Time for decision to be made.
Though a stereotype, it’s not untrue: The man talking on the phone in the silver BMW tailgates the station wagon on the empty freeway. He wants to teach these beaners a lesson, he thinks. Cars with FRONT BC plates do not belong in the fast lane, let alone hauling six people north at 70 mph.
This is what I’m talking about, he thinks, says to his associate on the cellular phone. I’m being productive, and they are sleeping in the goddamned car in the middle of the day.
You think that the man would do well to drive around the station wagon and be on his way.
He might not know it, but he doesn’t want the station wagon to pull over. You fight a Latino guy, you better kill him. The fall always goes before the pride.
Those kids at the suburban high school shot at the migrant workers with BB guns. Men doing the work no one else'll do to put bread in the mouths of their babies.
And the teens fired weapons at them.
If only the 18th Street guys got a hold of them. They’d make them understand how kids these days just don’t get it.
You pass the BMW and the FRONT BC wagon, and you think of the frontera
in Baja, California, of the cold beers and hot sun on the littered beaches. It makes you feel old.
Like going to a funeral does.
But that’s where you head, back to your old friends and their weeping mothers. You didn’t plan it that way, but “Bastards of Young” plays in the car. You’ll think about it all during the day, while the toughest guys you’ve ever known cry and hug each other.
It beats pickin’ cotton or waitin’ to be forgotten.
You think of the important things, the matters worth caring about. At the end of the service you go to a phone and call her, just to tell her.
She’s sorry she can’t be there with you.
You tell her it’s okay, that she is.