"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.