A Juarez Tale

A Juarez Tale

It was another early morning scene in the border town of Juarez. Obreras gathered around the bus stops, lining up like a herd of submissive sheep wearing puff jackets and homemade sweaters, waiting for los camiones to take them to work to the maquiladoras. Juana waited as usual, quiet, and holding her rosario. Her face, weathered and stained like a mask that displayed her rough life like a canvas of a depressed artist. Her life was a testimony to the anger of a past full of golpizas, hambres, misery and regrets, but no regret could ever match the heartbreak she encountered that devastating day when she returned home from work to an empty house. Continue Reading…

     

El Diablo

El Diablo

“A white dude spit in my face once,” Celia places her fingers on the shot glass in front of her. It’s as warm as the others had been. She looks at the white man standing next to her. The lights in the bar are dim, the floor is sticky, and the air smells of alcohol and vanilla scented candles.
“We were at a protest and this tall ass bulky motherfucker walks up to me and yells: fuck you, you fucking spic.” The white man next to Celia raises his eyebrows and nods. Celia can’t tell if he’s listening or politely suggesting she fuck off. She doesn’t really care either way. Continue Reading…

     

Don’t Lock Me In

Don’t Lock Me In

When we see small children, a lot of us have a tendency to swoon over them and idealize their every action and word. Heck, the French Enlightenment philosopher Jean-Jacques Rousseau even made children’s behavior the basis for his view on the perfect state of humanity.
But let’s face it: pretty often children’s ideas can be pretty stupid.
I can prove it. Just watch a five year old eating dinner in a restaurant. No, Billy, you cannot drink the mayo, saccharine, pepper, coffee mix you just made.
This goes for fears also. Monsters aren’t real, go back to bed.
Speaking of fears, when I was a kid I had a fear that was really stupid – store closings. Continue Reading…

     

Fear and the Extraordinary

Fear and the Extraordinary

When I was young, I had a long list of things I feared. I hated shadows, and ran away from them, or closed my eyes to dark shapes, all which seemed to chase me. Grass, not green blades that tickled my ankles, but sharp claws that scratched at me. The dark wooden church benches were collages of monsters, swirls and designs fitting of a horror movie. Evening news saturated me with panic, but it was Herbie The Love Bug, a talking car, which rattled my soul. Proof, that others’ imagination invented worlds around them too. My mind was not the only one with special powers, and no longer extraordinary. But, ordinary. I roamed up and down the aisles of existence in search for something great to hold onto. Confused, I picked up fearlessness, and thought it to be bravery. I stole my superpower back from the world. Didn’t realize till much later, that nothing about you gets stolen or escapes. It gets buried. Continue Reading…

     

#BrownGirlsSavedMyLife

#BrownGirlsSavedMyLife

Fatima Avelica-Gonzalez, 13, who videotaped her father Romulo Avelica-Gonzalez being arrested by ICE as he was taking his children to school, breaks down during a press conference about his detention in Los Angeles at Pershing Square on Monday, March 6, 2017. (Photo by Sarah Reingewirtz, Pasadena Star-News/SCNG) Continue Reading…

     

Spare Cents

Spare Cents

Standing tall and very still on a staircase platform underground, her sign read “SPARE CENTS. I AM NOT PERFECT.”
My hurried steps slowed down slightly as I took in her plea, written horizontally on a lined page of a spiral-bound notebook. Every day I pass countless people on the street, in the subway stations or on the subways themselves, singing their hearts out, playing an instrument, or just rattling their paper cup – all for some spare change. The less talented ones carry large wordy signs explaining their plights, much too long for rushing commuters to read through it all. Some have signs with only the words “PLEASE HELP” written on them. Usually in capital letters, their messages shout loudly at us, while the authors themselves sit or stand in silence. Continue Reading…