From a Room Above a Mexican Café

A provocative work of fiction that answers the question: If these (piss stained) walls could talk…

by: Jennifer Juneau

If the walls could write books, what will start as love stories will end as tales of ineluctable heartache. If the walls could speak, they’d say he’d hold her close in a room redolent of must and lust. A world away from the spotlights and money so plentiful it could choke on itself, his fans, hollering for more, giving him a rush. Not to mention the uppers and the downers. The booze. Women. Make it go away. What these piss-stained walls would say. That the man was tall, dark-haired and so sure of himself even the room fell in love. The woman was brunette. She’d be excited. He’d tear off her expensive silk with his teeth. The various sexual positions. The cries from this woman were of ecstasy, sometimes pain. The man was hard to read. According to the world, he was a hero. In his eyes, he was a failure. His worth as a man was measured by his ability to be adored, to make music, to make money.

To fuck in a rundown rented room with creaky floors, damp rugs and the occasional cockroach crawling up a wall in lieu of a palace-like hotel suite. The perfect backdrop to ease anxiety; the assumption of a perfect life put to rest.

Shouts outside the bodega blistered in foreign tongues. Laughter, brawls, gunshots, screams. A woman’s tortured cries from the street turned the brunette woman on. A slap in the face; the woman begged her lover to fuck her hard to the beaten woman’s cries.

And her lover did. With each stroke he’d fuck his terrible life away. Each stroke there went another lie. Each sensual touch: The tongue. The nipple. The clit.

The walls would tell you that at other times it was a different man. His hair was long and blonde. His lady was a model, tall and thin. Her hair also long and blonde. She’d cry over someone who’d broken her heart. The man would attempt to wipe her tears. She’d tear off his clothes, It’s ok it’s only a shirt. He’d lift up her skirt. He’d enter her from behind, sometimes on the bed, sometimes against the door. He’d twist her blonde strands in his fist, yank them hard. This is what she liked. She never looked him in his face. The humid room with no air conditioner, the scent of fetid crustaceans and salty air clung to their moist bodies as they fell onto the stale bedspread. This gave them a carnal thrill.

When it was over, the dark-haired man would light a cigarette. He’d summon a squat Mexican from the bar to bring him a bottle of tequila and some olives.

When it was over, the blonde-haired man would light a cigarette. He’d summon a squat Mexican from the bar to bring him a six pack of Pacífico and tortilla chips.

In both instances, ice water and lime would be ordered for the lady.

In both instances, the man’s life had been imploding for a long time.

Whatever drove these two couples to their trysts will be forgotten for a good hour or two. The Mexican was paid handsomely to keep his mouth shut, but actually the Mexican didn’t care. He hardly spoke. He wasn’t legal in this country and he existed in a world of his own. His wife was pregnant, again, which will add one more mouth to feed his family of six.

No. He didn’t speak their language, not in reference to English or to Spanish, but the kind where he got his hands dirty. His problems were real.

Later, the couples will separate and return to their significant others, who weren’t significant enough. When the room is dark and empty, the walls will say: Fuck each other all you want. I know nothing.

 

Jennifer Juneau is the author of the newly released novel ÜberChef USA (Spork Press, 2019.) Her work is published in the Cincinnati Review, Cimarron Review, Columbia Journal, Evergreen Review, Gargoyle, Seattle Review and elsewhere. She has been nominated for the Pushcart Prize in fiction twice, the Million Writers Award and a Sundress Best of the Net. She lives in New York City.

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