Saturday, December 29, 2007

Hang Over and a Jog

"It was saturday morning I can remember that. I remember it was saturday morning because I felt like shit. So that meant the night before was friday and I got my freak on, whatever that means. The thing was that I got lit the night before so it had to been friday because when I woke up I felt like shit which meant it was saturday morning.
"I wouldnt say that the hangover or the binge was one for the books but it really put a dent in me and as I tried to get my muscles mobil again and trying to keep my stomach from puking up whatever it was that I ate or drank, I actually made a promise there while my body was in total pain. I promised that I would not drink for the rest of...the month. Who am I kidding the liquor thing has me licked.
"I eventually get up and into the shower and things start to look up a little seeing as there is cold water running down my body. Just what this hang over needed some cold water outside the body and inside as well. After Getting out of the shower things seemed to get better and I thought to myself...'It's not such a bad hangover' I mean even my stomach was calming down by this time.
"I head downstairs of my very overly priced cheap imitation of a luxury town house and go into the kitchen. Since things after the cold shower were picking up I thought to myself...'I'll skip the alkaseltzer' so I went ahead and got some eggs out and some sausage to make breakfast. I turned on the stove and put in some butter and cooked the eggs. I had not realized how hot the kitchen got when you turned on the stove. I cooked the sausage next and the sweat started to beed at my forehead and on my back. After the sausage was done I put some bread in the toaster and for all my effort went to the fridge and poured myself a nice glass of orange juice.
"For a moment I wondered if I had any vodka to make the orange juice into a screw driver but as soon as the thought crossed my head my stomach turned a little. The message was very clear 'Dont you dare throw more of that shit down here', so I put the thought out of my head and avoided looking like a pregnant woman, throwing up in the morning and all. I took my sip and waited for my toast as my eggs and sausage lay neatly in a plate.
"The toast comes up. I butter it and pick up my plate and drink and head for the table. I sit down and start to eat. I sudenly notice how much I'm sweating. Its awful hot, after all it is summer. I wonder if the air conditioning is not on. Then I feel a tug in my stomach and something racing up my throat. I get up and run to the rest room. I should have taken the alkaseltzer.
"After a few dry heaves I felt pretty sure that the demon was out of me. I got up feeling a little dizzy. For about half a second I thought about finishing my breakfast, but apparently the stomach was closed for business. I could still taste the little bit of orange juice that I had just drank, and then I thought I was going to throw up all over again. I got it under control though. I got some cold water and got the alkaseltzer. Who was I kidding, I wasnt a 17 year old waking up from his first night out drinking.
"I went to the living room and sat in a spot that I knew that the air conditioning would hit my face. I drank the seltzer there. I felt like getting in the shower again but that was just a temporary fix. I didnt want to have a little hair of the dog that bit me and putting anything in my stomach was out of the question. So I sat thinking which is not an easy thing when all of your insides want to burst out of your body because of what you put into it the night before.
"Suddenly I had a thought. On a previous ocasion in which I was begging for death in exchange for the hangover, I got so desprate that I went to the modern god that has all the answers...the internet. Surely the net would have a cure for a hangover. I went to this page that gave several solutions many of them so repulsive that I would take the hangover. There was one that said that Native Americans in previous centuries when confronted with a hangover situation would run a distance and sweat it all out and then lick the sweat off their arms. At that moment it seemed to be the right thing...the running not licking the sweat off my arms.
"Next thing I know I'm in my shorts and at the comunity college campus where they have a running path all around the campus. I was there with my soccer shoes a white shirt and torquios shorts and my sunglasses. It was a hot day and in the distance you could hear the locust sounding off. There were some people getting into their cars with their dogs. This was a popular place to walk your dog and to run. I adjusted my sunglasses and started off.
"Right off the bat I started sweating and I could smell the liquor gushing out of my pores. I tried to remember who much I had drank the night before. Im trying to keep a good pace not too fast and not like I'm dieing on my feet. My white shirt was really getting soaked with the hangover sweat...I just hoped that the run would not provoke me to hurl.
"I was turning a corner and saw a long straight stretch. On my right side there were some bushes that had grown to eye level. Then through my sunglasses driping with sweat from my forehead in the distance I saw a fine specimen comming towards me. She was really good looking even at the distance that I saw her. She had on black tight running pants and a orange color tank top. I kept my sight up because with every step her breasts bounced. They were not too big but they were noticeable. She had great hair as well that bounced with her speed.
"I kept my sight up as we ran at each other and noticed that she was wearing sunglasses. I was surprised I hadn't tripped over a rock or something at this point. I inflated my chest out to look like a bad ass and made more confident strides. As she got closer you could tell she wasnt out here curing a hangover, she was a healthy person. She wasnt a faker like me. Well Im not a total faker there was a time when I was in shape. I started to wonder if I should just smile at her or say hello or something else.
"She got closer and I started to panic that I would not take an accurate shot at her. I was trying to think of a line. Things were so much easier in High school. Damn she is almost right in front of me and she looks so good and I can't even find the sylables in my mouth to say 'Hello'.
"At that moment I felt a twitching near my right eye. It all happened much faster than how Im talking. The twitch suddenly turned into a little tickle near my eye. Then I realized that a bee or a yellow jacket was trapped inside my sunglasses. I started to loose the coordination in my strides. I started to sway back and forth while I ran. Then I felt a great pain in my upper right cheek near my eye. HOLY GEEZE, that really hurt. I screamed in pain and fell into the bushes and grabed at my face in hysterics trying to get the bee or whatever off my face. I was rolling in pain as the beautiful girl jogged by just looking at me like some weirdo.
"I noticed that there was a hornets nest in the bushes and got up and went to the other side of track. My right eye area was swelling up. This sucked. I waited for the girl to get a real ways off and put my sunglasses on again and headed to my car. I looked around with my left eye in the hopes that no one else but the most beautiful girl on earth saw me.
"I finally get in my car and look at the hidious deformation on my face. The swell of my face actually made my sunglasses all lopsided. I started my car and checked the money in my wallet. I had enough. I peeled out and headed in a familiar direction.
"A bad hangover that had not passed with the run, the puking session and the most beautiful girl on earth just running by you when your on the floor screaming bloody murder and leaving you to suffer...I think I deserved a drink. This is what I really should have done in the first place instead of fucking with the routine that I know works.
"I got a twelve pack of beer really icey cold. I walked to the check out and people are looking at my face by this time with my lopsided glasses a sweaty ass shirt, soccer shoes smelling like ass mixed with vodka. The clerk looks at me all wierd; like he wants to say something and some yuppy looking chicks behind me are giggling and I think they are having a laugh on me. I pay the clerk who I can feel staring at me as I walk out of the store.
"Im finally home and I get in the shower. It feels good all over my body except my face. I get out and dry off. The afternoon is setting in and I notice that there are a few messages on my machine. All the messages are from friends inviting me out. Not this weekend...the Thing has to rest, reflect and drink. Rest becuase a hangover like a night of drinking, it takes a lot out of you. Reflect, to try to see where things went wrong not only today but in life in general. Drink, to forget about it all and start to feel good again. I sit down in my chair, kick back and open a cold beer, one of many.
"I wonder what tomorrow morning is going to be like?"

Hielo Sobre Una Estatua

Desde lejos extiendo mi angustia
Busco alcanzar sueños
Despierto en el descontento de la media noche
Hace frio en la soledad
La luna me señala con su luz
Solitario en la oscuridad
Esto es mi condena

Soledad, soledad brutal
Soledad que comprenden las estatuas
Miedo en la noche
Indiferencia a la luz del día
Cien años de sueños negados
Ahora cierro los ojos
Con la vana intención de volver a soñar

El hielo afuera
La nieve cae en la ciudad
En la calle estoy parado analizando mi camino
Mientras a mí alrededor pasa la gente y la vida
Indiferencia de millones
Únicamente para mí
Todo el frío solo para mis huesos

No existe lugar calido en este invierno
Refugio esta escaso
Lejos como el ayer
Aquí estoy
Tratando de alcanzar sueños
Brazos extendidos
Aquí esta mi angustia

The Fence

Haven't seen the sky like this in a long time
We were only kids then
You from one side
Me from another
Together at the fence
Just looking and smiling

It was cold then
Your jacket
My skimpy sweater
Songs and friends
Booze and parties
Cars down the same street

In that dream I lost you
I didn't wake up for a long time
When I awoke I was far away
Or was it you
Too far to reach
I walked my own way

I saw you again the other day
The sky was like when we were kids
At the fence once again
On different sides
Laughing at what we once were
Smiling at what we are

We both ran a long way
Going in different directions
Chasing dreams
Holding memories
Some day we will be at the fence again
Maybe on the same side this time.

