I saw a dead kid laying in the road tonight, right down the street from the biker clubhouse as I rode out of the Vila. It felt like a bad night there, overcrowded with so many skinny undernourished, faceless ghetto boys milling around that whatever nasty-looking last chance whores were there couldn’t make a buck and anyone who wanted to get laid had a hard time navigating the crowded sweaty alleys with the pounding ghetto hip hop funk music and its mind-numbing idiot choruses.
“Put it in the pussy, the pussy,” the jukeboxes shout, “pussy pussy pussy. Deeper go deeper in the pussy the dick the dick in the pussy pussy pussy…”
It’s enough to make you think of people in terms of trash, human waste, sorting, gathering in a special place, waiting to be disposed of in the most efficient way possible. After a few times around, propelled by a night long gas attack from some weird concoction I’d eaten earlier, I finally grabbed a funny looking girl who would have looked more at home teaching grade school than turning tricks in the most sordid hardcore whorehouse zone on the planet. Her horn-rimmed glasses and businesslike haircut and conservative black bikini and the incongruousness of it all suddenly made her seem surrealistically attractive to me. I took her upstairs and, without much talk, we both had a ball for an hour on the thin greasy mattress.
Sweating from the sex and the interminable walk through the hot throbbing corridors back to where my bike was parked, I was ready for the cool ride back to Copacabana. On the way out, I saw a bunch of cops standing around this kid laying flat on the sidewalk as if he’d passed out from too much to drink on Friday night sidewalks all over the world. But this was one kid who wouldn’t be having any hangover in the morning. I sat on the idling bike and watched the Civil Defense guys pull a long plastic tub out of the back of the meat wagon and perfunctorily heave his body in the back with another bunch of stiffs. His body must have still been warm by the way his head hung back when they picked him up off the bloody sidewalk where he’d been stabbed in the heart, probably by another kid much like himself. It was one of this poignant moments that reminds you just how fragile and insignificant a life really is in the grand scheme of things. No forensics, no police lines or investigating detectives. Just another, anonymous meaningless kid’s life randomly snuffed out like a bug on a dirty dark ghetto street to be picked up and hauled off like trash.
I thought of my little friend working there in the city morgue greeting a fresh truckload, how many of the dead boys she would greet would had once been her clients, how the same guys she’d taken care of in life she’d now get to care for their mortal release from the sordid whorehouse alleys of Vila Mimosa, and with that ironic thought I gunned it off into the crooked Carioca night, passing a group of skinny shirtless mutts standing on a corner by the main road. I wondered if one of them had taken that kid’s life and if that kid’s spirit would torment and follow and pester him for the rest of his life on Earth, driving him slowly mad with morbid dark and hateful suggestions. I rode off into the tunnel, another prayer for the dead forming on my lips.
Copyright Jonathan Shaw 2011.
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