called Christian puritan and also puritan non-believers.  Their political correctness slash guilt-trip mainly sees prejudice in what the rest of the world call class.

From the day of the chimichurri cart incident on, Robocop became Antoni number one fan, laughing every time he told then infamous line that marked the forester as unique. “ And he said to me with ‘with that packing in the crotch and big but, you got the admiration and envy of everyone, so why ruining it by playing the asshole you are not?’ ” Everyone that heard that story would then asked Robot-cop to introduce them to the forastero.

And so there was Robot-cop, proudly showing Antoni' passport to a short muscular-built guy who came along to meet him. Robot-cop’s friend looked at his watch and announcing to be an hour past 3:00 pm he took off, saying he wanted to bring his brother in law who swears he knows it all and pity the forastero against him. Antoni tried to tell the short guy not to that but Robot-cop cursing him out for distracting him from taking care of his business when he tried to at 3 o’clock. “Well, shit happen, can you take me to drop off this package since it’s too late for you to do whatever it is you were supposed to?” the forastero asked, playing the backstreet boy songs in his portable cd player. “I don’t care who you want, where you’re from as long as you love me” the forester had Robot-cop repeat these lines over and over as they walk to his vehicle. When el forastero saw the piece of shit Robot-cop got on he stepped back. “For days you have been telling my friends to face their fear, well haz lo que predices”. El forastero saw that his friend was right; he must do as he preaches. But wouldn’t be a helmet lying around somewhere by any chance?

…To be continue

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Marta Evelyn2016-09-19 03:53:10
Super interesting Story.

I love and yes to be continue....

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