The Phone Call

So there I was just minding my own business. Actually I had problems with my sleep pattern, which has now developed into insomnia. So let's start there. As I was saying I was just passed out sleeping after coming home from school; 10th grade to be exact. I was big shit now, no longer a freshman, but a sophomore with sleeping problems.
For sometime now I had my own phone line in my room. You see I was blessed with having a stepfather and the sack of shit tried to start trouble with me for anything I did. Thank God the air we breathe is free otherwise I wasn't chipping in or pulling my weight with the air I breathed. Anyway, the phone had become my Gettysburg with him. People called me, I was 16 at the time and he was always bitching that I was always on the phone. So I would get off the fucking phone and guess what, no one called for him.
So I'm sleeping, my after school nap and the phone, or my private phone line rings. (Gotta make this sound good) I'm half asleep when I hear a voice, this chick is asking for me to get my cousin Myra on the phone. Did I wake up in another universe or house? So it went something like this:
"Hello, is Myra home?"
"Who is this?"
"You called me, who is this?"
"I'm M……….Erika Smith. (Not the actual name of the girl who called me. The smith part gives it away I think.)
"Okay. I'm Luis. (That's my actual name.) You got the wrong number. Myra is my cousin however, and her phone number is a lot like mine. You dialed 446-1740 and her number is 466-4017.
"Luis right? What school do you go to?
"I go to Turner."
"What year are you?"
"You might know my sister. Her name is L…Mandy Smith."
"Yeah, I know her." Then I had a confession, I was sleepy and when in that state I will say just about anything stupid. "I'm kind of into her."
"Oh so you're the Luis she mentions?"
"She talks about me?"
"Not much. But she has mentioned you."
"Well I'm going to call Myra. Thanks for the number."
Click. Click.
I thought that was the end of that. The fact was that I was into her sister. I thought that her sister was into me as well, but as in the case of alcohol, that was not for me. I would call asking for Mandy and every once in a while I ended up talking to Erika.
Mandy and Erika have teacher parents. Parents that are teachers for the school district, so Erika was a little younger than me and she was a great person to converse with, she was very smart, so I liked talking to her. She eventually started calling me and we became good friends over the phone. I felt really close to her. Even though I had never met her in person, I thought she was just about the greatest thing going.
The phone thing went on for about a month and then an opportunity to meet in person came up at this party. So I went with my friend Emilio. As chance would have it, Emilio's girlfriend was friends with Erika. I was pretty excited to finally meet with this person who by chance I met over the phone. By the time I met her we had established a special friendship and based on what we spoke about. I was interested and I really didn't care about her looks, or what ever she turned out to look like.
So here I am, in the car with my friend Emilio, and we pull up to the house where the party is at. It was cold that night as I remember. We walked in, and Emilio's girl just jumped on him, she really was into him. They were in front of me, and I was trying to get them out of my way so I could see this mystery person and at least shake her hand. Being that we were at that teen age, teenage, they had set up the party with something like a red light in the primary room.
I looked around and I don't remember what she was wearing, but I do remember seeing curls. Curls, nothing but curls, heaven had dropped to the earth in the form of curls, her oval face and her smile. Yeah, it was at that moment that I fell in Love. Not only fell in Love, but in Love for the first time. I hadn't really tried booze up to that point, just a swig or something you know, but I felt drunk just standing there looking at her as she got up and walked towards me. I guess I was frozen in place, so when I wouldn't move she got up and came up to me, which was great. Well actually it kind of sucked that she came up to me because I saw she was slightly taller than me. What was nice, was that she hugged me.
So we talked and I think it was at this party that she asked me to stand up in a 15th with her. That means I was going to be her escort when one of her friends has her 15th birthday which is a big deal in the Latin culture. It might have been that she had already asked me but the thing is that I said yes. I don't remember too much about what we talked about that night, but I do remember that I asked her to go outside with me. We were outside alone and she was talking away and that's when I just dived. I kissed her and she kissed me back. It sounds corny now but, that was it. I don't know if to stop the story here because after this, some things happened that are not worth mentioning. Or I could skip that and get to another part.
Anyway we were interested, me more than her. She saw it as another guy I think, and I saw it like, this was it. I think the age difference came into play there. It didn't come to a relationship at all; she lost interest as a boyfriend pretty quick, but not as friends. So we kind of made things that we were friends, although I wanted to be more. The 15th she asked me to came and went. That night I she told me she wanted to get with one of my best friends which was extremely heart breaking. I told her that she could do what she wanted and but not to parade in front of me. Well at the reception she paraded with my best friend. Okay let's fast forward a little.
She asked me, after parading with my friend in front of me, if I could give her a ride home. Yes, there were other girls there. Yes, they were beautiful and yes I told her "yes" I would give her a ride home. You see I was devastated and all those other girls didn't matter, it was her I wanted and I couldn't have, and I knew my best friend would not see all that I saw and would not appreciate her.
Now that I think of it there was this beautiful girl that was there that night, and she was really throwing her panties at me that night, but I was caught up in something else. I hardly paid attention to her. For the rest of the night I really didn't speak. I didn't have words. I wanted to be alone but yet there I was at a party with dozens of people. See, that's life for you, you want something and it gives you the exact opposite.
That night when the time came Erika asked me if could take her home so I did. On the way home she tried to start up a conversation, but I wasn't there. I was somewhere else. When we got to her house I said something to her but I can't really remember what it was. It wasn't anything nasty it was something about say hi to your parents for me or something. I drove home and that was it.
When ever I tell this story to someone they always ask me, "That's it?" "You never spoke to her again?" Of course I spoke to her again. After the 15th I shut myself off from the rest of the world. Erika could do whatever she wanted, I wasn't going to watch. It was hard enough to accept the situation. I dreaded that fucking phone line I had which got this story rolling. It was about 2 months I think that Erika and I didn't speak. Every once in a while I would call her house and hang up when she would pick up. I missed her terribly.
It was summer now and I wasn't at school. I was out with a lot of time on my hands to think about how I would never be happy. Of course this wasn't true; I came to be happy again when I really discovered booze. So there I am, asleep again and the phone rings. Now, back then the big thing was three way, not the sex thing, the phone thing. So you were like the bomb if you had three way. Your the bomb if youve done the three way sex thing too. A friend of mine calls me up, it went something like this:
"Hey man, what's up?"
"Hello? Hello?"
"Yeah man I'm still here, dammit, let me call you back."
"Who was on your three way?"
"No one man just let me call you back."
So I hang up. I was still kind of sleepy so I laid down. The phone rings again and it's this friend, by the way his name is Saudi, and he starts talking to me:
"Hey man, what's up?"
"What was all that shit about? Who was on three way and hung up?"
"It was Erika."
"Yeah she has been calling me and telling me how she wants to talk to you?"
"About what?"
"Well man, I know you've been feeling like shit since the 15th. So I thought it was a good Idea to call you. I didn't tell Erika that I was calling you, so when she heard your voice pick up she hung up?"
"Doesn't sound like she really wants to talk to me then."
"Man she wants to talk to you, but she thinks that you hate her, and I know that ain't true."
"I don't hate her."
"Well call her. Wait, you're not going to tell her to fuck off or anything right?"
"I don't know man. Doesn't sound like a good idea."
"It's her birthday today."
"Okay, I'll call her. She ain't going to hang up on me is she?"
"Dude no. She wants to talk."
"Okay, I'll call her now."
Click. Click.
So I call her and it was kind of weird. It wasn't too long before we were talking like the first time. Then she told me it was her birthday and that she was alone. I thought that was weird, why would she be alone? She sounded sad. In the two months that we didn't talk she told me she would call my phone to hear me and then hang up. I confessed the same thing. We talked about other things. Then eventually she asked me if I could come over. I wasn't going to say no to that. So I got my mom's car and went off to her house. She was waiting for me outside. I got out of the car. Now this sounds really corny but it happened. I got out of the car and she started walking towards me and we hugged on her front lawn.
We sat there in her front lawn for a long time talking. I told her what I felt hadn't changed, and she told me that she cared a great deal for me, but it wasn't in a boyfriend kind of way. She didn't budge neither did I. We kept on talking and we established the ground rules that we were friends. My thinking was that it was better to have her in my life as a friend than not at all.
There is really nothing more to tell about this. I carried the torch for her for a long, long time. I threw a lot of booze on that fire and it grew more and more. I wanted to burn in it so I wouldn't feel that pain.
A lot has changed since then. I fell in love the second time. Same thing again, but not as painful as the first time though. That one isn't worth writing about. That came and went. Since then I haven't fallen in love again. Since then I have taken some opportunities that were kind of like jobs. I have risked my life for ideals. I have been shot at. Some friends have died. Some friends have killed themselves. I drank a great deal. I drank and almost got my head shot off for my political affiliation. I got sober, 4 years now, and fixing to be 5 in November. A whole lot of pain, but all of it put together didn't match that first time.
Some of the things that have caused me pain I wouldn't do again, but if I could go back in time and know that when the phone rang it was going to be Erika on the other line, I would pick it up in a heartbeat. Even if I had to go through all that pain again, I would gladly pick up the phone.
I didn't use Erika's real name because it's not anybodies business you know, her identity. I write this with no regret at all. I still correspond with her. She lives very far from me, and I live in the third world. I haven't seen her in 10 years or more I think. I hope if she reads this, that she is not offended and can smile like I am smiling now. My Favorite Mistake.

