Today, February 1, 2011 is the official release date of Barrio Bushido, my new novel. Already it has gained some international and much local acclaim. I have stated in interviews that this is not simply the launch of a book but of a movement meant to empower people with an intellectual homeboy identity. We need homeboy and homegirl scholars to lead the way, and this book represents the reality that vatos locos and locas are thinking, complex beings. This is a total contradiction, yet it is a reality, our reality.
Please support the book by purchasing a copy and spreading the word everywhere you go. Our first event will be held on Thursday, February 17 at 7:00 p.m. at San Francisco’s Mission Cultural Center located at 2868 Mission Street. Please come early to this event and enjoy the lowriders and Aztec dancers. Then yours truly will give you an unprecedented, unforgettable reading and discussion regarding Barrio Bushido and its themes.
RSVP to this event at the right side of this blog: Ben Bac Sierra Discusses Barrio Bushido at Mission Cultural Center or go to : http://www.facebook.com/event.php?eid=159689857414485
In honor of this day, I am providing you an excerpt from Barrio Bushido’s “El Lobo” chapter, pages 64-66. Lobo as the independent hustler philosopher. Please enjoy:
Damn, I knew I had it good. Bullshit if all this couldn’t be worked out in some civilized way. I could do it if I really wanted things to be good. But I wanted it bad.
I look for problems. I search for drama. How else could I speak of this, how else could I be such a fool? But being a fool is hard—it’s a hard hangover, an endless insomnia. Three thirty in the morning and stones in my head, and I’m alive, and I can’t deny it. I suck in the cold wind, and it’s warm to me: the only warmth I’ve ever known. Cept Sheila. I want the comfort of her irresponsibility, the fire of her touch. I don’t want things to get better. I want things to get worse, but I want things to get worse with her by my side. Together.
“Cause I know I’ve used up all my aces, and now all I got is nothing. You hear me, space men?” I spoke directly to Toro and Santo—shouted in their faces as they floated around in other galaxies. “All I got is nada, Bros, but that’s what I offer you, and it’s a damn good deal. I don’t know what I’m doin, don’t know what I’m saying. I know I’ll change my mind later, and then I’ll despise you all and treat you like shit—make you go out and rush that next world for me cause I don’t want to be the one, or shit, maybe your asses will get bright and beat me to the punch—figure shit out and fuck me all up, or maybe everything will be cool, and we’ll leave in peace, shaking each other’s hands in firme friendship,” I shouted loud but calm.
“What friendship is there but the friendship of enemies?” Santo responded. “Your best friends are always your worst enemies, Lobo. Whatever you got to do, do it cause you know that. Give your enemies praise—thank them for helping you out.” Santo slobbered on his black windbreaker jacket, and his glazed eyes almost popped out of his head. He was a bummy looking, bearded, khaki skinned OG cholo; he almost looked like he could have been a model for one of those Jesus pictures. “All I could ever give you is my love, and if my love couldn’t do it, then it was really your enemies who inspired you. You have not submitted to their desires,” he said. “You could never do that. They were the ones that gave you motivation when your best homeboys right here could not. They gave you the passion to do what you have in your mind now, what you ask us to join in on. Your enemies have made you confront your dreams, Lobo!”
“Thank you all you enemies!” I shouted to the night. “Thank you for my stuck out ears with diamond earrings and my big eyes that drive the bitches crazy and the hairs underneath my chinny chin chin that prove that I’m wise. So I built this wall, bigger than the one in China, and I put guards at the entrance, and I got a bull, and I trained him hard, and I got me the holiest man in the varrio, and I let him pray for me. I protected myself from my foes cause I feared them, cause I respected their strength in hate. And I thought it would be better not to make any more enemies, because I knew I already had enough to handle. But I opened up my gates, and I let her in—my worst enemy of all—and I let Sheila in cause it gets lonely inside a king’s palace. It gets lonely when you all you do is talk to the bull and pray to the saint. It gets sad when you push the ground and smell the roses and you start to think that it’s beautiful, but you got no one to sniff with you. Ah! Sheila was like apples, like pears and peaches just picked at the farmer’s market, ones that I didn’t inspect, but that were delicious anyway. A poison apple, and I never would regret that juicy bite.” Will never regret breaking down to her, and the only justice I can give her, the only respect I can pay her is to use her for something big even though that is a lie, an illusion to cover up my own humiliation. Cause every day is gonna be the same old thing, just wishing and hoping for you. Aint no way to justify that I found you and threw you away, but life can’t stop for no one.
This aint no sad story, this is a glad story, a bad story—what people with words would call uplifting—cause it’s make it or break it, can’t go wrong with whatever should come—cause come Sunday I either die and my misery is gone, or I live and my happiness just started. And I feel like this is what life should be all about—the day of reckoning, the day of dreams. My grand dreams, my soul beams. Forget about hitting home runs, I don’t know about winnin an Oscar or being president. I got no clue about scoo and all the small smiles and firm handshakes that come with that. I got now, and this is what I call high—what I think of when I hear of success, accomplishment, happiness. I’m free.
Cause no matter what you tell me, I know it aint my fault that Christ hung from that cross; to try to pin that rap on me aint gonna work. I got no guilt for my glory, no second thoughts about my sins. I’ve done what I’ve done for number one.