Yearly Archives: 2014

Cheated by God

It’s around 3:30 a.m. and this guy gets into my cab. He sits up front. He smells like crack smoke. Everyone knows you can buy crack in this part of the city. That’s not any kind of secret. I ask how his night has been and he tells me, which somehow leads to him noting that I seem sad and stressed. I ignore the comment because I don’t want to get into it, but he continues to prod, telling me I needn’t be afraid, that my secrets are safe with him. I roll down the rear windows so the air… Continue Reading

Honoring the Dead New Mexico-Style

Less than 24 hours after Annette Gonzales, 39, and Emily Baca, 29, were killed while waiting for a green light at Riverside Drive and Fairview Lane, in Española, New Mexico, two crude crosses had been put there in memory of them. “In our family tradition they say the person doesn’t rest in peace until you place a descanso,” said Gonzales’s daughter, Ileen Gallegos. “We did it immediately, the following day.” For thousands of New Mexican families, the crosses, or descansos, are monuments to fallen loved ones whose deaths were tragic and unexpected. Gonzales and Baca, for example, died… Continue Reading

The Heroin Blues

photo by Sarah No Madison, WI–In the sordid, voyeuristic, details to emerge from the presumed heroin overdose death of actor Philip Seymour Hoffman I hear echoes from my own recent life, now marred by psychic wounds that have barely begun to heal. Of the many terrible things my girlfriend, Sarah, and I witnessed while living in New Mexico the icy blue color that washed over the faces of those overdosing on heroin jarred us the most.  This ghoulish discoloration is caused by a sudden decrease in oxygen due to respiratory depression, preceded by a loss of consciousness. As far as… Continue Reading