The Basement

Every once in a while as I walk by the door of the basement I stop and search my gut to see if I have what it takes to go down there and satisfy my curiosity. I think it was a Tuesday when I was walking by with a can of mineral water or club soda depending if you're at a country club. There must have been a breeze or something. What ever it was I don't think it was just chance that I got a whiff of the mildew smell that the ground has.
I stopped, looking to my side, and there was the wooden door. Once painted white and now with the stale off white of time and things that have passed. I searched my gut and there was nothing there, so I turned my body towards the door that seemed to be cracked. I was invited in and there was no fear in my gut to stop me, all I needed to do was open the cracked door and move my feet.
I clicked on the light and made my way into the mildew smell. Underground everything was a neat a button. In the middle of the room was an old lazy boy that seemed to be put there for me many years ago just for me. All around me there were boxes with labels. Winter blankets…Winter clothes…Goodwill box… our clothes from when we were children. Then there was the box with nothing written on it. In my gut something started poking at me. It was in a corner. The box had been placed so that you couldn't see it if you just walked into the room. Something that was meant to be forgotten but could never be thrown out. In faint volume I could hear outside the children play in the late summer afternoon.
The basement was well kept no water filtrated in it was dry but the smell of moist was evident. I found myself in front of the standing there with my gut poking a little harder by then. I pulled the box close to the lazy boy. I opened the top and there was an album with old photographs. Photos I hadn't seen in a long time. I love the way humans make things in such a way that by looking at the object you can tell the time frame when it was made. I looked at the photos I came across the one of two boys. One was about nine years old and the other maybe three years old. The older boy was holding the baby in his arms. A great big smile was on the profile of his face while the child had a sleepy look to his face sort of looking down. The photo was obviously taken in the 1970's.
Looking through the box I found other things that I hadn't seen in a long time. Clothes mostly. While I was looking my club soda was getting warm. In my chest I felt that swelling that you feel with great emotions. I could almost feel him standing behind me looking on to the things that I was taking out of the box. I could feel his sadness because he felt mine. The swelling was getting to be bigger than what my chest could handle. I thought about putting everything back and running back up stairs but instead I just kept working my way down the box. It seemed as if it would never end. Towards the end I didn't even pay attention to the objects that I was pulling out. A pair of binoculars…Guns n Roses tapes… a pair of sunglasses. All things that I respected as being his property.
Then my curiosity was satisfied. At the end of it all was what made me stop. His shirt, a belt, some socks all stained with old blood. The swelling in my chest finally burst. He stood behind me and cried because he has made me feel this terrible. I sat there with his shirt in my face washing blood with tears, not because he was dead, but because my mom and I had left him down here as if he was a dirty secret to be ashamed of. After I calmed down, I slowly and carefully put his things back into the box and closed it. I looked around and found a black magic marker. On the front of the box I wrote his name followed by what I felt needed to be there, the words "My Brother". I dragged the lazy boy back toward the hidden corner where the box with no label had been. Next to the other boxes of our clothes as children I set my brother's box. After that he was gone. I walked towards the stairs clicked the light off and walked back upstairs, my mineral water was pretty warm by then.


I was about to foam at the mouth with rage when I saw these freshmen making fun of the handicapped kids. The cafeteria was full and it was the first day of school. I hadn't found one of my friends who had the same lunch as I had, so I was sitting alone and across the way the special kids were sitting down not bothering a soul trying to have their lunch with dignity. Just then there was a tap on my shoulder and it was a friend of mine that who was in my same situation; first day of the semester and didn't know anyone in that particular lunch period. He smiled and I extended my hand to shake his. He sat down.
So there we were and a little bit down from us was a table full of freshmen. The freshmen were looking over to the table where the handicapped kids sat, making faces and acting spastic ridiculing them. I sat there looking at them, letting my blood boil and seeing if there was going to be an explosion. I had that gut feeling that someone was going to get hurt and I was the one who was going to do the hurting.
On my right was Omar smiling and asking how it was hanging, what was up and all that jazz. Omar was a nice guy always joking around and trying to make his friends smile. It was hard to smile when you went to a school in the south. We are not talking 1960's. It was the 90's but being a minority, and in particular being a Latino meant that your were a dope dealer, a gang member or a future correctional institute inmate. They, as in the staff of the school expected the worst from the Latinos. There were exceptions.
We were Latinos. I am a Latino, and at that point I was about to make the staff's expectations come true. Omar was throwing his best material at me to get a laugh out of me but my face was dead set on the white freshmen peckerwoods that were mocking the disabled kids. I kept repeating in my mind that it wasn't their fault for their disabilities. Then I felt that Omar caught on. He saw that I would look towards the freshmen and then towards the disability kids.
So he asked me what the problem was. I told him to look at how the freshmen were making fun of the handicap kids. He saw how it bothered me. I told him my outrage and he said a few words that I went along with.
"Well let's do something about it." He got one of his napkins and rolled it into a ball and threw it at the freshmen. It hit one of them and they turned towards us as if they were going to do something. The good thing about being a Latino is that people walked on egg shells for you. We had a reputation of being a bit violent. Omar stared at them and so did I. I asked them:
Omar took all his food off his plastic tray and got up. Lets stop right there.
When I was a child about 4 years old my mother and I were prisoners to and alcoholic father. He was a military man and felt he was a real man when he would beat my mother. He would put his nine millimeter gun to her head when he was drunk.
One weekend my father's younger brother had come to the house to stay with us. My uncle, my father's brother's name is Alfredo which I'm named after. Alfredo was handicapped. He could not speak only make sounds, he was not a mute. His right arm was twisted and could not walk straight. He was the best playmate I had in those days, he never grew up you know, in his mind. His left arm was good and strong.
This in particular weekend like most my father got home drunk and felt like taking out his frustration of being a total loser out on my mother. He came home and Alfredo knew what was going on. My father immediately found a reason to start a fight with my mom. Before we knew it he had hit her across the face. He hit her in front of me and Alfredo in the living room of this small house we lived in. It was a house mostly paid for by my mother seeing as my dad spent his money on whores and booze.
My mother went down after that first hit. Holding her hands in her face where she had worn the punch my dad had dealt her. I was so little and helpless. I began to cry and so did Alfredo. Alfredo with all the strength he could gather got up from the couch and tried to get in the middle of the fight and stop my father from going any farther. He caught a punch in the stomach and fell to his knees crying. He cried in such a way that broke my heart in such a way that has not been repaired to this day.
With the most dignity I have seen anyone have he got up and wobbled over to where I was. With his good left arm he grabbed me as I was crying hysterically. >My mother was taking kicks in her stomach. My father got down on one knee and pulled her hair and screamed so many things to her that I don't remember.
Alfredo picked me up and took me wobbling towards the kitchen where the pain in his stomach defeated him and he kneeled down careful not to hurt me. Both of us were crying and he held me and said things to me that I couldn't understand since he couldn't really talk. He kissed my head and with his good arm would stroke my hair as if to say that everything was going to be alright.
I don't remember how that night ended. I guess I blocked it out of my mind, all except for what Alfredo did. My dear sweet uncle Alfredo, I will always love him, he was my savior. He was my comfort. I think this is the moment that I learned that there are weak and those who believe that they are strong. Alfredo was the strong one and my father was the weak one believing he was the strong one beating my mother within an inch of her death. This was my first moment of rage. Rage towards those who want to abuse those who are defenseless. This is the moment that would define my purpose in my life.
Soon after that my mother and I left that house and that tyrant behind. I didn't see Alfredo for many years after that but I always remembered him.
At the moment that Omar picked up his empty tray I did the same. I remembered my dear uncle. It wasn't his fault he was afflicted. I remembered this incident and my rage awoke with a vengeance after being dormant for so long. Those freshmen were going to pay a bill that was long over due.

We walked over. Omar took one side of the table and I took the other side. There were four freshmen and only two of us. When they saw us come over they got really quiet. It seemed as if their pulse went flat line. I raised my tray and swung and hit this peckerwood over the head and nearly broke the plastic tray.
When I looked Omar had one out of his chair on the floor and the peckerwood was trying to protect his head. I didn't know Omar had it in him, you know being a joker as he was. He backed me up. The other two peckerwoods ran off and of course got their white teacher protectors.
When they pulled me off the white kid I was tenderizing I think I was foaming at the mouth. All I could remember was my uncle Alfredo, how I loved him and how those handicapped kids never hurt anyone and were trying to have their lunch with dignity. In them I saw Alfredo with his good arm telling me that everything was going to be alright.
They separated Omar and me when they interrogated us. I sat in the dean's office waiting for the white man to come in and say what a bad kid I was, starting trouble for nothing. I felt no remorse. I still don't. He came in and sat down with his cocky attitude and looked at me. He gave me that look like it was nothing new, another Latin kid in trouble. He probably thought I was going to look at the ground in shame or something, but I didn't. I sat there arrogant as he was and I looked at him in the eye.
"Let me understand", he said.
"You can't ever understand I told him", I said.
"Try me", he said. I looked at him with the rage still raw in my eyes.
"Those peckerwoods were mocking the disabled kids who weren't bothering anyone. I guess you allow that here at your school. Just like when we (Latinos) take the blame for everything that has gone wrong and you can't explain. Other than that there is nothing to explain." I sat back and waited for his answer and sentence. He looked at me.
"That's no excuse for violence." He said as if he was a priest.
"You can't understand. Ever." After that I didn't say a word. I didn't need to explain to this old peckerwood why I had to bust one of his younger peckerwood's head. He wasn't worthy of even knowing the story of Alfredo. Alfredo was above him and those peckerwoods. I got a week of solitary detention, a prison within the school, as well as Omar did.
I'm eternal thankful to Omar for backing me in that fight. He could have ratted me out but he didn't. We were friends till our lives parted ways. After that incident I didn't stand by doing nothing when I saw injustice, till this day I don't stay quiet. Till this day I fight for what I think is right, and will continue to do this until I'm dead.
Last time I saw Alfredo I hugged him, and being who I am now it took all my strength to hold back the tears. He is still at that age, the age when his brother hit him and beat my mother in front of us. With my father, there a bill over due as well and sooner or later I'm going to collect that bill.

