I was going to be a physical therapist.
Heal anterior cruciate ligaments and rotator cuffs.
Buy a house.
Marry a guy named Michael or Pedro or Hakim.
A Jacaranda tree would have been nice.
I don't know when or where my plan changed.
I think it was the afternoon I read Araby.
Maybe my Dr. Martens are to blame.
Or my bob with a Madonna bow.
Perhaps it was the Los Angeles river that flows on a concrete channel.
The Oxnard strawberry fields I had left behind.
The long bus ride from Seal Beach to ugly Wilmington with the smell of bleach on my hands.
My walkman playing How Soon Is Now? over and over.
Was it the encounter I had with the man from Pakistan?
His letters from Karachi.
The unheard prayers to Allah in the City of Angeles.
The candles to the Lady of Guadalupe at Plaza Olvera.
Was it the downtown streets of a L.A?
The midnight heroin boys.
The homies from East Los dancing cumbia with the dead.
The taco stand on Broadway and 7th selling tacos de lengua perdida.
The long wait for the Greyhound bus to take me home.
I took a photograph of one of the few childhood photographs i have of my siblings and self. The shortest girl is Trying (circa 1967).
My husband on his first day of kindergarden. I met him in April, 2001. I married him in 2006.
My husband wearing his German Boy outfit.
Maria, my grandmother.