So This Is How The World Will End: by Rick Castro 4/3/2020

This is my great uncle on Bee’s, (my mother) side. 
Tío, (uncle) Cuco was about 90 when I took this photo, circa 1987ish. He was camera shy, and didn’t want to pose, so I took it when he wasn’t expecting.  Cuco Medrano lived with his wife and six children on a 500 acre rancho just outside a tiny little town called Calera, close to  El Ciudad de Zacatecas, in the state of Zacatecas, Mexico.
El Rancho was constructed from adobe sometime circa 1830s. It has always been in the family. To this day it’s a working ranch, currently run by the grandson’s of tío Cuco. He grew chili, garlic, corn and livestock- chickens and goats. During a summer visit, 1970ish, they slaughtered a goat and cooked it underground overnight. Just for us, the visiting familia… 
I’ve never had such tasty meat… I don’t think i’ve eaten goat since.

The Medrano’s also cleared their feed barn and held a fiesta just for us!
To this day, (I was about 10 yrs old) I remember Bee’s face beaming with love as she danced with her Uncle Cuco to a local Mariachi band. Then the younger primos, (cousins) placed 45’s on a small record player, and we danced to the hits of the early 70s, 
(Osmond’s, Jackson 5) as the elders looked on.

As the story goes, during 1914 the Mexican Revolution was in full force. Poncho Villa was a hero to some, and enemy to others, 
like land owners. Rumors were circulating thru the town of Calera, that Poncho Villa’s Men were on their way. This being part of the historical, Toma de Zacatecas, (taking of Zacatecas) . Villa’s men had been instructed to  steal all the silver, burn all the crops, kill all the livestock and impregnate women with their seed. My great-grandfather, (Bee’s grandfather) gathered all the women and girls, loaded them with all the silver & gold they could carry on their bodies, and put them on the train to Silver City, New Mexico. Poncho’s army did come to the ranch, they wreaked havoc, pillaged, burned crops, killed and ate livestock, destroyed a couple walls, but there were no women to have their way with. 

When the war ended, my great-grandfather summoned all the women to return home. 
All except for my grandmother, she met my grandfather in Silver City and fell in love. 
My grandparents married, then followed the mines as laborers. They traveled throughout New Mexico, Arizona, then to Southern California in the early 1920s, eventually buying a modest home in Boyle Heights.

My grandmother, Lupe Medrano was a spoiled ranchers daughter.
Once she married my grandfather in Estados Unidos, she became a second class citizen for the remainder of her life. 
She never learned english, never became more than a housewife and mother to 10 children, three that died at birth. She died at age 34 of tuberculosis, way before I was even a concept.

I sent a copy of this photo to El Rancho right after tío Cuco passed. That November my photo of Tio Cuco was the centerpiece of the altar for, Dia De Los Muertos en El Rancho de Zacatecas. I also framed and gave this copy to Bee for her Birthday. 
Mi Portrait del tío Cuco Medrano: Ranchero de Zacatecas, has proudly hung at Bee's cabin since 1987. 
We have tea together every morning.

So this is how the world will end.

copyright-rick castro- 4/2020

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So This Is How The World Will End: by Rick Castro 4/2/2020

I don’t feel at all like writing today… or was it yesterday? I can’t keep track anymore. Is this a sign of isolation, stress, loneliness, fear, anxiety, depression, COVID19 or writers block? All I know is I don’t feel like writing.
Everything is so grim… what can I contribute, what can I produce that’s effective for myself and others? How will we all get through this? I felt awful last night.. Didn't know if it was another bout with the plague, or my hyper allergic reaction to spraying Bee’s cabin to get rid of the Amityville Horror fly infestation. Well, I got rid of them, but also ruined my thyroid and liver for life. Not to mention my nervous system….  Let’s face it, i’m a wreck. 

To calm my nerves I drove to Devils Punchbowl… Did you know there was such a place? Yes! not too, too far from my high desert retreat. When I got there the park was closed due to the plague. I figured as much, but I do want to express how remote this place is… 
for it to be closed underlines the severity of the plague. I parked me dad’s hand-me-down 1990, Ford Explore on the side of the road, and munched on some Burritos I made. Chicken, lentil, zucchini, and cheese. They came out really good.. I’ve become the rustic cook. As I’m having me lunch in the middle of nowhere, I see these two urbanites with all their hiking gear, walking completely off trail in search of salvation. If there really is a devil at this punchbowl, he’ll show them.