The Apartment

Hopes are something you carry in your heart when you flee from one place to another. Once you get to where you're going things kind of just fade away. When you're a kid taken from the world you were born into and put into another one you hold on to dreams that some day you will see the ones you love once again. You come to a point in your life when things look really dim. This happened to me.
I was six years old living in a new country, fleeing from the old one for reasons that are not worth mentioning. Apart from my mother the only other woman I had loved up to that point was my grandmother; my dad's mom. I missed her deeply, at the same time I knew it was going to be quite a while before I would see happy days. In fact it was all blue Mondays for a while.
The thing was or is, is that humans have to have some kind of hope to keep their hearts going. As far as I knew I was human. I needed something to hold onto, something to keep me going.
As most immigrants of the time we lived in what can be called a common apartment. This roughly translates into a small apartment shared by way too many people. Most immigrants of the time were men. Women hardly left the home country; the journey was too long and too dangerous. Some how my mother and I had made it to the great Babylon as one of my friends says.
We shared an apartment with many men. My mother and I claimed the living room as our living quarters, which sucked. I slept on a real crappy couch and my mom slept on the floor. I didn't know any better back then, so I didn't consider these conditions as bad. Innocence saves you from feeling sorry for your self.
The thing about those days I regretted in those days was that I only saw my mother once a day for a couple of hours. She had to work so much and she was so tired I had no one to really spend time with. There were no other children. I would come home from school and the house was empty…my mom at work...all the men at work. It was quite lonesome. I learned to adapt though.
I don't know if it was funny or tragic but the weekends the apartment was full, and it was full of drunks. Like I said most of the people who we shared the apartment with were men. Men from my country tend to drink. Men from my country who are home sick tend to drink a lot. They would buy card decks and make circles and gamble. My memories of those days have a clear picture of what the old can of Miller Lite used to look like. They loved that stuff.
These guys who had claimed one of the bed rooms in the apartment would make their powwows there. It wasn't all laughs because sometimes they would end up fighting. Guys would come flying out of the bedrooms swinging. I don't think it was the typical thing that any kid is supposed to see in any culture growing up. Eventually my mom got so scared of the week end beer fests that when Friday morning would come around she would hide the kitchen knives before she went to work. She didn't want anyone with a third corn chute.
So being surrounded by this type of atmosphere I was not looking forward to too much of a future. Little by little I began to see that we were not in the best conditions. I was quite in school which didn't win me too many friends. Quite kids tend to be the ones picked on. So there was not much to brighten the day.
Thank God for drunks. Every once in a while on the weekends the apartment was so full of people that some drank and socialized in the living room where my mother and I had our bed room, if you want to call it that. One thing that every culture has is drunks. The other thing is that in most cultures where there are drunks there of course is music. The apartment was no exception. The guys had a little jam box. They would sit on the floor and open their beers. They would take out their collection of tapes and play the music.
Most of the music they played was stuff that I really didn't care for. I am surprised of how easily I could sleep in those days. There was a bunch of drunks jamming some real annoying Spanish music and I was out like a light. They would party like that all weekend and when Monday came around I would find this jam box with all these tapes thrown about. Once again, thank God for drunks.
One Monday after school I was bored and since no one was around I started messing with these tapes I found and the jam box. I would put one in and of course I didn't like what I heard so I would take it out. I would put another one in and so on.
Well eventually I came across this white tape with the letters somewhat faded on it. It didn't matter I couldn't read anyways. I popped this tape in. A song that I now know by heart started playing. I couldn't understand because it was in english but, man did it sound great.
I don't know which of the many drunks that visited the apartment on the weekends was a Beatle fan but he never found that Beatle tape again. I would listen to it constantly until it just wore out. My mother bought me another one. Eventually I would get all kinds of Beatle stuff.
Like I said, for a long time it was all blue Mondays. For a long time I stayed quiet. I didn't really have any friends. When I would get home the first thing I would do is crank up the Beatle music. Tape or long play, and all of the sudden after a day of having no friends at school, at home I had four friends from Liverpool, England. I sang along with them even though my English sucked. It got better though.
Eventually my mother and I moved out of that apartment. My mother met up with whom would be my step father. Things got worse for me. I didn't get along with this man and to avoid conflict with him I stayed in my room. I ate in my room. I only left the room for school and for the bathroom. It wasn't a big deal. I adapted. I had a record player, I had a tape player. I would sing "Please Please Me", "From Me To You" and "Love Me Do" to keep my spirits up. That music kept me going. It kept me from going insane.
For those who know me, those closest to me, when they hear the Beatles, they think of me. Why? This is because the Beatles are a part of me, my personality, my life. I've had arguments and fights with people who tell me that the Beatles aren't that great. To me they are more than just the greatest pop group of all time, they are saviors. After the first notes hit my ears, I knew that there was more than just a bunch of drunks to life. There was more. The music gave this unspoken message that life is out there, you just got to look for it. Even in the bad times I could count on listening to the Beatles to lift my spirits, something I'm sure has happened to millions of people.
Many years have passed since I wore out that first Beatle tape. In fact the apartment complex where all this happened burned down. I saw the whole thing go up in flames. It had been condemned for some time when the blaze happened. I was out one night with a friend and we saw the streets blocked off and the great bright flames go into the night sky. We parked so we could watch as the fire department tried to put out the fire. I looked through my tapes and popped in one of my Beatle tapes in. I watched it all burn down while listening to some songs from the album "Let It Be". How appropriate. My heart broke a little that night.
Some people might think that this is just an exaggerated rambling of a fan, and that might be true. This is what happened to me. I'm sure similar experiences happened to other people, but this is my story.

