The Left-Handed Smoker
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The Left-Handed Smoker

(A Fictional/Non Hybrid) Vol. I

 Frankie Metro
 Frankie Metro
The Left-Handed Smoker
by Frankie Metro  FollowFollow
Frankie Metro lives in the bowels of the Route 66 Basement Studio, located in the farthest reaches of the Chihuahua desert. His first more The Anarchist's Blac Book of Poetry is now available via Crisis Chronicles Press:
The Left-Handed Smoker
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I'M COMPLETELY BAFFLED AS TO WHEN, OR HOW...well, maybe not so much how, but when, mind you, we stopped seeing eye to eye. But, this is a horrible way to start things off. Yes, a horrible introduction to what could possibly be a long winded explanation. Someone in the background, may even alert you to the tidbit that: Sometimes if you take a lighter to the end of it, the flame makes it flow better. But, we haven't really begun. You don't even know these people yet. Neither do I for that matter. So setting fires and worrying about the ending seems completely irrelevant at this juncture.

I don’t think that Pablo and Marissa even knew themselves, in all honesty. At least, they were unaware of how their personalities-which purely revolved around elements of their tumutltous marriage-their lavish expense accounts and exploits within the confines of their fully-comped suites at the Wyndham Hotel and Resort, or their vile senses of humor and subtle swinger innuendos-affected those around them.
As far as first impressions were concerned, Pablo y Marissa would shower their guests with over-zealous gifts and cheer. All the wine corks were popped. All the food was cooked and shared. All the sheeshah and sativa...smoked openly amongst new and old friends alike. All was offered under the pretext that nothing is deprived or expected, save for the occasional endurance of their behavior.
"Mi casa es su castillo!" Marissa would often remark.
However, it was soon revealed, and truthfully I had my suspicions from the start, that there are always ulterior motives in such arrangements. In fact, through exposure to such conditions-where the wine is opened (but someone will inevitably be suspected of stealing a bottle or two- an accusation without just cause)...where all the food is cooked and shared (only to be weighed, denied and hidden somewhere down the road)...where the sheeshah and sativa are smoked openly (until imaginary debts begin to tally up for everything consumed) -then you begin to wonder if all human inter-relations do not come with some hidden agenda...
You begin to wonder if the source for all decency, compassion and understanding is not directly associated with a lack of conviction, subversive investigation and ultimately, a timely execution.

"But it's okay. We don't have to get along." Pablo said, hunched over the kitchen counter like an obese citadel. "We don't have to feel comfortable around each other-because we're giving you and Lisa two hours to pack your shit and get out."
There was no change in his inflection. His beady eyes did their best to look in any direction but straightforward as he spoke.
"Are you for real man? It's like that all of a sudden?" I asked, calmly rolling my cigarette on the patio, the sliding-glass door the only barrier between two reinforced egos...wide open.
"Well, we can't trust you guys at the house while we're not here. So, you got until I go to bed so we won't have anymore issues like-"
"Dude! We didn't take your fucking wine bottles okay?" I interrupted, paying close scrutiny to my left hand which had begun to shake slightly. "We drink for free at the Slice Parlor; and we drink beer. Fuck! When's the last time you even seen us drink wine 'cept for when your family was here a couple of months ago?"
"We never said you guys stole them." Pablo's chest began to take in a heavy gust of hot air as he stepped out onto the patio. "But I saw Lisa's MAC charger plugged in next to the wine rack the night before they came up missing. So-"
"That doesn't mean shit and you know it!" I exclaimed. "You motherfuckers misplace shit around here all the time!"
Pablo lifted the top of the grill and furiously poked at the charbroiled chicken he had left to the flame, out of typical carelessness.
"Well, you guys got all torn up and defensive when I asked if you had seen them."
"Yea! Because you called minutes before I walked into work...talking about how you may have to kick everyone out of the house. I mean, how did Edwin (another roommate) react when you asked him about it?"
Pablo sunk into one of the iron-mesh chairs. A cloud of dust and arrogance sprung from his ass. "He didn't take it like you guys did. I'll say that much."
"Well," I replied. "I have to be honest-"
As I began to explain, Marissa, who before this moment had been looming at the end of the couch inside, and who had kept a busy ear to the conversation's unraveling, suddenly stepped outside to stand behind her husband's left, crooked shoulder, as a sign, I am assuming, of solidarity in their hasty decision. I continued on, unphased by the display of unison.
"I've been harboring some shit against you for a while now. I don't know what Edwin's (who is blacker than an onset cavity) feelings are on the matter, but, I did not appreciate you yelling: Where the niggers at?! Where the niggers at?! I'm hunting for niggers! when I was half-asleep in my room a couple of weeks ago. That was a really fucked up thing to say to us and you never apologized to me, or him, for acting like a drunken, retarded bigot."
Marissa rubbed his shoulders while Pablo glanced over his back and into the East mountains of Albuquerque- that lay quiet in the distance.
"Dude. It's my house." He caressed Marissa's hand, who still refused to make eye contact with me. "I can say whatever the fuck I want."
"I understand that...but if you're going to say that stuff, maybe you shouldn't invite two African-Americans to live in your house, or, if you do, be more aware of how your spontaneous racial epitaphs-"
"Wow! Spontaneous racial epigrams! Breaking out the big words on us 'illiterate' types eh?" Pablo stood forcibly from his seat. "Look Anton, I don't see what the big deal is. I mean, fuck dude, I call my dogs (two poodles and a miniature Yorkie named Joker) niggers all the time man!" Marissa looked me dead in the eye at this, as a crocodile's smile finally revealed itself. "Sides...Why are we even talking right now? I don't see the point. You're wasting precious time that you could use to pack."
Pablo went for the door as I jumped up and cut him off at the pass, giving him my back and one final statement to consider.
"Plunge the knife in deeper." I said, as I made my way for the room. "Fucking Judas!"
I knew right away, he would not understand the Biblical reference.

