Butterfly Boy: Memories of a Chicano Mariposa (Writing in by Rigoberto González

By Rigoberto González

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Sample text

My body spasms, giving me a clear signal that this is the start to another bad ending. “Well, I don’t want to take a bus that’s going to break down halfway to Michoacán,” I say. “But first class is a waste,” he argues. “What are you paying for, a can of soda? ” “But I can’t afford first class,” he says. “I can,” I say. ” “Absolutely,” I insist. ” “Look,” I say, exasperated. ” “Give me the money, then,” he says. I hand over the money because I don’t want to hassle with the lines. I’m already hot and uncomfortable, and the constant flow of people has begun to make me edgy.

On the glass I see my father pinch the small scar on the right side of his chin. He had a mole removed a few years back because he kept cutting it open when he shaved. Now he fondles the flesh when lost in thought—a habit he didn’t have when the mole was still there. ” he asks. “Don’t change the subject,” I say. “And quit asking me these dumb questions. ” “Look, son,” he says to me in the low tone he adopts when he grows serious. “We don’t need to start the trip like this. ” Bajar la cresta, my grandmother calls the act of calming down your anger.

My father asked my mother. My mother contemplated the two paths before them for a few seconds. The roads were dark and neither gave any hint about where 44 Bakersfield, California, 1970–72 it was heading. My mother said that it really didn’t matter. Both roads were going north. S. citizen. Any city would do. ” my father pressed on. “Go right,” my mother said, pointing. And right they turned, arriving in Bakersfield, California, where I was born on July 18, 1970, and where my brother, Alexandro, was born almost two years later, on March 27, 1972.

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