Getting Pushed

I've often said that when they were passing out stepfathers I must have been out taking a wiz because the one I got was a real bum deal. From the earliest moments that I was forced to live with this bastard it was constant conflict. Obviously he had never been a kid so he didn't know how to treat children. His family followed suit. I could easily see where he got his degree of being an ass hole.
I was about 8 years old when this took place. We lived in these apartments called Valwood Village. It wasn't too bad. I lived close to some friends from school. In fact this was the only time I remember playing outside. At this point in my life I still thought that I had a right to be outside of my room. I thought I had the liberty to be in the living room for example. I would be there and so would Grendel. We didn't talk much as you might have guessed.
It was New Year's Day so he was not working that day and I didn't have school. My mother on the other hand had to work. She was a house keeper and one of the rich people for whom she cleaned houses for needed a maid for a New Year's Day party or something. My mom took any job she could. She not only had to feed and clothe me but she also had to feed and clothe the family back in the old country.
From my room I heard a knock at the door and my step dad opened the door. It was one of his cousins. This guy's name was Tony. What a douche bag. He knew a little English and he thought he was hot shit. He was also a pervert. He walked in and began to speak to my step dad.
Its about mid morning and I'm getting hungry so I went to the kitchen to make a sandwich. There were no butter knives available so I took what was handy. What was handy was a long pointy knife, the kind found only in B horror films. I stood at the kitchen table making my sandwich trying not to be noticed by this prick Tony or my step dad. I didn't want to end up making sandwiches for the bastards.
My step dad's family thought it was their mission to fuck with me until they made me cry or till I got into trouble. Things they both accomplished. That's why I was trying to be invisible at that particular moment. I was concentrated. Some mayo, some ham, a slice of ham and some more mayo to top off with some white bread. Wonder Bread. I don't know why but the wonder bread design grossed me out. I don't have the slightest clue how to explain that.
The plate with two sandwiches cut into four pieces. I thought it looked fancy. Some chips to go along with the New Year's meal. Almost home now, all I have to do is put up the wonder bread, the ham, the mayo and the cheese. Just when I thought I was home free there he stood with his car salesman smile. A smirk found on ass hole, pricks, bullies, pieces of shit and the like all over the world. Then and there I knew that later that day I was going to regret what was about to happen.
My step dad is watching the television and is not paying much attention. The bastard Tony has decided to go to the kitchen to get himself something to drink. There he is standing in my way. He is standing in my way of having a peaceful day with no problems with my step dad or my mom.
Right off the bat he starts with the subject he best knows, or he thinks he knows. He starts talking about women. Really he starts talking about sex. He is talking about sex to an 8 year old boy. He is not talking about the birds and bees; he is talking hardcore pornography type stuff. I don't know if this is correct or not, I don't have children nor do I associate much with children, but talking pornographic scenarios with an 8 year old boy I think that can land you in jail.
His one sided conversation about fucking women in all sorts of ways goes on for about 15 minutes. Meanwhile my step dad was in la la land watching the TV. Even if he heard what Tony was talking about he wouldn't step in to correct the situation. So there I am alone. It was obvious that Tony aimed to make me uncomfortable and get a reaction from me. He either wanted me to cry or for me to cuss him out. I stayed quiet. I swayed one way to try and get around him to put up the ham and mayo. He kept his sight on me and the conversation straight towards me.
I went back to the table to pick up my plate and make a break for my room and lock myself in when I noticed that I had left the knife out. I dreaded looking at that knife because it meant that I had to go back to where the sink was and would have to listen to this guy and the words "pussy" "clit" and so on.
I was picking up the knife to take it to the sink trying to block out all the things he was saying to make me uncomfortable when I heard two things from his filthy mouth:
"You don't like pussy man? Are you a fag?"
Tony, needles to say was a stupid man, a very, very stupid man. The words he said were "are you a fag". I heard "you're a fag". I had the knife in my hand. In those days when I was in this type of situation of being uncomfortable I would look down. I never raised my head. To this day when I walk I look down, I don't lift my eyesight much. I looked down at the table. My hand there with this shiny knife and in my mind I could see his face with that dip shit smirk as he said the word "fag".
I raised my head and at the same time I grabbed the knife with rage in my hand. I turned around and looked at him. I think that was the first time he actually saw my eyes. Sure enough he had that smirk as if he thought he was joking around with a life long friend. The thing was I knew him for what seemed a life time, but we were not friends. His smirk slowly but surly faded away as I raised that knife and placed the tip of the blade to his chest. His faced looked like some had just told him his mother had just died. I pressed the blade just a little into his chest. Any more pressure and this cocksucker was going to bleed.
It seemed like it was hours of silence as I stared into his eyes and for the first time I saw horror in the eyes of another. I didn't have his respect, but I had his fear and his complete attention. If it wasn't respect I took what I could get. He finally got breath in his lungs to whimper out my step dad's name.
My step dad yelled at me to put the knife down and all kinds of other curses. I brought the knife down walked around Tony who was about to shit his pants and put the knife in the sink. I got my sandwiches went to my room. I closed the door and I could still hear my step dad yelling things at me. Needless to say when my mom got home I got my punishment. I wasn't allowed to give my side of the story. I felt it was unfair, but at the same time I also felt it was totally worth it. Soon after that my mom stopped giving me spankings; eventually I stopped crying when she would hit me.
Tony, never spoke to me again when he would visit. In fact I don't remember him coming around much after that. Many years later when we had moved into a house and I was about 17 I was home alone. By this time I had long hair back in a pony tail and I also grew a thick goatee. I looked like one of those guys off of Americas Most Wanted. Anyway, I was home alone and the door bell rung. I went opened the door and then the screen door. There was this small guy standing there. There was something familiar about him, but I couldn't place him. He asked for my step dad. I told him that he wasn't in but that if he wanted he could come in and wait for him. He quickly told me that he would come back later and walked quickly off the porch.
I closed the door still trying to place who this guy was. Then it hit me. I should have known him from the moment I opened the door, he still had that stupid fucked up smirk on his face. When he recognized who I was that smirk faded away quickly. Tony. I should have insisted in him coming into the house, maybe he would have soiled himself. Tony; what a stupid man, he never thought the kid who he fucked with would one day grow up. He never thought that he would grow old.

The water still

When I think about it now I doubt that it really happened. I think maybe it was a figment of a child's imagination. I guess that's the way some people block out traumas of their life, simply by telling themselves subconsciously that what you saw you didn't see. I can't say that I had nightmares about it or that it deeply affected my personality. Maybe it did and I just don't know all the angles to my inner mind. I must admit though that when I look back at that vague memory, my legs freeze up, my spine turns cold and I feel my throat being compressed.
I was about 5 years of age, very young and not aware of all the hidden things that people hide in the everyday life of a society. Back then I've been told that I spent most of my time being looked after by my grandmother. My parents during the week would work and my grand mother was the one who would baby sit. For some reason or another my father hadn't taken me to her house, it must have been a Monday. Even though he hadn't taken me my grandmother's brother, great uncle Alfonso, had come to pick me up at the house. He got my things and picked me up and we were on our way to take the bus to momma's house.
Uncle Alfonso I remember to be a big man, tall and thick. He had a thick mustache and dark eyes black hair that never seemed to have any other color around it. Black hair like you see in a black and white photograph. In my memory he was a black and white photograph. This tall man brother to my grandmother had an awful reputation as a drunk. In fact all I can remember about him was that he was always drunk. This Monday morning he wasn't drunk; maybe hung over but not drunk. When I close my eyes I can still remember the smell of vodka on his breath, but he was not falling all over himself like I was accustomed to see.
I don't remember his voice and even if I could I could not describe it to you. When he was sober he was a man of few words. He didn't talk and I didn't talk. The day was like most dry season days in Central America. It wasn't muggy or anything. It was a sunny day but with a fresh breeze that didn't let the sun get a hold of your back. When I think back I think of it as the perfect day to go out on a ride. It was like a day that is described in a fairytale. It would have been the perfect day to go to the beach.
From the barrio where my parents lived to the house where my grandmother lived we had to board two buses. So we got on one at the corner of the street where my parents lived and we were off. I don't remember much about the ride. Just the beautiful day. When we got to down town we had to get off the first bus and walk a few blocks to take the second bus that would take us to the other side of town.
We get off the bus and we start walking to the other bus stop. We had maybe gone half way when Uncle Alfonso stopped. There was an abandoned building or a building that was crumbling I don't know and he was staring at it. I turned to look around and saw a big crowd of people there looking inside. I thought we were going to keep going when to my surprise Uncle Alfonso squatted down to my level and told me to stay put right where I was that he would be right back. He was a tall man, a thick man, a dark haired man, a drunk and now at this moment I found out that he was an irresponsible man and a nosey man.
Who in their right mind leaves a 5 year old child on the sidewalk of a busy street for one minute in a downtown area of a big capitol city like San Salvador? When he squatted down and told me to stay put, I was scared and at the same time pissed off that I had to humor his nosey impulse. So I stood there. While I'm standing there people are walking past me going to towards the remains of the building that once stood. So you can imagine this little boy with his corduroy pants and his De LaCost polo shirt tucked in with his arms crossed and poutty face not knowing weather to cry or get pissed off. At this point that my uncle was gone maybe 2 minutes (felt more like 20 to me at the time) I made the decision to go and have a look see for myself.
I turned toward the crowd and started walking and as soon as I entered the mass of the crowd I imagine that my uncle was making his way out of the same mass so he didn't see me. I made my way through the crowd. Each person I passed I made my way into the darker ruins of the building. I finally came to a clearing where the people had stood back. In the middle of the circle was a pila. A pila was a water still where people keep water in Latin American countries to have when the water service goes out.
I stood there and thought for a second that this couldn't be the big attraction. So I went that one step further. I went that one mile further in my life. In that second I went far into being mature. I tipped toed over the ruble around the still which was enough to give the elevation to see inside. The rest are just flashes in my mind. I remember seeing a ripped sky blue shirt. I remember seeing the flesh separated. Inside the water still were the pieces of a man. He had been placed in the still or killed there I don't know. Each member had been hacked off by a machete. Neatly, his arm was detached from his shoulder, his head from his neck, his lower legs from their knees. Everything stood still for me. I couldn't even hear the crowd roar behind me. For that moment it was me and the pieces of a man that I would never know even his name. The sky blue shirt was sprayed with brownish spots that without doubt were dried blood. For that moment I was presented to and shook hands with death for the first time. I was so afraid I couldn't react. In that silence I stood, nothing in the universe but me and the still and all was quiet.
I could of stood their for centuries just staring of what use to be life; then as if to rescue me from some deep coma someone grabbed me. Just for a half a second I thought that the severed hand of this man had come to life and wanted to pull me down into the still with him. My heart raced blood going to all parts of my body just as I imagined the blood coming out from all parts of the dead man's body. Who ever it was he was strong. I was dragged away from the still, my eyes concentrated on the side of cement that I looked over. It almost seemed a thousand years ago when I got back to the sidewalk and saw who had dragged me away. Uncle Alfonso was pretty pissed at me he yelled at me a couple of things that I don't remember to this day exactly what he said. The word cabron must have been part of the speech. With that scolding I came out of the fear enough to cry. Then I was able to cry.
At the time all I could understand was that someone had killed him. For what, I don't know. Then things started to become evident to me, things that were there but I didn't see. The war, the politics, the crimes of the authorities. I didn't understand all this but now it was all visible.

