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Oct/Nov 2006 Fiction

Conquistador

by Eduardo Carvajal

Photo by Jim Gourley


One night I had the dream, the dream that slapped me to life like a doctor to a newborn. In that dream I was the master of a harem of women, only to realize I am the servant to an all-encompassing fear of rejection. In that dream I was the plantation owner of my future, only to realize I really am just the house nigger to alcohol. In that dream my father tells me the story of how I was born to be the conquistador of the United States, with the power of the Hispanic people behind me, only to see myself as just another Indio toiling the land of accepted defeat, unrealized potential, and abject laziness. The pain I felt the next morning was indescribable. The pain of seeing for the first time, of using muscles for the first time, of feeling love for the first time, of wanting alcohol for the last time, of knowing myself for the first time. I pray every night to feel that pain in the morning. That pain proves that I am finally alive, that I have a lot of work to do and many choices to make. Thank you, Mi Padre, mi direccion.

 

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