Milk of Amnesia

Recovery Room When I woke up from my involuntary Propofol trip I was in the recovery room. I was lying on an ambulatory bed. There were five people in the room. A male nurse was removing tubes and needles from my arm. He appeared to be Latino. Next to me there was another bed with a female patient on it, I couldn’t tell what her race was. A young white female nurse was helping her. Across the room I could barely see an Asian head rising above the counter of a tall desk. It took me two seconds to recognize … Continue reading Milk of Amnesia

A Box of Grapes

Visalia grapes are of the best quality in Central California and certainly in the entire State of California, probably better than in the entire USA and possibly in the whole world, without falling in the awful sin of exaggeration. At least that’s what Juanito thought. Juanito was a third-grader at Elbow Creek elementary school. His dad worked in the fields where after a ten-hour work day, each worker was allowed to take a free box of grapes. That day, his dad proudly gave it to Juanito and said, “Here son, the whole box is just for you. You don’t need to … Continue reading A Box of Grapes

A Ghost In Visalia

Before I signed the rental contract, the landlady told me that an eighty-six-year-old man had died in the first bedroom. She said she needed to disclose it before I moved in so I wouldn’t quit suddenly without a thirty-day notice. At the time I didn’t pay any attention and disregarded the comment as useless and unimportant. Later on, through the neighbors, I learned that the old man had lived there for fifteen years. After that, three new tenants moved in and out in rapid succession.  The house was old and unattractive, with a garage attached to the kitchen and living … Continue reading A Ghost In Visalia

Foreign Violence

I’m an exile. I fled from Mexico in a hurry. The reason was just a tragic, unexpected accident. I didn’t have time to pack anything. Straight from the accident, I ran away to the US. I couldn’t say goodbye to anyone, not even to my mom. I was riding a crowded bus with my girlfriend. We were standing in the middle aisle when a man started groping my girl from behind. He was near the exit with his back close to the door. When I saw him touching my girl, I pushed him so hard the doors opened and he … Continue reading Foreign Violence

Brothers In Distress

The explosion was imminent. We didn’t know who or what would set it off. The decision was mutual and final. Everybody would later say absurd, too. I expected to be painless. I hated pain. Physical or mental. We’re three brothers separated by six years each. We all were born in September. My brother Ralph was thirty, I was twenty-four and my little brother Anthony was eighteen. Our house was a gathering place for all kids from the neighborhood. I don’t remember having had any serious fights with my brothers. We were always very close to each other. My dad had … Continue reading Brothers In Distress