The editors at Solstice Magazine selected my non-fiction piece “Mexican American Psycho is in Your Dreams” as first place. Thanks to the judge Alex Marzano-Lesnevich and to the editors, especially Richard Hoffman for his kind words.
(In case any of you have forgotten the movie, check the clip).
I mention Richard Ramirez, Night Stalker in the essay. My cousin Vicki recently reminded me she and a friend actually saw the Night Stalker the day before he got captured (or rather, a group of gente beat his ass as he tried to get away on a bus after being recognized again). I remember either my mother or aunt speaking with my grandmother talking about Vicki. Was my cousin hit by a car or something? Was she dying? Should I have been nicer? No, Vicki saw the killer. What killer? The killer, the Night Stalker. She’s upset, don’t ask her about it, cabron. Why not? He’s escary.
I was 9 years old so I might have asked why not a few more times. Of course I asked Vicki and don’t remember what exactly what she said. I pestered her a bit (I was her little cousin after all). That summer, and especially when she was telling me what he looked like, I expected a guy carrying a machete to ooze over the fence and be ready to hack us up like Jason from Friday the 13th. Do you think he knows where you live? I don’t know. I tried to remember when me and my sister were heading back to Texas. Maybe if Vicki stayed with us, she’d be okay. Or would the Night Stalker would run all the way there to find her?
What if the Night Stalker did come around? Would my grandfather with muscles from welding have beat him up and locked him up in a shed? Would anyone call the cops? I could imagine the neighborhood coming around poking him with sharp sticks or wanting light the shed on fire with him in it. Or would we tie him up for a one way trip to the desert, the repository for forgetfulness, the underworld and recreation area for the minds of many Angelinos? Would an entire train of cars follow out to see a monster suffer some fairy tale justice (making us all a bit monstrous ourselves)?
Monsters make the imagination go. We could have easily been one of the ones and I’m glad we slipped away, were missed, looked over, survived.
Check out the Solstice issue and subscribe:
And read lil’ Scotty’s essay:
and as long as your listening, check out Somos en escrito Literary Magazine. We had recently updated our site and it looks great. The editor is Armando Rendon, author of Chicano Manifesto and Noldo and his Magic Scooter, a dual langue YA series. Jenny Irizary, a poet, novelist and friend is the assistant editor. We are building up some aspects so subscribe and stay tuned.