I was dreaming of little boys on a playground of mud. They were in a circle speaking in a language that sounded like Russian. I was holding hands with the boys on either side as we felt the large raindrops hit us, just every so often, like soft bullets to the backs of our heads. Our shorts were all the same color of red, but our shirts were different colors. Only mine was white. The mud would ruin my shirt.

I kept my eyes shut to try and advance the dream, but I was dreadfully awake. The California sun slanted in the venetian blinds. My first focused glance was on something Pedro had left on the nightstand. It was shining in the yellow glint and I couldn't focus at first. After all, I'd just spent a night haste la madre on the Ferris wheel of something which went so high and wild that I could be seeing things. Again.

I slipped out from under the covers and picked up the trinket which had caught my eye. It was a bejeweled box with a clasp. I opened the clasp. I realized very quickly why my backside was in so much lovely pain. White powder.

I've done as much cocaine as the next queen, but I'd given it up several years ago after an ugly affair down home with a man from Hollywood.


I had been in Illampu on some sort of vision quest, which was my fancy word for trying to end a fascination with child porn. I knew that true evil would actually overcome the Evil One if I didn't at least attempt to stop the elevation of the desire. I was living in a dirt poor hacienda, doing some translations for the local drug lord. He was a miniscule and poor excuse for a "lord of dope," but it was in the middle of nowhere where a small fish could swim large, and he needed someone who could speak the tongue of el Norte.

One rainy day while I had been attempting the rosary ritual (yes, I was desperate and had come to have visions of an older man in a large white hat who wanted to assist me), a Hum Vee pulled into the dirt poor conclave. An acne-scarred man jumped out of the passenger side just as the tires made their final rut in our only road. He looked around like some sort of demon who doesn't allow for the possibility of life in his presence. He kept looking at the treeline and the tops of the huts and doing that thing that movie makers do with their thumbs and forefingers.

I put a jacket over my head and walked out to see what this stranger was about. "Can I help you? I am the only English-speaking person here."

Without stopping at my eyes, his glance went directly to my crotch. Then his eyes wandered slowly back up to meet mine. "I'm Gordon Sloane."

"And you would be here because . . . ?"

"Smartass, eh? I like that in el maricón. Tell you what I'm gonna do. What's your name?"

"Names mean very little here. Just call me the Evil One."

"OK, E, here's the deal: I need some blow and I need it now. You got any connections here?"

"It's $50 American for a gram."

"You are my new best friend. Yes, I want 5 grams and I want two needles; one for me and one for you."

I had been around the drug for quite some time, but the thought of shooting it had never entered my brain. Until now. The cratered face and the awesome ego of this Hollywood asshole had totally overtaken me. Perhaps it was the time out of country. Perhaps it was the forbidden desires I could only stifle and not quell. Perhaps it was his cologne.


I looked at my mariquita, still sleeping with that look of total satisfaction on his brown face. I loved this man more than life, but I was not going to get drawn back into Gordon's world of high-flying trapeze sex and death. I was calm now, for the first time in my life, and nothing -- not even the man from Mexico -- was going to jeopardize that peace.

I closed the trinket and closed my mind to thoughts of perfect love.