Morir Heroe

Caminos, caminos oscuros
Como deseo caminar con ellos
Con los que mueren héroes

Eh pasado mi vida desde afuera
Y nada quizás compara con ser lo verdadero
Me acuerdo de mis primeros pasos
Con el miedo que hacia mis manos temblar
Y todo en lo que pensaba me hacia lagrimas.

Con tiempo se te van los caprichos
Con tiempo se te olvida tu madre y tu padre
Se te olvida que sos niño y te haces el grande
Allí se empieza a ganar la batalla.

Balas se entierran, fusiles caen
El miedo, dolor, y lágrimas son temporales
La victoria, el triunfo es para siempre
Todo en un minuto, una hora, un día, pero...
...pero ese momento es para siempre

Caminos, caminos oscuros
Ahora camino con ellos
Con los que mueren héroes
Tratare de morir de la misma manera;
Porque son los héroes que mueren
Y los miserables que tienen que aguantar la vida.

One Sided Story (war on terrorism)

Just recently in Irak there was a salvadoran soldier killed. His body came home today and the persident´s staff was on hand to receive the body and act as if this truly moved them. My country is run by the extreme right winged ARENA party, which is allied with the extreme right wing of the Republican party of the United States which George W. Bush belongs to. I myself was born in El Salvador, immigrated to the United States and became a citizen and now live back here, so there is two sides to my structure as a person. Unfortunately history is written by those who triumph or in some cases those who hang heroes and this is the case on how I see things. History, or actuality that one day will be history is seen as those who are in power want the majority to see it. People see whats shown to them and believe it, see things for themselves and see the truth and believe what is told to them rather than what they see, they see for themselves and believe what they see and are not fooled by those in power; I think I have been all three types of these people over the years.
One of the reasons that I left salvador when I was a small child with my mother was because of the civil war. It was during the eighties and Ronald Reagan had declared war on the comunist in central america. I grew up in the US in Texas. I went to public schools. During the eighties in the public schools they taught us that marxism or a more popular name, comunism, was bad; that all Russians were comunist and all were bad and all of them hated the United States. They build up the United States to be the greatest country in the world as far humanity, democracy, liberty and justice goes. Now the last two things I totally agree. There is no place on this earth that protects and serves liberty and justice like the United States, within it´s borders. In elemantry school I believed all three claims. I think its funny to see a seven year old child with a political point of view, I must have been a riot to listen to. I believe what was shown to me, what was told to me, and as far as politics went I hated comunists because they wanted to destroy the US.
As time went by and I grew up a little, I started to see things in the world like the first persian gulf war and not all was smiles and sunshine. George Bush senior was president then. I saw things but refused to believe them. I held on to what I was taught. How many people who have a favorite loved one and came to believe he was the greatest person on earth would believe other wise when told this person in question was a heroin addict. Not many. I didnt. During these years I lived in the US in my homeland was an ongoing conflict between the extreme right wing and the rebel insurgents. I automatically supported the right wing, for lack of information. It was during the early 90s that I heard a great song by Cypress Hill. Now you might be askingwhat in the world does a weed smoking rap group and politics have to do with each other? The song was How I could Just Kill A Man and at the end of the song there are some lyrics that I took to heart. The lyrics have nothing to do with politics or the cold war, but it does have to do with life and expiernce and judgment. The lyrics say How do you know where Im at? When you havnt been where Ive been. Understand where Im coming from? My point is how could I have an opinion when I havnt seen with my own eyes the situation or lived it in person. I couldnt.
I made my first concious trip to El Salvador when I was 16. My eyes looking for something more than a vacation. I have an auntie that is not educated, but expierience has made her a survivour during the conflict. So she started to tell me the story, and showing me things about what war is, what humanity is and the absence of democracy and justice. She did all this and I could not grasp. Then she baught me a book. That did it. The book is called FIRE FLIES IN EL MOZOTE. In the corner of my country there is the department of Morazan. In this department not far from the Honduran border is the hamlet of El Mozote. Back in 1980 it was a hamlet of about a thousand people. Farmers mostly. The department of Morazan during the conflict was in the red zone, a part of the Salvadoran territory that was controled by the guerillas. El Mozote was the home of many farmers who did not have anything to do with the guerillas. They did not oppose the government, they lived the best they could under the situation. They were protestants mostly with no link to any social organization. In december of 1980 the Atlactle brigade of the salvadoran army went into the hamlet. They separated the men, women and children and killed them all. Out of about a thousand people there was only one survivour. One woman. She lost everything. Everything. This book said a lot to me. Eventually I made a trip to Morazan. I went to the hamlet which people abandoned during the decade after the massacre. When I arrived I saw that some people had started to return. I was not convinced by my auntie or by this book so I went to speak to those who once had family there in this hamlet. I heard it from them. The words came from their mouths, the story projected by their eyes, the pain had not left their faces. In the hamlet there was still some old houses filled with bullet holes. There was the feeling that something really evil had happened here. To mark the massacre there was a simple metal and wood structure comemorating the massacre with the words NEVER AGAIN on it. Now I saw. Now I knew. Now I was allowed to have a humble opinion. The opinion with authority belongs to those who survived things like these.
In the book that was given to me by my aunt informs of who did this. The salvadoran army using the Atlactle brigade which was trained by the US. When inicial news of the massacre appeared in the New York Times washington and the White House denied the incident. Soon they had to accept. The onesided story that I had believed about the US as the champion of humanity, democracy, liberty and justice died. For me it was a time of reflection, and a time to check my self and see that I had to shut my mouth unless I knew what I was talking about. Needles to say that for some time I didnt talk politics. I dont consider that I talk politics. I dont know anything about politics. I only have an opinion. An opinion based on seeing and not being told. I have both sides of the story.
When I hear about the war on terrorism I really dont know weather to laugh or to cry. It´s the stupidest concept I have ever heard. Speaking as a US citizen I think a lot of the north american people have not evolved from the elemantry stage where you believe everything your told with out seeing for yourself. A while back when Britney Spears was asked on the ABC program 20 20 what she thought of the conflict in Irak she responded that she thought that the american people should trust the president with his desiciones; when asked if she trusted the president she responded that she did. I dont think I need a better example. They said mission accomplished a while back, yet there is still conflict in Irak. They claim time after time that they are winning the war on terrorism yet In Afgahnistan and Irak there is still conflict. The Taliban are still fighting and everyday new insurgent groups come up in Irak. They call it the war on terror and Osama Bin Laden is still on the loose and everyday he gains more and more support. Every day the arab world, the muslim world support more and more the idea of the US being the real enemy. Does no one stop to ask why this is?
I think the north american people really think that the rest of the world wishes that they could be like the US. This is simply not true. The american people think that they are the champions of humanity, yet every day you see american bombs killing innocent people. The US is the champion of liberty and democracy, but every day they support dictators and brutal regimes in the name of american economic intrests. Time after time the US has opposed the establishment of an international tribunal to put on trial war criminals for fear of their soldiers being brougt to the accused stand. The US speaks of democracy but constantly impulses election frauds in countries all over the world, Salvador being one of them. No one like a hipocrit. In the name of american economic intrests the US has stepped on a lot of toes. The american people see Osama Bin Laden as a mass killer terrorist. In the Arab world a lot of people see him as a heroe. If he is captured he will have more support. If he is killed he is a martyr. He has won this war on terror already. One persons terroist is another´s heroe. Why? At this point the US has made many enemies in the world with abuses by their armies, by their foreign policy, by the CIA that people want them out of the their lands. Some want america to fall. This is why the war on terrorism is so stupid, because it cant be won. For as long as american economic intrests cause poverty, injustice and death there will always be a person ready to pick up an AK 47 and fight. For as long as the US keeps on going into countries to establish what has not been asked for and what offends people will be willing to kill. As long as someone is abused he will be waiting for his chance to abuse his agressor.
That Salvadoran soldier that came home in a box, for what? Did he understand the conflict he was in, does his family understand why he was killed. His family is poor, a typical family of a soldier. A person that doesnt know both sides of the story. A person that believes what they are told and cant see for themselves. People who believe that the war on terror can be won.
I think there might be a way to win the war on terror and it doesnt involve rifles and bombs.

