Butterfly Boy: Memories of a Chicano Mariposa (Writing in by Rigoberto González

By Rigoberto González

Winner of the yank e-book Award

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Extra resources for Butterfly Boy: Memories of a Chicano Mariposa (Writing in Latinidad)

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When they suggested I also take up a minor, I thought about a possible minor in French and this didn’t elicit much of a hopeful response either. “Well, it depends on whether I want to be an elementary school teacher, a high school teacher, or a university teacher,” I finally say because it sounds thought-out. ” he asks. “I’m not sure yet,” I say, honestly this time. “At this point I just need to complete my degree. ” “That’s good, you,” he says, and then withdraws into silence. He feigns interest as unconvincingly as I fake politeness.

I stand at a distance, observing as my father and the rest of the clientele darken into shadows with the passing of the hours. In time a second bus arrives and we all transfer our luggage over. As we drive off, the mechanic seems unfazed by his defeat, watching us pull into the road, a bottle of beer in his hand, which he raises toward us as a sign of farewell. My father avoids eye contact at this point as if he’s expecting me to gripe about the second-class bus ride once again, but I don’t. I’m too worn out to complain.

The driver has the radio on low but it’s still irritatingly audible. Throughout the night I sucked some of the music into my dreams and the song lyrics reverberated out of the mouths of people I knew. The juxtaposition was surreal and disturbing, like dubbed foreign films where the voices don’t quite match the faces on the screen. I have no idea about any of these small towns the bus drives through, but I deduce the name of the state by the political candidate flyers and posters nailed to the light posts or glued to the murals along the highways.

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