Well we asked for it. And we got it. The HDD Summer Series continues...
It was hot as shit that summer. More so than others. 120 degrees on the hottest days. Some days I thought my face was literally melting off. Like a heat-induced bout of Bell's palsy. Not a lot to do in the summer in Somerton, Arizona. Not much other than sneaking into your dad's stash, smoking up, and going the pool.
Somerton is roughly twenty minutes to the southwest of the city of Yuma, in Yuma County. Yuma County is a miserable fucking place, let me tell you. Poverty. Poverty and gangs. Crips, Nortenos 14, Barrio West, Strong Arm-7th Avenue, and an astounding number of 13 clicks--Surenos, Soma, Hollywood, Varrio Los Avenues, Naked City, Okie Town, Messa Barrio Locos, Plaza Wild, Little Town, and of course, Mara Salvatracha.
Like many broken familys in Somerton we lived in a trailor complex. Everytime you walked to Circle K or 7-Eleven you risked a wallet-jacking. Or, as was often the case with a scrawny punk rocker like me, a beatdown. If you rode your BMX, you better go fast or you might not come home with a bike. I had two Huffys and a Schwinn taken from me when I was a kid. A black eye or a broken rib as a receipt. After the third time, my dad decided I was better off without a bike. I saved my allowance and mail-ordered a Vision skateboard from CCS. Cholos didn't see any monetary value in reselling a skateboard, so it became my primary form of transportation.
Even if you didn't leave the complex, there was plenty of trouble to find. If you weren't looking for it, it was looking for you. On that hot-ass day trouble was hellbent on finding me.
It started out just like any other summer day. I got up an hour or so after my dad went to work. Turn on MTV and watch videos while I eat at least two bowls of cereal. Usually Apple Jacks or Fruit Loops. On this day it was Golden Grahams. I remember that now. I would go into my dad's room and pull out the old cigar box he hid behind his records. The Guess Who, The Lovin' Spoonful, Spencer Davis Group, The Kinks, The Animals, some others. I would pinch a little of the dry, crumbly herb and drop into the Zig Zag. Roll it tight and thin. Just like I saw my dad and my uncle do on the weekends that we would go to Lake Martinez. That's where they would drink Modelo and throw the Frisbee with me. In the tiny storage shed behind the trailer I would smoke it until it was gone. Then I would head to the pool for the rest the day. Or at least until I was hungry enough to come back and eat more cereal until my dad got home. The we would go to Del Taco or Jack in the Box. On this particular day I would lose my late-afternoon appetite.
The complex we lived in had a really nice big pool. Near the pool was a laundry room. Most days there would be some Mexican women there washing clothes. Always folding bright white tee shirts. I wondered how they got those tee shirts so white. Probably bleach. There was a game room too. But there was hardly anyone ever in there. I don't think anyone had quarters to spend on the pinball machines because laundry cost so much. Everyone in the complex was poor. Sometimes if my dad had left enough quarters on his night stand for me to nab, I would buy a RC Cola or a Tahitian Treat from the machine in the game room. Lots of times the pool would be full of kids. Mostly my age. There was nobody at the pool that day. Just me and my buzz. It was beautiful. It was peaceful.
That is until seven older boys in blue bandannas, bright white socks and black corduroy slippers arrived. They were the type of guys my friend Antonio from grade school would call peewees. Antonio had moved to Somerton from Mexico. His dad was an OG from the Mexican gang, Wonder Boys. Pewees were the young cholos. Future OGs if they lived that long.
"Hey guero," The biggest one said. "You wanna join our click?" The rest of them laughed. I laughed too. Nervously. Like it was a joke. Hoping it was. "What's so funny, holmes?" He continued, "Familia is a serious thing, holmes. Not something to joke about, eh."
At this point the seven of them circled me. I had been here before. Many times. Just take your beating and then they will leave.
"You look scared, guero," He said. "Don't be scared. We not going to jump you in, holmes. We don't want to hurt you." Somehow I was relieved to hear this. I wanted to believe him. And then things went from bad to worse. "Nah, you're a little white bitch. You get to role the dice, holmes." He held his hand out. Two dirt-stained dice sat in his open palm.
It's called a Dice Roll. It's how cholos would initiate girls into the gang. You roll the dice and whatever number comes up is the number of blow jobs you have to give. I remember Antonio taunting the all the girls at school with his little chant. "You wanna join the click, you gotta suck the dick." I stared at the dice in his hand. Time stood still. I knew I wasn't actually being initiated into any gang. But I'm not a girl.
I looked around. Aside from the seven boys surrounding me, there was nobody in sight. Why the fuck isn't anyone doing laundry today?! Shouldn't someone should be folding tee shirts? I tried to crack a joke.
"I don't like my odds here." I said. "How about if I just role one dice?" We all laughed.
He looked around. I could see him counting. His fingers twitched in unison as he mouthed the count. One, two, three...
"OK, holmes, just role one dice. There is only seven of us here anyway." He paused briefly to think. Then, smiling, continued, "At least one of you motherfuckers aint gettin' his dick sucked by this little white boy." Everyone laughed again. Except me.
I considered trying to make a run for it. My legs feel like rubber. I won't make it. I had no choice. I looked around at all of them again. Looking for...praying for some sign that this was a big joke on me.
"Roll it, pussy boy." Someone said. Shit, they're not kidding.
So I rolled the dice.
Correction: TWO of you motherfuckers aint gettin' your dick sucked.
I felt a sharp pain in the back of my neck. The walls closed in. I remember seeing the pavement coming towards my face. Was I hit from behind? Or did I faint? I don't exactly remember. I came to briefly. I was being dragged away.
The next time I woke up I was on my knees. Someone was holding my hands tightly behind my back. Squeezing hard. My wrists hurt. We were inside a tight closet, off the side of the laundry room. The door was partially closed. I could see two of the guys nervously standing watch outside. Beyond them was the cool waters of the pool. I wanted to be there. I want to go swimming. It was so hot in that closet. The other five were above me. My face at their crotch level. Each of them had their cocks out. Holding them in their hands. Wicked smiles staring down at me. Even if I don't want to join the click, I still gotta suck the dick? One of them spit on me. Everything went black again.
When I came to again I was all alone. I was laying on the floor. It was so hot. My lips were bleeding, one of my eyes was swelling and there was sticky goo all over my face. Cum. Nobody was in the pool or doing laundry. I walked very slowly back to my trailer. I tried to run but my rubbery legs wouldn't let me. My mouth tasted like hard boiled eggs and gasoline. I didn't eat any more cereal. In fact I didn't eat anything for a couple days.
A week later I went to live with my mom in Indiana. I never thought about that summer again until I moved back to this godforsaken place a year ago to take care of my ailing father. But now I remember exactly what it's like here. And I have to deal with it every day.
Not a lot to do in Somerton. Not much other than sneaking into your dad's stash, smoking up, and going to the pool. And sucking five dicks. Yeah, it was hot as shit that summer. More so than others. 120 on the hottest days.
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