Always Running: La Vida Loca, Gang Days in L.A.

By Luis J. Rodriguez | Go to book overview

CHAPTER TEN

"I glimpse in the distance certain roads, clearings silent in the morning after the night's demons have fled: the future, the ageless future, where there is always time to create." -- Maurice Sachs

Alone at a bus stop in the first hours of a day, I wrapped myself in a long, black trench coat -- no longer used for jambas or jales. "¡Qué jodida! -- it's cold," I stammered out loud, to no one in particular. Trucks rumbled by and an occasional lowrider, sweet salsa sounds radiating from outside speakers; I jumped to the beat inside the trench coat as a breeze played havoc with my insides.

I reflected on writing and art, on class struggle, on family and a woman's touch -- what mattered to me then.

I stopped attending Cal State after my release from jail; I'd been set back too far. Besides, I ran out of money. I now worked full-time on the graveyard shift of a paper factory. I also realized sitting in a classroom didn't work for me; it revived images of what I endured as a child and something within me blocked against it. I preferred my own inquiries, reading everything I could when I needed to.

The incidents of violence continued. A week before, a dude from Sangra strutted down Mission Boulevard when a carload approached and someone opened fire; the dude dropped to the ground and rolled over beside a mail box. But the car turned around and somebody stepped out with a shotgun and blasted him again; it was at such close range, the wadding from the shell embedded in his stomach.

I now looked on these matters with different eyes. I recalled when this first happened. Chente and I had been at his house, talking about the Hills and how I had to defend it, whatever the cost.

-235-

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Always Running: La Vida Loca, Gang Days in L.A.
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Title Page i
  • Preface 3
  • Chapter One 13
  • Chapter Two 35
  • Chapter Three 55
  • Chapter Four 80
  • Chapter Five 108
  • Chapter Six 132
  • Chapter Seven 160
  • Chapter Eight 189
  • Chapter Nine 210
  • Chapter Ten 235
  • Epilogue 247
  • Glossary 253
  • Other Latino Titles Available from Curbstone Press 263
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