Butterfly Boy: Memories of a Chicano Mariposa (Writing in by Rigoberto González

By Rigoberto González

Winner of the yank publication Award

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Extra info for Butterfly Boy: Memories of a Chicano Mariposa (Writing in Latinidad)

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My father says, startled by my response. “You’re short all right. And you sleep like a rock. But you snore like a bull. ” My father dismisses my response with his usual nervous laugh. And knowing that nothing will change this mood I’m in, he quickly shifts his attention to those around him on the bus. He’s already friendly with the people across the aisle, with the couple sitting behind us, and with the guy seated behind the couple so that he really has to twist his body around to let his voice reach back.

You tell me first,” he insists, even though he’s the superior storyteller. 37 6 Ghost Whisper to My Lover Tell you something else about my father? Claro, querido. My father holds a peculiar fascination for extraterrestrial life. He was pleased to discover that a magazine existed for people like him, the Spanish version of UFO—OVNI: Objetos voladores no identificados, which came packed with firsthand narrative accounts of close encounters with space aliens. He sought out the magazine for years even though his reading skills weren’t very strong, but it didn’t matter since the stories came fully illustrated with amateur drawings depicting these intriguing and evasive creatures.

Suddenly I’m easy to please. I make myself comfortable against the itchy seat, relax my head against the rest, and sigh once more. And then the bus pulls over to the side to let the first-class buses exit first. “Santa mierda,” I say. I’m positive I’m not the only one on board to curse. When the bus driver turns off the noisy engine, the music grows obnoxiously loud. The old bus stands parallel to the back wall like an overworked boom box sentenced to the misery of its cheap speakers. When I look over at my father he grins apologetically.

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