Saturday, January 21, 2012

The Cisco Kid, He Was No Friend of Mine

The Cisco Kid, He Was No Friend Of Mine

          I think everyone knows Doug, or a person like Doug. Even if you don’t want to hang out with Doug, he always shows up. In my case, he was my neighbor in a very cheap rooming house in California in the early 70s.

           Doug was a stoner. He lived ate, dreamed and pursued marijuana on a duel track of rock music. He saw little beyond the two, except for his fumbling inadequacy with females. There really wasn’t a lot going on between his ears, the music drowned out the empty echoes that filled the blank, empty spaces that were not occupied with sex.

          He liked to hang around me. I knew a lot of people, many were female, and many were into smoking pot or playing music in bands, band practice, (a euphemism for party) where people were baked, basted in alcohol and left to rock in large groups of people in smoke filled houses. I think I liked Doug because he had a van; he liked to listen to loud music, drive and smoke. It was a party bus going from party to party.

          My preferences were stacked in an opposing direction. I loved alcohol, women, music and then pot. Pot was what I reserved for times when I had no money and no alcohol, and no unattached women in the vicinity.  It effectively took the pressure off me to be the gregarious cheer leader of the party movement. I believe it there was a place on the ballot for “Leader of the Party Movement”, I would have been a prime candidate. Doug’s fumbles turned into my touchdowns. Yes, I used Doug, but for Doug, it was a good payoff. He got to go to lots of parties, music jams, and he got to meet a plethora of females of legal age.  Unfortunately, the feeling wasn’t reciprocated.

          In all the time I knew him, I never recall at anytime of his ever getting laid. The only kiss I ever saw him get was when a girl asked him if he had ever had a doggy kiss. For Doug, he immediately got the impression of kissing and doggy style. So, of course, he said “No!”  The girl asked if he wanted one. He resounded with an enthusiastic “Yes!” At this point, the girl took her cue and licked him along the side of his face from jaw line to hairline. A sloppy lick, and as Doug used his shirt tail to wipe his face, he was saying, “Well, I got a (doggy) kiss!”  He was a very nice guy for the most part, but that didn’t get him very far.

          There were a bunch of us sitting around the group room, which in this case was the basement of the rooming house. It was much larger than the living room upstairs, and had the advantage of dark corners. Some people were playing guitars, some people were rolling joints and lighting them, taking a hit and passing them on to the person next to them. Others, like me, would take an occasional hit on a doobie, and then go back to the bottle of wine, the preferred drink that you could have at a party, easy to share, easy to get back and was there in large quantities. It also did not need refrigeration, which put it a party point above beer, which needed constant replenishment from cold storage.

     One time, a new wine came out, and no one knew what it tasted like. I had a half gallon, and after taking pulls off the wine and pulls off a pint of tequila, I noticed it was easier to pour the tequila into the bottle of wine and make a whole new taste treat. I didn’t tell anyone of this shortcut, but I am sure that tho people liked the taste, would put them on the edge of the line going over the line between being drunk and being violently ill; but back to the topic of Doug.

          We were at one of these parties, and I noticed my wine reserves dwindling, so I summoned up a beer run, grabbing a couple of girls who wanted to go along for the ride, and with this ammunition, got Doug to drive us to the liquor store to get more wine, some whiskey, and some beer, just to balance out the whole liquid intake thing.

          Because of the women, I was easily able to convince Doug that driving to the liquor store was the logical thing to do, and off we rocked into the darkness, speakers blasting out Meddle by Pink Floyd, (Doug’s current favorite), and off to Fat Wu’s liquor store.  (Fat Wu’s was one of those lucky metaphors that had a double entendre built right in. Fat Wu, was fat. Happily, his liquor store was named after him, but not for him, which, intentional or not, left us all off the hook for any stupid remark to fall out of someone’s mouth.  

          Just as we were leaving Fat Wu’s, a carload of friends pulled up on a beer run of their own.  They were stopping for a load of alcohol before they headed off to a birthday party for one of their friends. We all came to the conclusion that we should all head off to the party together, so Doug, me and the two ladies pulled in behind their car, an old Rambler. (At one time, a mechanically minded neighbor had taken the letters from Rambler and rearranged them to spell Marbler), so we stuck to them as they drove us across town to the party.

