By Monique Quintero
"...When I was growing up, my uncle Bobby was a mystery to me. I rarely saw him. I didn’t understand why relatives whispered his name; I often heard my grandmother, Angelina, praying for him. I had the sense that he had no permanent residence, and that he traveled a lot. And yet I felt so connected to him. ..."
By Andrew Ramirez
"... Before long the entire village and platoon was surrounded. Bullets rang from every direction. More grenades. Men were cut down left and right. The Vietnamese commander looked to his American advisors and yelled for an air strike. Ramirez grabbed the microphone. ..."
Earlier this fall, I did a writing workshop with students in Pedro Ramirez's composition class at San Joaquin Delta College in Stockton.
The results, I think, were terrific, if many of the stories were a bit grim. I'm publishing a few of them over the next few weeks. Here's "The Last Day"....
By Christian Lockwood
I once had a house with a white picket fence. In it, I lived with a wife, and two children. Life seemed pretty good. But the shell shock from a tour in Libya fighting the war on terrorism tore me up, and drugs and alcohol became a way of life from which I could not free myself.
That is how one warm August day in 2009, well into my self-medication, I awake on the seat of my pickup after another night of no place to rest my head. My pickup, my dog Batman, and my cell phone are all I have left. My wife and kids have been embarrassed by me for the last time. ...