Ok, I went to the local post office for the first time, not just during this stay, but in my entire life. I didn’t even know there was a postoffice in the area… I find the everyday images of what people are dealing with intense and disturbing. Everyone in homemade masks, some with prints of kittens to look cute, other good ol boy-types living their dream as Ninja kamikazes. Floor markers made from postal tape, handwritten with “ stay six feet apart. Pens with cheerful glittery bunnies, and flowers in  a basket to use, with a handwritten sign, “these items are not sterile. Use at own risk.” The entire postal staff in masks and gloves. A flimsy plastic tarp, 
(with holes) sealing the off from the public they serve, reminding everyone to, “have a nice day.” This is the new norm! 
We're all so fucked. This is not my idea of how I plan to spend my golden years.

What I’m feebly trying to articulate; what will be our legacy? Who will be the hero’s of this plague? There hasn’t been, In my lifetime, an experience that every person in the world in dealing with at once…  the same experience collectively. I think of the karma in that collective thought.  Who will lead? Who will become the leader? Who will step up to the plate and say, “ I’M NOT GOING TO ACCEPT THIS. I WILL FIND A CURE, AND IT WILL BE FREE FOR EVERYONE. Not just the chosen few that is the lie and failure that is capitalism.

So this is how the world will end.

copyright- rick castro 4/2020



So This Is How The World Will End: by Rick Castro 3/31/2020

I ventured out of my sanctuary known as Bee’s cabin today.
I had to find a cobbler. Sorry, but Rick Owens boots don’t cut it in the high desert. They were made for show, not for harsh elements of dry terrain. I’ve been wearing me old engineer boots and old Durango boots from 80s. I only brought one pair of slippers, otherwise 
I’m clomping around in boots everyday. So me slippers fell apart . They’re very old black pony hair… Ok I admit it,, yes, they’re pony hair, but I got them in the late 70s, I wasn’t enlighten at that time. Give me a break PETA, I’ve had them longer than you’ve been around. We can all be as perfect as you. Look I still wear leather and I still eat chickie & fishie, so I’m an imperfect human being. I’m not gonna throw away these slippers, so, since I have had them for over 40 years I’m gonna repair them. 

And here I go, off to the nearest town that isn’t one block long. I’m on my way to Hesperia, have you ever heard of it? My friend Matthew Steele says it’s an ancient Roman name for the Iberian peninsula. He knows everything! The more obscure the better.  
Once I sent him an evite, mistakenly using a date that already was over. He responded with, “Oh, just like Gogol’s character in Diary of  Madman.” I looked it up…. he compared me to Aksenty Ivanovich Poprishchin; an underachieving low ranking civil servant, who goes mad because nobody will have sex with him! Thank you Matthew Steele.

I must tell you I am very depressed and high strung today... This is not a good day for me.  Last night, I read the numbers of infection in my little area of San Bernardino County and it was sobering. The plague really is everywhere. 
No area, no matter how remote escapes. 
So reluctantly I am driving into Hesperia. I’m on the only highway, (two lanes) and I’m shocked as to how crowded it is. On a Tuesday morning? Didn’t they get the memo about staying home? People are driving fast. They have no patience for a nervous-nelly like me. Go ahead and pass me dudes.. What’s your hurry? Are you going to a funeral? Yah- YOURS! They are actually tailgating? Who the fuck do they think they are?  Oh how cute, a yard with goats… one of them is taking a dump. 

Oh wow! Lizo is running for judge! Snap!, that will really put Hespira on the map!

Oh look, Hesperia has an ALDI. I love ALDI.. Do you know about it? The German version of Trader Joe’s . ALDI actually acquired Trader Joe’s in 1979. I hate Trader Joes.. Let me clarify. I don’t hate Trader Joe the person, nor trader Joe’s the employees, or the products. I’m in the unique position of liking the product, but hating the customer. They are a specific type. They think shopping is an art form. They go out of their way to clog the isles in search of the latest, Vegan, Lactose intolerable, sustainable, gluten free ICE CREAM. Here’s the solution. Don’t eat Ice Cream. Driving past Walmart, I hate Walmart.. dumbo.. corporate consumerism at it’s worst. Hesperia is a pit. 
I’m sorry if any Hesperians are reading.. Actually my Auntie Gloria lived here for many years, so sorry Auntie Gloria, Hesperia is a pit!

Why are people tailgating?.. I thought that ended in the 90s with all those PSAs.. 
I thought the thing to worry about in the 21st century is texting and driving… and of course everything dire is preempted by the plague.