A second lost in the darkness

I walk in the dark
I look only ahead
Nothing to see on my sides
Only a void awaits behind
I walk between the darkness
Strolling where spirits sleep and hide
I feel nothing
I am nothing
The pain is so much
Others bruise when I touch them
I hurt so much
Others bleed when I smile
When I love, she burns
When I desire, she enters darkness
I was loved so much it hurts
I walk in the dark
I was loved without a choice

Has Been

I was done before I started
Potential was wasted in a drunken fit
There was no time for me to shine
The clouds were in place before sunrise
A has been is all I ever was
Ive been the laments of a mother
The enemy of who didnt know me
The lover of women that despised me
The king with no kingdom
A thousand times the offensive drunk
All I ever was is the excuse
They guy who never had a break
Down on his luck
Soon to be great
One beer away from stardom
Two shots away from a puddle of puke
Tomorrow is another day
This unfortunate son will rise again
Tomorrow I will be the man who overcomes
The day after tomorrow I will be yesterdays news again
All I ever been is a has been
I can justify it to myself in a thousand ways


Phonies. At least I think thats how you spell the word for people that are not what they appear. There are all types of sub categories that go under this word. This might come as offensive to some people but to who is offended easily please go read a Britney Spears page or something. I really have to say what I feel I cant afford to be one of these people in question. After this small essay or rant however you feel after you read it you can write me and let me know that Im carrying excess baggage or what ever.
The first thing we should consider is my location now and where I used to live. Where I used to live is Carrollton Texas. Not too bad of a place. There were some racial differences but nothing huge. Thats not to say that I didnt feel the racial tension at school or on the street, but there were no Klansmen on horse back and white sheets running around trying to lynch people. That was one world. I was lucky enough to be surrounded by people that told me their true feelings; they told me in my face exactly what they thought. No BS, no run around. Hell, even my enemies where honest. More than one time a redneck said to me Hey beaner, go back to Mexico! Now thats love. There was no hypocrisy in his words just honesty about his feelings. Only his feelings because Im not from Mexico. So for the most part in my life up to that point I took most things at face value cause I didnt have to see angles.
Eventually after reading some things about my home land and drinking a generous quantity of malt liquor I made a decision to come home to this tiny hole in the wall I call the home land. See the stupid things alcohol will make you do? Anyway, it wasnt that much of a whim that I decided to come to Central America. I had come here a couple of times to visit my family. Now when I first mentioned that my life in Texas was one world you probably thought it was one more world involved in the story. Wrong. Salvador splits up into two more worlds. So the first of the two worlds of Salvador that I came to know was the one I found when I would visit my family. Its relevant to say that my family had two sides as well, Ill come to that later.
The first world was the one in the country side. Very nice. People from the country side are so nice. They are always eager to give you things you know like a basket of fruit and what not. Not cause they are interested in seeing what they could get out of you, but because its their nature and their up bringing. I spent a lot of time in the country side when I would visit. I would go to parties that people would throw for baptisms, 15ths and so forth. People would talk straight forward in a very humble way. I dont think I came across one arrogant bastard in my trips to this place. So when I decided to come here and live I thought that people would be the same here in the capital city. Wrong.
In April of 1999 I got the go ahead to come home. So I came home to the capital city. Everything was going just as expected until I had to mix with the people I was going to go to school with. Salvador is a third world country. During the 80s there was a civil war. Salvador is like most Latin American countries, there are the super rich in very small numbers. There are the super poor in very large numbers and there is an almost non existent middle classsmaller than the other two groups. So when I arrived at the catholic university I had been warned that I would be surrounded by rich kids, and I do mean rich.
There were in fact rich kids but there were also some of those of the middle class. Most of the people who I met and talked to are from what can be called the middle class here. I didnt meet or hang out with rich kids. Along with money comes a difference in political points of view. I think thats enough of the background. Lets get down to the point. These kids of what are known as the middle class here and the capital city altogether is the third world I didnt expect. War, poverty, television, reality shows, soap operas, all these things have drastically traumatized the people in this country.
The people I meet these days are for the most part phonies. Perpetrators. Not the real thing. This really just puts knots in me. Here are the examples:
I have a couple of so called friends here. Some of them, well actually 3 of them are down to earth. They live reality. These 3 friends I admire and I feel fortunate to have them and their sincerity which is scarce here. But I have other friends, the so called ones. One of them lives in this part of town that is pretty rough. This guy is smart and knows how to use his intellect. He already graduated and is currently working in a Business Law tribunal. He makes pretty good money, but its not like he rakes it in like bill gates. Lately he doesnt talk too much to me or the others that he went to school with; as I understand the situation he wants to associate himself with people of the upper class. He goes to the trendy bars, he buys his clothes at trendy stores, he doesnt drink just any type of liquor, he drinks what the rich drink. Now this is sad. This guy is so ashamed of his past and of whom he is that he is trying to erase who he is. He goes to English classes to learn the language because all the rich kids know English. This guy is so wrapped up in what E! Entertainment television dictates. He is so concerned to look, dress, act and speak like the rich kids here and or try to be more north American. Be anything but a Salvadoran.
Ive been out with him a couple of times and to these bars, and all you see is a lot of kids trying to act like their rich or like they are north American. They drink Coronas so people can see them with a trendy beer label in their hands. All of them trying to act like they have a private jet to take them home. GEEZE. Look at the map and you know how ridiculous this is. We live In El Salvador, a country that has barely been out of war for a little more than a decade and fixing to go right back into another civil conflict. This is the third world; come down to earth. The funniest thing is that what they think that most North American kids dress like, act like, and listen to is not what the reality is. I laugh and I get head aches about this type of thing. I laugh because I see a monkey trying to be a man, and I get headaches because I actually talk to these people. They cant accept their reality, they are ashamed of who they are.
When it comes to me, I went out in the past to see chicks, to drink a lot of beer and make an ass of myself or to get my ass kicked. Thats honesty. I never went out so people could see my new Oscar de la Renta pants, or to see me drinking the new fad drink. I went to out to socialize and not to act like what Im not. I know who I am; Im Luis from Salvador, an immigrant in the United States, and ex thug, a problem drinker, a guy trying not to loose his soul, a person trying to be as honest with himself as possible. I am not a person that is on welfare, in fact in this country Im pretty well off but that is not me, that is the blessing that my mother has received and she is nice enough to share with me. To end this part I would like to quote one of my favorite characters out of the movies.
Your not the shirt you wear, your not the car you drive, your not the content of your wallet, your not your fucking kakiswe are the all singing all dancing crap of the world. Its true little by little you just let yourself become Tyler Durden.
Now lets talk about the other type of phonies. The famous UNCLE TOMS. These types of people are the worse. These are the Salvadorans that left the country to go to the states and now they think they are too good to live here or to have belonged to this land. Hell there are some Salvadorans that are ashamed to be Latinos. I know of this one person, a wetback just as myself, born in El Salvador, in the poorest side of the country. We went to the states to start a new life. Now hes done pretty well for himself. He has three kids. They live in a house that most people never dream of having. He brain washed his oldest son to act like he does. Luckily his son doesnt act totally like him. Im not one to tell people how to vote, but when youre an immigrant that once was afraid of being caught by the MIGRA and being deported you should understand the people who still have not fixed their immigrant status. Everyone knows that the Republican Party does not exactly like all the Josés coming across the border, so when this person Im talking about was asked who he voted for he said he proudly casted his vote for George W. Bush. When asked why he replied because Mr. Bush is concerned with his interests as being one of the upper class. Just writing this makes me want to hit myself over the head with a bat. His son of course followed suit. The people at the same time yell to the four winds that they are Salvadoran, that they are proud of their origin. BULL SHIT. They dont even know what the history here is. When they come here they look down on the poor that live here. They go to mix with the other bastards that I already mentioned. One of them with delusions of being a North American, and the other with delusions of wanting to have delusions of being a North American. Both are the same kind of Indians that the Spaniards found when they arrived here on the Niña, the Pinta, and the Santa Maria. The Indian that sold his country for some shiny cheap costume jewelry and a couple of mirrors.
To those who are Salvadoran and act as I have described, well what can I say but come down to earth. If youre an Uncle Tom like I have described what can I say but if you dont want the smell of the poor third world country you left behind to tarnish your new North American image, then dont come here, we have enough phonies here as it is. Its sad that in this day we dont analyze our surroundings and out past. We are all hung up on image, what other people think. Drug addiction, the war on terrorism, the war in Iraq, poverty, AIDS, homeless, the fact that the government of the United States is becoming more and more what most Americans fear, because when it looks like, smells like, feels like you call it what it isFACISM. All of these things dont matter to people, they are not worried about the war in Iraq, what worries them is if Calvin Klein makes a pair of jeans that doesnt make their butt look too big. They are worried about the car they drive if it looks phat enough to attract the opposite sex and not the fact that the fucking Hummer is killing faster our planet. These are just some thoughts, something that most people in this day only leave up to fashion and the advertisements for what ever is a fad at the moment. If ever I become one of these people I truly hope some kind individual puts three slugs in my head. Not one, not two, but three just to make sure I dont contaminate anyone else.

Mediados de Marzo

Cuando me ven
Sus ojos engañan.
Ofreciendo manos de amistad.
Ofreciendo cariño.
Me decís hermano,
Afilas tu cuchillo.
¡Como tu no hay otro!
Me ves la espalda.
Un 15 de marzo cuando el interés
Vence el corazón.
¡Manos hablen por mí!
El grito del engaño máximo.
El terror, la tristeza, el odio,
La perfecta humillación.
Mis últimos suspiros,
Mis ojos aun sin creer,
Sin poder entender
La puñalada en mi espalda.
Mi sangre marca mi pena.
Marca tu crimen a quien los amo.
Así cae Cesar.


