Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Ah Youth, Sweet Youth Where Hath Thou Gone?

Portrait of the artist as a young man, bright red haired, freckled Mexican, when he spoke to mountains and flowers and hugged trees. The neighbor, my mother's comadre called me "coloradito", little red-haired one. Carrot top, I hated the nickname and wished I could have black hair like all the rest of the Mexicans. In our family, three with black hair, three with red. The freckles confused everyone I met. Could pass as anglo if I wanted and I often did, as Dick. Hated that too. "Where has the red hair gone?" Ask those who know me. Who knows. It's gray now and freckles a little darker. "Why do you have all those spots, Dad?" My son Miguel asks. "Because my mother was painting the ceiling when I was a baby and the paint spattered all over me." "Why do you cry, Grandpa?" "Because I am sad." "But why do you cry now?" "Because I am happy." But men do not cry, they just whimper.

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