But then, there were many things that Pablo misunderstood, and of course, as is often the case, his stupidity was not all of his own measure, but more or less a by-product of his superfluous upbringing.
Once, when we were still on speaking terms, he had recanted a story from his youth, where he was accosted by the A.P.D. for methamphetamine possession and distribution within 1,000 yards of a local school district. The charges were very severe and in a bout with desperation while incarcerated, he turned to the only person he felt he could rely upon, his father, who had reasonable connections within the local judicial system.
"I'll get you out of this one.” Marco Culebra (Pablo’s father) had said. “But I want you to stop fucking around and get your shit straight...or you're cut off. You hear me?"
Of course, Pablo agreed to the terms of his tenative release, and as the years passed , tucked safely beneath the wings of la familia and influence, turned his talents as a meth dealer into hard-nosed sales tactics at a print shop in Albuquerque.
Unfortunately, the experience did little for his overall intelligence and made him even more obsessed with the American dollar and its subsequent influence-heightening the almost euphoric sensation he received from constantly counting the odds and ends...

Marissa on the other hand, was more of the silent authoritative type. It soon became apparent- mostly through her obsession with the Kardashian sisters and their long-running reality t.v. series, which Marissa watched religiously, like an orthodox nun who knew only to pray and eat with the morning bells- that she was more comfortable being the motivated whisper in Pablo’s ear; that subconscious speck of tomfoolery and horrid jealousy which tears apart the spirit of wayward men.
When I would find myself exchanging opinions and ideals with her, many times I noticed an almost frightening, instantaneous disturbance in her posture, particularly when discussing politics or literature, as if, her small-rounded shoulders had caved in from a force of inertia that began at the pit of her cellulite-ridden stomach.
Soon, I began to realize that making dreaded eye contact with her, when engaged in such discourse, would send me spiraling along what could only be described as an existential whirlpool, much like that of the Greek myth spoken of in Homer’s Odyssey, save the voices of three murderous Sirens were the combined and strategic effort of Marissa’s tongue-in-cheek whisper, and the occasional-incomprehensible outburst, that resembled the symptoms of Tourette’s syndrome, like echolalia or other more complex motor tics such as face grimacing and incessant grunting.
Every outfit she sported around the house included a low-cut top, exentuating her double D breasts, the D being more of a measurement in quality and not the size from what I could see, which unfortunately was more than I was willing to accept. On some nights, she wore a mini-skirt, showcasing the fact she had no panties on underneath. She liked to alert Lisa to the fact, stating in no uncertain terms that:
“When I finally get skinny Lisa, you’re gonna want to fuck me real bad!”
“You better keep an eye on your man!...’cuz I’m hot shit!”
There was a smell, which ominously revealed itself when she would open her legs, much to the displeasure of those in the house, except for Pablo of course, that reminded me of obscure trips to the Parrot-Ramsey’s Funeral Home as a child, where I could swear death was nothing more than a smell I couldn’t properly identify, but whose pungency was so stifling that it drew the breath right out of me Perhaps it was the smell of dry skin and doomed wishes. When she would sit with her knees such and such feet agap, giving what she more than likely thought of as a secret burlésque show for those wise enough or desperate enough to pay attention, matching perfectly with her own desperation that seemed to be centered around a need to escape, if only for a few minutes, into the hands of another, perhaps as a method of gaining attention from the only man she ever really knew, which was Pablo…as she gave this secret burlésque show on the patio, or in the kitchen, or even what was supposed to be the sanctuary of our room-I was reminded of that phemaldehyde stench, or the odor of urine soaked rags.
Perhaps it was only the staleness of her breath- a blood clot that had made its way into her saliva glands and, dying to burst, resulted in her meticulous and intrusive banter- which had the same pungent aroma as the dead smell in question.