Before I start I gotta say that if your a good down home redneck that believes in the US current foriegn policy then you might not like what your about to read so instead of writing me telling me about your thoughts of how Im a communist is a thought for you...You can start your own blog.
In march I was lucky enough to have my mom and my brothers come and visit me here in Salvador. One night my mom and I were talking about the past and the war that swept the country from the late 70´s to the early 90´s. My mom was young back in 1979 and was working at a string factory here in San Salvador. She worked the night shift so she left the house at 7 and didnt come home till 5 in the AM. At this point the war was not "official" I guess the best term is, but the reasons why a war was on the horizon were evident. Now let me make one more pause.
If you know any salvadoran more than one will tell you that what I´m saying is bullshit, the problem with my fellow countrymen is that they are easly brain washed and others are the small precentage of rich folks in this country so they didnt see what Im about to write about. My mom is a christian, a God fearing woman and as honest if not more than Abe Lincoln.
As most of latin america my small country was prisoner to the military dictatorship and the North american intrests in the region. Human rights were overlooked in the name of capitalism. But thats another story. So my mom told me that one night on her way to work on the last buses that would do their runs she saw the national guard detouring the vehicles as so they would not go through down town. There was a protest of some kind and down town was going to be a battle field. Eventually my mom made it to her factory and began her work. Inside the factory you could hardly hear anything cuase of the heavy machinery.
At about 1 am my mom had her lunch break and she told me she and her friends from work went outside to take a breathe of air. While outside they could see down the slope where the factory was, the rest of San Salvador. Which seemed normal enough. What was askew was the gun shots comming from the down town area. Evidently something had gone wrong. My mother and her friends only stared at the lights of the city and looked onto the center of the city where the national cathedral was located. They went back to work.
When the shift was over my mom and her friends carded out and waited outside for the first bus to come by. Eventually one came by and they started their descent from the hill towards down town. Again the national guard was out detouring the buses. Down town was quite the mess as my mom told me. Eventually the bus stopped and the national guards man said that there was no passage for vehicles. Everyone on the bus had to get off.
At this point my mom and one of her friends from work were on the sidewalk, the sun starting to come out. Every entrance of down town was blocked off to any car. My mom told me that at that moment she saw a Red Cross ambulance and a man argueing with a major or something from the national gaurd. Cars were blocked off but people were walking and going through. My mom had to cross the downdown center area to get to another bus that would take her home, so did her friend. So they started walking towards the cathedral.
When they came to the plaza they came across a nightmare. There were things burning in the plaza. the cathedral was riddled with bullet holes. There were national gaurds guiding people and telling them not to stop and keep moving. To get to the other side of town my mom and her friend had to go through the cathedral.
"From outside all you could see is darkness through the front entrance of the cathedral but when we walked in and our eyes adjusted to the darkness we both gasped almost screamed. There were dead bodies everywhere. Men, women, young, old, children. I felt cold and fear was comming up my back. I was so afraid. Inside the guards where moving the bodies to a corner. A guard told us to keep walking and waved his rifle at us. I wanted to run but I couldnt, and I felt my feet heavy. We were walking into another room towards the back looking for the exit when Clara told me to speed up but not to run. The blood was everywhere and I could slip. I was trying to snap out of my shock when I saw I was stepping on the blood of a little girl who had been shot in the head. She was no older than 8. Near her hands a small basket with tortillas. I dont know how we got out but when I was aware again we were outside in the back of the cathedral."
It seems that a large number of protesters had taken the plaza. The national guard came in to supress them. When the bullets started flying some of the protestors took refuge in the cathedral. The national guard waited them out. Eventually they lost their patience and went in bullets flying. No one knows how many were killed.
That was the beggining. Why do I tell you this? These national guard members were trained by US advisors here in Salvador and by the school of the Americas in Atlanta Georgia. Their weapons their funding all US. Why? Cuase the United States has economic intrests. If it has to do with money the US will support any dictator. The same ass holes in power then are still here. The US government, especifically the republican party regard these extreme right wing governments as heroes. In 12 years of civil war here the US backed and trained salvadoran army were getting their asses handed to them by a bunch of farmers with AK 47s. The army had airplanes, choppers, tanks, the best weapons and still they couldnt win.
Now the problem at hand as I see it for the US government and it´s people is the war in Irak. The war in Irak is similar to the one here, as that it is a guerrilla war. Since Vietnam the US has not been able to understand and to fight a guerrilla war. In other words your army is fighting a loosing battle. Everyday there is at least one soldier dead on average. The other day I heard the so called president say that the best way to pay tribute to the fallen soldiers is to finish the objective. Well then why doesnt he send one of his crack smoking daughters to the front. In every war the United States has been in the poor of the poor are the ones on the battle front, not the rich. Bush talks a bunch about honor and tribute and defending freedom. But he hasn´t steped on the blood of a 8 year old little girl. I think its time that the citizens of the United States of America start living up to their reputation of a democracy loving nation. Eventually when the US pulls out of Irak, in the end this will happen, whats going to be left behind is a tirany.
I hear a lot of people saying that the 9 11 attacks justify this war. In international law the international comunity recognizes everyones right to self defence when attacked by another nation. The problem is that Irak didnt attack, the problem with Irak is that it has OIL. people are all worked up about terrorism and scared of another attack, well welcom to the earth situation. Every time the US didnt like a situation in Latin America a little organization called the CIA would over throw a government or instigate a war. Here are some examples: The over throw of the elected president of Guatemala in the 1950´s Jacobo Arbenz, The over throw of elected president Salvador Allende in Chile 1972, the war instigated and funded by the US in Nicaragua with the CONTRAS, The murder of Archbishop Romero in El Salvdor by death squads trained by the CIA, The MOZOTE massacre of 1000 farmers in el salvador by a batalion trained by the US military etc. This is the world we are used to. THIS IS TERRORISM TOO. I understand the people of the United States that they don´t understant, thats becuase your government hides things from you. Some people say that the US is the police man of the world. I think thats funny, cause there is a lot of police brutality going on. No one asked for the US to be policing the rest of the world.
I just wanted to provoke some thought into the situation that we, all of us, are living in our modern world.

The Sickness

Fingers running through my hair
Its before dawn and its time
Awake, cause Im dry
The sweat smelling like medicine.
This morning looks like dusk
Its all the same to me with you
With you hugging me inside
Hugging me warm and once again
My thoughts breathe hope.
Sunsets or day breaks I need you
For the long day, for the long night
When I start feeling your message of love
Nothing is more important
In my chest flying in a frenzy are doves
Inner peace,
At this hour I am glad to have you by my side
In the good and mostly the bad
No love is like yours
Bitter out and sweet within
My duty to you is my life
No woman compares to you
Not my mother that gave me life
I love you cause you promise me death
Yet you rob me of heaven
When I lay with you in my blood
There are no laments, nothing comes to my aid
When they start I turn and turn,
There is sweat and voices
The sun hasnt come up
The last ghosts of the night appear
Its what I want
I dont claim anything then
I dont beg for any mercy
All I need is you for that moment
My tears start to run with my blood
My memories my happiness and hope
Its all faded in liquid
All gone in a flask
In the end fears fade with you
And only the shakes remain.

It's Cold

Its past midnight
Here I am looking for the answer
The room is cold
Roys Lyrics on the radio and
The temperature drops a few more degrees
There is a thought that passes
A beautiful woman I have never met
A small coal has been lit
I got to have more
To have me a fire
Got to have more
To get me warm
For now that thought burns
For now its cold.

Memories in the Plaza

I (Death in the plaza)
Your rejection is reflected on my wounds.
Cold, sadistic and razor sharp.
Your back preaches hate to me.
My heart is baptized with your spit.
My crime to you is being human.
You condemn me for not being cruel.
I am of your blood.
Yet mine is not frozen.
I am of your pack.
But Im not an animal.
Your rejection is reflected on my wounds.
My blood, the love you despise.

II (The one who remembers)
The pavement swallows up blood.
History swallows the truth.
The plaza is full of ghosts with resentments,
They nag of the children;
Children born during the war,
Who in peace have gone blind and
With hunger they have become deaf.
They have become desperate animals who
Every three years they wait with hope
Every three years they are fooled.
Today there isnt any sorrow, only resentments.
There are no scars; the wound is still open,
It still bleeds.

III (The ghost in the plaza)
I bled in the street.
My cry was silenced here,
Silenced with bullets from an M-16.
Over the pavement I spat my love away.
My tears were mixed with the vision of black boots.
I dragged myself and I could see flowers and stones.
I breathed slowly,
And the pavement and I became one.
I never left this place.
Ive always been here.
Ive always been resentful.
Ive always been the pavement.

IV (Remembering at night)
Deceit, every day is more abundant.
The same goes for those who die fools.
To protest today, its a luxury.
To be poor, its to have shame.
Going to the plaza at night,
Smoking a cigarette and listening to screams of the past.
Going to where blood ran like a river, and
Crying in the darkness,
Is to commit a crime.
Today the crime still is, being human.