Awww a pizzeria called Valentino’s  in a Victorian home.. If I wasn’t so afraid of people I’d go in.. I wonder if its good? 
Oh look right next door is Black Anchor Tattoo Parlor.  How convenient. Pizza & tats. Also in a victorian home, but faux. Ok, I’m looking for Boot Hill Cobblers. OK I found it.. its great.!. totally old school. Oh fuck it’s closed… as in outta business. They used pressed sawdust panels to board up the windows & door. I tried to call ahead and the website said, “Due to the corona virus, business hours may fluctuate. “ 

Now what am I gonna do?…  OK, I found another place, Cobbler Express on Bear Valley Road.  Eight minutes away. ..humm turn left on Balsam Road.. Ok is that Balsam? Did I pass it?… DUDE, stop tailgating me! Who the fuck do you think you are….. 
I found it.. more contemporary than Boot Hill, in that its open and not out of business. That worked out well. The guy said me slippers would be ready tomorrow. but he’s closing early- 1pm.. That’s def early. No business.. I understand.

 Now I’m making my way back to Main Street.. ANOTHER TAILGATER.. I pull over for her, (this time it’s a girl). Even thought I haven’t seen any of the drivers, I can tell the different between a male tailgater and a female tailgater. This one is female. She is politely tailgating. Wait a minute why are there so many trampolines in  the front yards of Hesperia? Is Trampolining the chosen city sport?
There is a dog in a yard chasing me.. of course it’s a Pit bull, but how dumb do you have to be to chase a car when your in a yard? I mean do you, or do you know anyone who owns a dog that would chase a car when it’s in a yard? .. I’m obsessing.. to me this means the person who resides at this homestead is so dumb, they own a dog so dumb, that chases cars while in a yard… There has to be a connection.
Oh fuck… all this time i’ve been driving with my parking brake on… well … I’m stressed out. ... Now what was I saying?.... 
Oh yah, people are so dumbo!

First I try Lee’s Military Surplus. From past experience surplus shops have everything. 
One customer is telling the proprietor about his wife’s flu! “she has this cough that  just won’t go away. She has a fever and headache, it’s been going on for a while now. I don’t know what to do!”  I was gonna tell him it’s wasn’t the flu, but somehow the three of us knew, he knew.
“Excuse me, I say much later, do you have batteries for this flashlight? “ No, says the proprietor, you have to get those at a hardware store.” Oh, ok, I respond, do you have anything to get rid of flies?”. “No, you can pick up that at a hardware store.” ‘Well do you have any super glue?” “ All that’s available at the hardware store.” “How about these flashlights here, I try once more, do you have batteries for any of these?”
“again all of that will be at the hardware store.” “ wow, I respond, you don’t have much of anything.” “We only carry military and army surplus.” Since I’m not going to be dressing The Village People, I leave. Directly across the street I find a hardware store. 

This seems like something  the surplus proprietor could’ve mentioned?

Across the street I find the endearing Stone Hardware.  Everything  seems to be prices at $2.99. I got a flashlight scissor, flystrip, 
fly swatter, ( to alleviate my Amityville Horror) and superglue, each for $2.99! The proprietor was a sweet little lady, (Mrs. Stone?) who had an antidote for every question I ask. “do you have any flashlights?” “only to see the way dear,” she amusingly responds. 

Wow! I found gas for $2.59 a gallon!… I haven’t bought gas for that price since the turn of the century! 

Now going back on Main Street in Hesperia, in the low desert of Southern California, headed back to Bee’s cabin and the safety and comfort of my sanctuary. Why the fuck are you tailgating me again?! What the fuck is wrong with you mutha fuckers! WHO THE FUCK DO YOU THINK YOU ARE QUEEN!, (and I use that term loosely) why in such a small town is everybody driving so fast! why is everyone so impotent, I mean impatient… why are you all out on the streets… WTF!! why are those women all walking so close together, don’t they know there’s a fucking plague?!!!! who the fuck runs this town how can they even gertawaywiththis shithwhogovernsthisdump whats supposedto begoingon?whydoesn’tanyonelistentomei haveimportant thingsto saywhohas thefucking authoritytotstopallthistomfoolerywhenwillitallbeoverhowamigonnapaymyerentwhenwillthisallendl&beeagainidontwannagobacktolahowdoigetridofthesegoddamnmuthafuckinFLIES!@!Y(@*$TOGGRUGO#IGROIGROIH@F#GIFVOI@HEIG#VDLIQHO@I#G:DOI$@G)*TF@(#OUGFOIW$HFO 

So this is how the world will end.

rick castro-copyright 4/2020

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So This Is How The World Will End: by Rick Castro 3/30/2020

Welcome to virtual everything.
Since the entire world has become shut-ins, I’m amazed, concerned, scared, worried what will become.  
The 21st century is already so anti-social, the plague only forces the issue of; I don’t need anyone but me.

As someone who’s naturally introvert since I can remember, and a victim, ( I was gonna write survivor, but decided it was too, 
Me Too”) with PTSD, (I’ll tell you all the gory details in another posting) I can def get used to self-isolation. I mean it’s my birthright. 
My concern is for the rest of the world.. Most people are outgoing socially gregarious extroverts. This must be like a death/prison sentence to them. I worry for them. They’re the ones that will become axe murders. They are the ones that will cut in front of lines saying, “back off! I'm infected, give me frontsies or I’ll spit in your face!”