The house- because of the three dogs in question, because of their unusually small bladders or even their lack of attention- always reeked of piss. In fact, to this day Lisa describes her experience there, or the motive behind their generosity, by stating, with full conviction that: “They wanted to keep me there like one of their pets.”
But I am more reminded of that putrid, gray leather couch, and the throw pillows, where I would bury my nose and catch a taste of it; that texture so close to what iron, basil and pepper-spray would emit.
Somehow I could see every single time a little bastard dick or bitch pussy had laid in that exact same spot, half-wet, and most assuredly dripping (at least a drop or two) upon the upholstery.
I seem to recall, thinking back on it now, an article I had read on some obscure news-site, which described how dogs can sometimes emulate their masters’ mannerisms; in certain studies, even their physical appearance, such as their facial expressions…
But I never saw such a phenomenon in correlation with the mutt/masters’ bathroom habits.

Pablo and Marissa had a full bathroom in the master bedroom.
A swank facility, and tucked discreetly in the top corner of the house, it was pristine to say the least.
Pablo would often apologize, while we sat at the edge of his double- sided copper sink- smoking blunts and shooting the shit- for the smell of evacuated bowels, formerly packed with green chile and fat-free Jello.
In fact, this, save for the smell, was the cleanest part of the house many nights.
The two were, generally, very adamant about the placement of everything: the silverware, the garbage cans, the multiple stash spots in the house; the appearance holding great weight with them, especially on the frequent occassions that family and friends were present.
But this was especially true for Pablo’s Throne Room, a cliché term, but a remarkable accomplishment in itself for someone with such a limited vocabulary as our benefactors.
The “mutts”, which was a grossly inaccurate term considering that all three dogs were pure-bred, had their plastic exit door, and according to what we as humans know of the species, the dogs acted as dogs should, in that they would go outside when their masters were home, and urinate on the furniture while they were away.
I never witnessed otherwise.
However, one thing was very peculiar about their behavior; something that, over time, became evidence for the theories discussed in the obscure article on canine/human relations…

The Yorkie’s name was Puppet.
Somewhere around twelve inches in length and eight inches in width, Puppet was the prime instigator for several scuffles amongst the dogs, which played out like blooper reels on the kitchen floor; Rosa (Poodle A) and Van Sant (Poodle B) right along in the fray; the kind of spills one would expect to find as a video finalist on America’s Funniest Home Videos, while Bob Saget did “rails” off a hooker’s butt in the dressing room.
But Puppet was in no need of an adrenaline boost or manufactured high, when it came to the depths of his hyper-perverse capacity, which every clenched orofice of Rosa’s white, shaved body will attest to, seeing as how she was the prime target of Puppet’s ritualistic, instinctual degradation.
During our “hiatus” near the Western volcanoes (which are reportedly dormant, but each day I wonder more and more) Rosa soon became a source of merriment and song…of ridicule and rape.
Marissa would often compose demeaning ballads in reference to her “little mamma”, fantastically vile songs describing Rosa’s semen-matted fur, her vacant, dullsome eyes, her unusually large smile, which made one think of a four-legged lunatic walking the courtyard of some asylum completely lost within themselves, or her sensitivity to hair-cuts, vaccuum cleaners, and most especially, the dog’s inner turmoil while dealing with the constant threat of unwanted sexual advances from Puppet... and Van Sant as well, who seemed only to hump the air with a dry enthusiasm several inches from Rosa’s leery expression. “Pooed on. Peed on. Jizzed on. Ro-SA!” This was a particular favorite of Marissa’s, and such songs would go on while we sat on the patio:
“Just watching the night get nighter.” as Marissa would say, and the days would close with these unspeakably cruel songs echoing long into the hours... with filthy nightmares exchanged in the grassy lawn- amid the dark and the constellations.

Puppet would usually begin by chewing on Rosa’s ear, or her ankles, followed by a persistent pawing at her hind legs, until he could position himself behind her fluffy tail.
If this entrance was closed off, or his attempt thwarted before the initial poke, or two, he would sometimes re-position himself near her ribcage, or her ear, and like the old dog (Van Sant) before him, make a wet, red stab for Rosa’s face, typically aiming for her gaping mouth, instead of the leery eyes.
Rosa would snap at Puppet’s paws, curiously never biting at his annoying appendage (the real threat!) and get up to find rest beneath a table, or upstairs beneath Marissa’s King-Sized bed, which was somewhere around two inches off the ground.
Some nights, I could hear a faint wincing coming from under the two inch crack, beneath 600 lbs. of careless, snoring flesh.
It was as if Rosa would only cry, really cry, horrified by the constant belittlement and red-rocket visions that stirred in her feeble brain at night, which kept her aware and awake at all times…
It was as if Rosa would only really cry in a dark space, a space too small for comfort, a space under her masters’ heel. to be continued



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