Tuesday, May 20, 2008

pre-dusk scatter

Summer-like temperatures are among us here in the fair mother city. Locals hunker down as air-conditioned gypsies at noon until 7pm. Then they peek their heads out to see if the coast is clear.

Unless you’re like me and you work outside. I forgot how you get headaches when you’re in the heat for extended periods.

Tonight, after dinner, the offsprings and I went on one of our pre-dusk wagon rides. Several neighbors were out. We talked with some.

When we came back, The Tiger was milling around his front yard.

Long gone are the days when he was a pre-pubescent fat kid who vied so hard for my attention. Now it’s impossible to have a conversation with him of any length or substance. His cell phone interrupts us. Or some pied piper gangster wanna-be drives up in a boomy bassy car that intoxicates The Tiger into walking away from me mid sentence to tend to this queen bee. So it goes.

The Tiger usually works the mesquite fields with Manuel, his immigrant pseudo step-dad. It’s a tough labor job that doesn’t demand a consistent schedule. So he can party with his friends for a few days until the money runs out, go work with Manuel until he gets enough cash to repeat the process ad nauseam.

Recently, he and his brother The Bulldog got jobs with a local landscaping company. They were soon fired because they didn’t go to work one day.

I’ve tried putting my middle-class pre-sets out of my head when I’m with The Tiger. Being consistent and responsible is not in his mentality. He had no role model to witness while growing up. It’s not his culture.

I miss The Tiger and our quasi big brother/mentor type relationship. Now I don’t even know how to start a decent conversation with him. I feel like I’ve failed. Again.

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