          At this period in the drug culture, hippies were more inclined to drink smoke pot and drop acid. The party was at a Mexican acquaintance of one of the people in the Marbler. The Mexican-Americans were more inclined to drink, smoke pot and drop reds, or barbiturates. The anger management factor of barbiturates was more or less non-existent, so a person with average social skills was aware of this and acted accordingly. Doug was not exactly socially aware, period. I was not aware that Doug was that unaware. At that time, it was a near fatal mistake on my part.

          We all grabbed some goodies and headed into the house. There was a pretty much mixed crowd of people, not unusual for parties of this period. We were all ready to party, or as in my case, had been partying. Soon, we found our little niche, and settled in, talking, flirting and drinking and having a pretty good time. I was watching Doug trying to hook up with this lady at the party, and it looked like he was doing pretty well. I was not surprised because he often got along well in the first fifteen to twenty minutes before he would blow it. The girl that had sat next to me, (she was quite good looking, and was feeling her alcohol in a fairly happy place.), she said her name was Gail.

“She said, “Hey, your friend Doug looks like he is going to score with that girl.” 

“You don’t know Doug” I said, “He is gonna fuck it up any minute now”.

“Wanna bet?”

“Sure, I’ll bet you a dollar.”

“I don’t have a dollar, how about if I bet my body against your dollar?”

This was a sure win for me, but I didn’t do the honorable thing, I accepted her bet.  We continued to talk and flirt, drink and consume substances of questionable legality.  Soon, Gail and I are discussing in a more intimate level, occasionally coming up for air long enough to check Doug’s progress. We finally looked up and Doug was sitting there alone, looking at his hands. We don’t know what happened, but he had blown it. I had come home with the gold, and I was feeling pretty good. I could only thank Doug for holding his end of the bargain, as I knew he would.

The music that had been playing was an 8 track with Carlos Santana. The song, “The Cisco Kid, He Was A Friend of Mine” came up quite regularly, no one was actually paying much attention to the music by this time anyway, except Doug. I have mentioned before that he had a tendency to love Pink Floyd. Suddenly, the poignant lyrics, Cisco Kid stopped. I looked up and I saw that Doug had pulled the 8 track out and was holding his 8 track of Meddle, trying to lean around a big Mexican guy who was getting angry and trying to talk to him. I realized that the big Mexican was the one celebrating his birthday. It was his house, his party, and most important of all, his stereo and music. I realized that Doug was getting himself into trouble. Feeling sorry for the guy that had just guaranteed me a toss in the hay, I excused myself and approached the couple with the intent of defusing the situation before it got too bad.

Suddenly, the music started up again, and once again, it was Santana doing Cisco Kid.  I figured it was all settled, but decided I had better get Doug out of range, and went up to them, putting my hand on Doug’s shoulder and saying I was sorry to the big Mexican dude. I was starting to Doug away, when the big Mexican began to rain blows upon my head and shoulders. I got it in the face and immediately went into defense mode and curled up in the fetal position on the floor. My only chance was if the big guy would get tired and go away, and not pull a knife or a gun. I recall the music playing, the Cisco Kid he was a friend of mine, over and over. The big Mexican’s wife was standing there screaming, “Not in front of the kids, not in front of the kids!” I wanted to agree with her, but the guy wasn’t even slowing down. Finally, after what seemed like forever, the guy stopped and Santana was still singing the refrain, Cisco Kid he was a friend of mine, so I gauged that it wasn’t that long of a pounding I had gotten, but a rather intense one. I looked up, the big Mexican was arguing with his wife, Doug was way across the room, and Gail was looking pretty freaked. I climbed to my feet, grabbed the girl and headed for the door, intending to wait in the van till the ambulance came for him, or Doug came out. To my surprise, he was already in the van starting it up. The other people we had come along with were in the van and as soon as Gail and I had crawled into the back of the Van, we were on our way home.

I wound up looking like Rocky Raccoon and hurting from every possible exposed area on my body. Doug didn’t get laid, but I did. Ever since that day, the Cisco Kid was no longer a friend of mine.


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65 year old disabled veteran.