To relax, I’ve joined the world of Zoom.. I love it
I’m now re-hosting the salons I used to host at the Tom of Finland Foundation in echo park for the past three years. 
Rick Castro’s Virtual Salons consists of-

*Virtual tea salon~ every Wednesday @ 3pm PST
Description: Choose your fave tea and dainties, find a soothing spot to sit back, take off your slingbacks and have a nice cuppa with me. 
Please book ahead-limited to six tea guests, plus me makes seven.

Virtual Fetish Book Club~  Once a month on a Sunday @1pm PST~
our selection this month-Swim by Eric C. Wat
Description: Carson Chow is a high-functioning addict.  
For years, he's been able to meet the increasing demands from his aging immigrant parents, 
while hiding his crystal meth use every other weekend. This all taking place in San Gabriel Valley of L.A County. 
Order book on kindle, ebook, or thru snail mail.

Miracle Veer:  Virtual WritingWorkshop-every other week on a Friday- 
Hosted by Rick Castro, Instructor: Matthew Steele.
description: Sharpen pursuits and lily your thrust, for a writing workshop unlike any other is reaching its commencement. Call me Steele, a cold blade conducted by Castro, to carve literature into bear and pig flesh alike. Through this relationship, we are able to breed insight and gather it towards your voices: in short, we cut away what you shouldn’t say, shaping it to what you should. We are only human, but our eyes are tuned to a fine sheen; a miracle veerCastro is cut of a finer blood, and me a metal mind. Allow us to lay you down, remove all question.     

Rick & Rich’s Virtual Happy Hour!~ every Saturday @6pm PST
Description: choose your fave spirit, mix up a new self-invented cocktail and join us! 
We may get so happy, we’ll break into song.

All salons are donation based- pay what you can, but no freebies please.
choose your salon, date, time and reserve your spot- here- 

WTF! Today is the first warm day since I’ve arrived, hovering in the mid 60s, and there are FLIES!….. EVERYwhere! INside! How are they getting in? I always keep the doors closed, even locked. I have the thick kinda ghetto screens, you know the one’s you can’t kick in… How are they entering?  These are those aggressive kinda flies, do you know what I mean? Not horse flies, but more like the fly equivalent to Killer Bees, Killer Flies. They are loud. They sound like small craft warning. I can here them, but can’t see them until it’s too late. And they won’t land! They buzz all over Bee’s cabin like the speed of light. 
Did you ever see that flick, The Amityville Horror?.. The James Brolin version… 

Ok I’m exaggerating, but there are allot of flies in a short amount of time.

I have a plan! I leave the door open to Al & Bee’s bedroom. 
This is the sunniest room, all the 70s garish colors could fool the killer flies into thinking they’re  flowers & fruits. It worked! I’ve lured seven flies into the bedroom at once!

I texted my sister… she was no help.. Her text response, (she won’t answer the phone), “last summer we had an infestation of flying bugs and a beehive inside the cabin.” 
………. Ok….. Ummm..No resolution?…. Could you please finish the sentance?…. 
and then you did what?…………………………………….. 
So I asked, “How did you get rid of the flying bugs”, ( I don’t have a bee problem). 
Her two word response, “bug bombs.” Gee thanks sis…. you know I live here right?
I spent all day killing flies! Once again my good friend Iris, (she bought me Lour: the infrared heater) saved the day. 
She sent me a video on how to make a flytrap with an old plastic bottle, orange juice, sugar and a tomato.
 I will do this first thing tomorrow.

Ok…. the plague is here…. I just looked at the reports for San Bernardino County; as of today- 111 case. Seven are in my area… 
One is 2 miles away…. ……………………………  this is a number given with the few that were tests. The entire population of this vase area is only 7k ………………………………..

So this is how the world will end.

copyright  rick castro 3/2020

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virtual edition

our book this month

Eric C. Wat

april 26th, 1pm

please log in ahead of time to work out all the bugs.

rick castro is inviting you to a scheduled Zoom meeting.

rick castro is inviting you to a scheduled Zoom meeting.

Topic: fetish book club
Time: Apr 26, 2020 01:00 PM Pacific Time (US and Canada)

Join Zoom Meeting

Meeting ID: 116 460 509

Carson Chow is a high-functioning addict. 
For years, he's been able to meet the increasing demands from his aging immigrant parents, while hiding his crystal meth use every other weekend.
 This all taking place in San Gabriel Valley of L.A County.

please donate to rick castro: it's the right thing to do- here