Click on the book to read Amazon reviews
Hi! My name is Eddie and ďI live in the part of Fresno where fences
sag, paint blisters on houses, and swamp coolers squeak like squirrels.
The old sit on porches, fanning themselves, watching the young guys work
on their cars, and mothers push strollers of fretful, crying babies. There
isnít much for me to do except eat, sleep, watch out for drivebys, and
remember all the men in my family who are gone. I dropped out of City College
right after Jesus, my cousin, was killed, just because he told another
guy he had yellow shoes. The guy just turned around and stuck a knife into
his chest. My father, my uncles, my best friend from high school, and now
my cousin, all are dead.ď Sometimes it seems like I am surrounded
by the dead, and by the ones they left behind, the ones who expect me to
avenge these deaths. The thing is, I really donít want to -- there
has already been too much killing, and I donít want any part of it.
Since I dropped out of school, I stencil house numbers on the curbs to
get by and I watch my back because even though I never ran with the gangs
or vatos locos, it still pays to be careful and quick as a rabbit. Lately,
it seems no matter what I do, even when I try to do the right thing,
life in this rotten barrio jumps up when Iím not looking and beats me down.
Thereís gotta be a way out of this here. All I want is to be like
other people, with a home, a job, a family, food on the table, and money
in my pocket. What can I do? How do I get out of here alive?
Do I have to stay in this stinking barrio with all of itsí sadness and
the tears -- tears that have been cried for all of our buried onions?
(Cathy Hesselink, email@example.com,
University of South Carolina CLIS student)