I remember getting in trouble for buying candy on credit; the lady knew mom would pay her back. I shared it with all my little friends.
I remember my mother secretly laughing about it.
I remember playing in the rain in my underwear.
I remember I ate wet earth.
I remember I cried every day I went to kindergarten. I didn’t speak English.
I remember the principal gave me donuts to lure me away from my mother.
I remember being alone in the silent cafeteria with a small carton of milk and a jelly donut. Everyone else was in class.
I remember after school there was a drive-by shooting. My mother pushed me to the ground, and covered me with her body.
I remember we lived in a garage in Compton.
I remember my father tied up my brother with the cord from a Nintendo controller. My brother didn’t want mayo on his sandwich.
I remember when my father would come home late at night; he would fall on the floor and piss himself. I don’t remember what I felt.
I remember the old, farting Datsun. I was embarrassed to be poor.
I remember the first time I fell in love with big breasts. I still find it difficult to look away. I need to buy very dark sunglasses.
I remember my father saying I would have to be driven to my Quinceañera in a dump truck. He wanted me to lose weight.
I remember the first time a girl hit on me. It was my fifteenth birthday. I regret not sleeping with her.
I remember when I fell in love with Henry Miller. I wasn’t embarrassed of the old Datsun after Tropic of Cancer.
I remember the last time I went to Mexico, my grandmother made fun of my ripped jeans. She asked me if my parents didn’t have enough money to buy me a new pair.
I remember driving to Chihuahua from Los Angeles in the Datsun. My mother packed a ton of bean and cheese burritos, and water. It was a 16-hour drive not counting the stops. It was always worse when we took the bus.
I remember when my grandmother died. My mother wanted me to go to the funeral. I said I had to go to school.
I remember I had seasonal allergies, and I would rub my eyes until a blister-like bubble formed on my eyeballs. I didn’t want to go to school either.
I remember not going back to Mexico after my grandmother died.
I remember my grandmother telling the story of her wicked sister. She was the first to wear mini skirts. She also danced, and drank, and smoked. I like to imagine she was promiscuous, and liked it too. She came home one day and went to bed. In the darkness, someone else slipped in with her. She thought it was one of her sisters until she felt a hoof instead of a leg. My grandmother said it was Satan, and she was scared straight after that. But I prefer to think that she fucked Satan instead.
I remember when I met my father’s grandfather. He was one hundred and thirteen years old. He drank tequila every day of his life since he was 8. He ate human flesh during the Mexican Revolution.
I remember being pleased about being descended from belligerent drunks, cannibals, and Satan-fucking whores.
I remember wanting to be like them.
I remember ordering compact discs from Columbia House and not paying.
I remember I received a box of books that was meant for someone else. One of the books was the Kama Sutra. I ended up with sore lips.
I remember the hoofed beasts I’ve slept with, and I hope my grandaunt is proud. I like to do things I can be ashamed of too.