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The Last Days of Los Angeles #2

Sometimes, Everything is Against You

by Luis Rivas



(page 2 of 4)


My heart is broken—or my ego, sometimes you can’t really tell—anyway, I just got dumped so I think I am allowed to break a law here and there, right comrade?


I wake up with the guard yelling at all of us to get the fuck up and in line! We slowly come to our feet, some faster than others. We are lead into an elevator and told to look at the back wall. A few of us turn around. Some of us are still drunk so they are laughing. The guards yell louder. We stop laughing. Eventually we are led into another cell with bunk beds. We are handed two blankets. Güerro gets the top bunk bed and I get the lower one, which is what I would have preferred anyway. Most of us go to sleep right away.

One by one the next morning they call us either to let us go or to say that we have visitors. I have none.



We are at the bar. Robert keeps telling me the bartender is checking me out, that she likes me. I can’t tell. Her name is Gypsy and she is tall, brunette, pretty with high cheek bones and sincere-appearing eyes. She calls me Che because of my tattoo. He’s lying, but encouraging me to at least try, to get laid, get my dick sucked, get my mind away from things. But, you cannot hit on bartenders. It’s impossible. We continue drinking. I draw a hammer and sickle on a bar coaster.

There is now some girl laying flat on her back on the bar counter. Sirens go off somewhere outside. Robert asks if I’m ok. I tell him yes, and I think I am. But when you’re drunk it’s hard to determine what you’re actually thinking and what you think you’re thinking. Realities overlap; interpreted, objective, internalized blurry externalities.



In County Jail, everyone has to be medically evaluated and X-rayed. They ask a series of questions. Most of them are easy; are you allergic to any medication? No. Do you feel like hurting yourself or someone else? No. Are you depressed? No (but, truthfully, yes, everyone is; if you’re in jail and not depressed, you are a psychopath). Most of these are a simple no. I, however, slipped.

“Have you ever been in a mental institution?”

“Yes.”

“I’m sorry. Was that a ‘yes?’”

“Well, yea, but that was eight or nine years ago.”

“Why were you in there?”

“Well, I was depressed.”

“Did you try to kill yourself?”

“Yes.”



The Last Days of Los Angeles #2 continues...

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About Luis Rivas


Luis Rivas lives in Los Angeles, California. He was a telemarketer, construction worker, flower delivery driver, fast food cashier, sales clerk, non-profit canvasser, adult store and strip club manager and package handler/zip code sorter. His work has appeared in the following publications, some of which he contributes to regularly: Zygote in My Coffee, Unlikely Stories, My Favorite Bullet, The Hold, Cherry Bleeds, Corium, Rural Messenger Press, Thieves Jargon, Origami Condom, Outsider Writers, Full of Crow, Counter Punch, Gloom Cupboard, where his is Poetry Editor and Red Fez, where he is author of the Last Days of Los Angeles column. He dropped out of Los Angeles Valley College where he was studying journalism to work full-time at a porn shop. Then he got fired. Now he has gone back to school, continuing his studies in journalism and Chicana/o Studies at California State University of Northridge and Los Angeles City College. He is currently building up his own literary website, peaceisillegal.com and plans on publishing a book on his youth. Once upon a time, he grew a beard. (There is evidence on the Internet.)

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