Thursday, October 22, 2009

Don't Talk About The Good Old Days

I liked waking up in the Riviera. It wasn't of my concern how Caitlin made her money. She kept a good house. Her 2nd floor flat was atop a Mediterranean villa. It was clean, white-themed, and I had my morning coffee and cigarettes on the attached balcony that overlooked Santa Barbara and the Pacific. She stayed up through most of the nights. Her pills were time-released and she often took them well into the evening to get her through work. So she stayed up during the nights cleaning and keeping the place in order, and by the time I lit my first cigarette she was finally asleep. But I liked waking up in the Riviera. Santa Barbara was new to me, though I had lived in the next city over for 20 years. Santa Barbara wasn't a place I cared for. Ventura was harder. It had street cred. Santa Barbara seemed pussy to me. But atop the Riviera I felt good, regal. After the smoke and coffee I'd often walk to her desk and look at my band's CD cover framed on her mantle, then look back out over the Pacific, then at the naked girl in bed and back at the CD. Those were hot times for me. Just like Uncle Rico had his '83 and Osborne his '03, 2005 was mine. The band had just played Vegas for New Year's, we put out our first album, my girlfriend was a stripper, and most importantly, I went deep for the first time--Left-center, Carpinteria High School, against the Gigantes. I was playing hardball in the Santa Barbara Mexican leagues, a sort of resurrected dream. I had been a good ballplayer throughout my youth: a scrappy leadoff batter, sidearm pitcher type of player. I hit the gaps plenty and rattled a few off the fence, but never in my career did I take one deep. But I was hot in 2005, and at 25 years-old I put one over against the Gigantes. The greatest thrill of my life. My team, The Carrillos, mobbed me at home plate. "Chano! Chano!" they cheered. It was easier to say Chano than it was to say Shane. And in the dugout a little Mexican boy had already retrieved the ball and presented it to me. The ball was holy, and it had the mark of my beast. Caitlin was the only Anglo in the bleachers of Mexican wives, and she was smiling at me. She was the only stripper there, or maybe just the only one who worked at the Rhino, and the only one with ape-head implants for a chest. But I didn't care. I was hot. I walked to her as my cleats crunched the gravel and pulled her in. She said the homerun was the hottest thing she had ever seen. I then looked at the ball in my hand, then at her and back at the ball. Yes, I gave it to her.
That night I went to the club and sat V.I.P. courtesy of Caitlin. She told her stripper friends about my band and my homerun, and that they should sit with me when they weren't busy rubbing their snatch in front of strangers. So I drank red bulls and soda with strippers for a few hours. Sometimes they'd rub up on me and say that Caitlin said it was cool. And I watched Caitlin walk around in nothing and go into private rooms with scum and come out smiling.

I wanted my ball back.

I didn't see her for the next few days because she was busy with beauty school classes and my band was practicing in Ventura at night, but I knew where the ball was. It was on the mantle next to the album. Kind of a creepy Shane shrine. She kept telling me on the phone how cool it looked and when was I going to come over and why was I acting so weird. She wanted to know if it was another girl, and actually there was. So I took my eye off the ball for a moment and told her about Lela. She called me names and hung up the phone. I laid down on my bed, and before calling Lela, I relived the homerun. I was locked-in and crushing it.
I woke up the next morning to a very angry woman in my room. Caitlin was standing there spitting ugly words at me, while holding a brown grocery bag full of things I had forgotten at her house. I tore through that bag, tossing clothes, CD's and pictures, but no ball. "Where's the ball? Where is the fucking ball!" I was screaming as I rummaged through the bag. She called me more names, and then reached in her purse and pulled it out. I snatched it from her hand and I began fondling it, caressing it, whispering sweetly to it. She continued with the disgusting words and then finally pouted out of my life.
I was so hot in 2005.


  1. Gosto de maias!

    it's like that song "sumemr of 69" but this is way better. I like it. Are you still hot? or smoking? :-P