28 July 2006

La Ceiba Nocturne

24 April 2006

LA CEIBA – On the wall facing the bed is a sign that reads, in Spanish, “Esteemed Client, demonstrate your culture and don’t write on the walls.” The night is hot and loud with music and car horns and I stood outside the gate in front of Hotel Tropical after a solitary dinner at the Expatriate’s Bar. A skinny boy with a dirty face curled up against the wall, trying to sleep. His friend bothered him, wanting to play. He had a new toy, a live cockroach tied to the end of a string.
A man and a thin girl in a short denim skirt and blousy white crop-top were trying to get a room. He didn’t have enough money and argued with the clerk that he only wanted the room for a short time. She waited impatiently, tapping her foot while he stood counting and recounting the tattered, sweat-darkened bills clutched in his fist. He stomped out, in search of cheaper privacy with her in tow behind and as they passed she reached over and cupped my balls with a quick and practiced hand.
As she tottered away on too-high heels she tossed her hair, looked back over her shoulder and smiled with teeth that were very white against her skin and hair and the night.


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