Monday, November 12, 2007

Clumsy Goodbye

So the kid I baptized in jail four years ago is out. Hosted him for almost two months and have to vouch for him in court on Dia de la Virgen, December 12 before he's completely done with probation, but it's been an incredibly difficult journey. Se me fue mi ahijado. He's hangin' in the San Fernando Valley with a girl he met inside an institution because they've recently conceived a child. Where do we steer them? Why do the the little vatos feel so entitled and angry and in love with a lifestyle that won't allow them to ever become actualized? It's almost funny that we're living in an era that makes exotic gods of bald-headed cholos. Cholos as rock stars? Yes. And I'm not so sure it's a good thing. I don't know yet if it's a bad thing, but the neighborhood beefs go on, even if Mr. Cartoon scores a big-time movie deal and photographer Esteban Oriol is slated to direct. The young men are raised by institutions that remove their sense of compassion and often, remorse. Clumsy, you are not alone... even if I denied you the request to bring your pregnant girlfriend home to stay with us while you wait for your court date, a date I agreed to attend when I told the judge you would be staying with me until you got your life together. Perdoname, hijo. But in two months you've done little to seal the break with the banger mentality that was only reinforced during the last four years as a ward of the county probation system...

Espero que te vaya bien, lil' brother. Please be successful. Please be who I know you have the potential to be... If not like me, then like the artist, my tocayo Abel Alejandre, who opened a show of works in graphite at Ave. 50 on Saturday. If I were ever to imagine that my poetry could aspire to some scope or emotional depth which was manifested in the visual realm, it have to be the pencil drawing that pulled me so deeply into memory and love and loss, that I was almost forced to walk away. Large faces rendered with exact parallel lines become intimate relatives, lost loved ones and people we remember in our dreams from childhood. Four-and-half stars. I'm proud to bear his name. I'd spent the better part of Friday in Santa Monica preparing material and setting up a meal delivery for the opening part of a NALIP (National Association of Latino Independent Producers) board meeting and strategic planning retreat. Wore me out. Pleased to be working with NALIP again after a four-year absence. The organization, which nurtures and trains independent mediamakers with programs and an annual conference has more than doubled since I've been away at another gig with yet another membership organization.

Director Kathryn Galan, no relation to either Hector or Nely, had me hopping, so I schlepped things back and forth and got some good left overs in the process. Sunday was dank and wet on the westside. Finally got to sample the brunch fair at Swingers, a west coast landmark akin Mel's diner, only a little cheekier. I recommend Edwin's Pasta, a breakfast plate you'll love even if may seen strange to mix farfalle pasta with scrambled organic eggs, sausage, ham, bacon and parmesan. You'll get over the Warhol-inspired wall art and worship the well-stocked jukebox instead, as you chow like an A-list screenwriter. Trust me.

1 comment:

Magdaleno said...

We have to learn to teach and provide for each other.