My old friend Victor and his esposa Jenny came for a visit this past weekend. With them, of course, was their 14 month old boy, Temoc. I snapped this shot of Temoc during one of the rare occasions when he and Eleanor weren't locked in preternatural conflict over who's gonna get to play with the bouncy ball. It was a good visit.
Victor and I know each other from a long time ago. We met one day on a landscaping crew. He was landscaper number 99-A and I was landscaper #99-B in a long list of scapers of the land. For a while we worked for an insane maniac, Kevin, who turned out to be a connoisseur of crystal meth as well. Sometimes, if we were working on a project anywhere near his gated community, Kevin would take the work crew over to his house for lunch. Once there, he would unfurl large amounts of mary jane and offer it to the crew. Because it is senseless to smoke grass in the middle of day, at work, usually no one joined him. But he never seemed to mind. "Am I the only one here who likes to get high? All right. Whatever."
One day, on a lunch break at his suburban home, Kevin wolfed down some leftovers, got high in his kitchen, then skulked into the back room of his house, emerging with a fully automated sub-machine gun. "This is an M-16, boys. Read it and weep," he said to us guys having our lunch on his back door steps. He spoke with a grin, from behind tinted shades. "This bastard's insane," we decided that day.Perhaps it is needless to say, but I could tell many stories about Insane Kevin From Suburbia. Most needless to say of all, perhaps, is that he crashed and burned his landscaping business before too long, ran his wife off, lost his house, and had to move back in with his parents in Polatka, Florida, at the ripe age of twenty-nine. In high school, he had been the star quarterback. But last I heard, he had eaten a bunch of psilocybin mushrooms laced with speed and wrecked his motorcycle. Who knows where or who he is now...
But anyway, Victor and I met on Kevin's work crew. At the time, Victor was still pretty fresh from Mexico, so he spoke only a little English. We communicated through Spanglish. In time, we became good friends. He and his girlfriend Jenny would have me over for dinner after work. We were all broke, so we'd make beans and rice in the kitchen of their tiny apartment. Somehow we'd always find money for a couple of cold beers. We'd talk about work, the future, and social justice. We'd tell ghost stories or try and predict when Kevin was going to blow his lid. That was seven years ago and a different world.