Top

news

Stories

 

WRITES OF PASSAGE

AT BETO AGUIRRE'S NEWSPAPER, ALL THINGS ARE RELATIVE.PRESS FOR SUCCESS THE AGUIRRE FAMILY RUNS A NEWSPAPER AND A RESTAURANT. BUT THERE'S MORE TO THE STORY.

At a table near the back, Rosa Linda agonizes over a jury duty notice--not because she wants to avoid it, but because, though she can't imagine anything more exciting, she has not yet become an American citizen and so would not be allowed to serve. "I'm a legal resident," she explains, "I just haven't taken the citizenship exam. I don't have time. On the other hand, when I do, I will invite the whole city! It will be wonderful!"

But the ceremony will have to be squeezed between Rosa Linda's other pressing entanglements. Her duties as head of the bilingual parent committee at Bryant Webster Elementary School, where her recent introduction of school uniforms was a resounding success. Her participation in the church relief society. Her side job selling Park Lane jewelry door-to-door. It appears that citizenship will have to take a number. "Although," Rosa Linda theorizes, "as a citizen, I could run for office, and then..."

At another table, Oscar and Junior dive into a pile of homework, one typewriter, a stack of newspapers and the schoolwork between them. Oscar informs the family that he has just been given a summer job supervising a corps of high school kids who will maintain the Colorado Trail. "I know I'm a pretty boy," he tells a customer, "but I love to get sweaty and dirty."

Meanwhile, over at the senior complex, Beto has dressed up in his best black suit, his hair newly dyed black to match. Perhaps he is going out into the world to secure a lucrative advertising contract from King Soopers. Or maybe he has a hot tip on the possibility of a sixth wife. Or maybe he's about to make good on his threat to learn English and go to work for Secretary of Transportation Federico Pena. In any case, he has one more explanation to deliver before he departs. "Here's what I will explain to you," he says. "The secret of success is: Open your eyes and shut your mouth. And as for love, remember this: Jealousy kills love. Love kills jealousy." That said, he heads out into the world, pen in hand.

Half an hour later, Virgil enjoys his first slow period of the day. His children are engrossed in homework, his wife has zipped over to church to counsel a parishioner in crisis, and his father, whom he wishes would settle down, is out in the neighborhood, trying to get someone to help him. In the Rosa Linda's kitchen, two employees have things under control. Virgil has a moment to think, and that's what he's doing.

"I'm thinking about writing," he confesses. "I want to write some columns, maybe--about kids, and school, and how hard it is for a Mexican to make a living. "If this business really goes," he adds, "I might dedicate some time to my father's newspaper.

« Previous Page
 |
 
1
 
2
 
3
 
4
 
5
 
All
 
My Voice Nation Help
0 comments
 
Loading...