Hidden in The Shadows

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Waking up to screaming and arguing, that is the noise I hear outside the motel we are currently living at. I am just five years old and Ive already seen the happenings between a prostitute and fat disgusting pervert by looking out my window.  A year ago we were eviticed from our roach infested two bedroom apartment. The slum lords were less then happy for being asked more then once to repair the caved in ceiling in one of the bedrooms. The landlords decide evicting us was easier and perhaps he can move in another hispanic family whom wouldnt complain. Dont get me wrong I loved my neighbors but with thier own personal situations would never complain to the slum lords. We stayed at various motels throught the Hollywood, Los Angelos area and since thier were six of us Myself, older sister, grandparents, uncle and mom( oh and baby sister on the way ) we would often have to wait for hours after checking in before being able to go to the room. Prices for a room were expensive enough but big enough to fit six would be outrageous so yea we would cheat. My mom was the only one currently working, she was working as a waitress and would be out late with friends so my sister and I spent most of our time with my grandparents. My uncle wasnt around much but would always appear when we needed him. my sister was in school already so my grandmother would walk with her and I would spend the day with my PaPa at the park.  I miss that park, Plummer Park. We spent alot of time there. My sister and I met friends there and it gave us a slight feel of normacy, until one of the kids would ask to spend the night with us. My grandma was always clever and she would  say ” we are staying at a hotel until our house gets fixed”, she could tell our embaressment. The park had its share of weird- do’s, one in particular was one name Victor. Victor was Im assuming in his thirties and hardly spoke a word of english, He was quit violent and would yell out things,  swing at people and chase kids from the park. One late afternoon we were stuck there being locked out for not paying the motel fee. It was my grandparents, sister and I.  We were under a covered area since it was a rare rainy day in California.The park was nearly empty but Victor was there. Victor chose the same covered area as us to wait out the rain. Everything was fine at first until he asked my Papa the time, then just like that he started shouting and shoving my grandfather. Everything seemed in slow motion he was much taller and broader then my grandfather and my grandmother was helpless trying to keep two young crying girls from seeing all this, what I remember is seeing the large blade in a sheith on Victors hip. I felt so terrified. before I knew how much time had past my uncle had pulled up. He evdiently became worried over us being in the rain. perfect timing he rushed us into the car , ran back toward Victor and shoved him once enough to make him land on his ass. Years later I found out he went back with his friend and beat the crap out of that bastard for touching my grandfather.

We were quit poor,so sometimes we would go to the supermarket Ralph’s, I would ask the people if I could take thier carts and I would then return them for the quarter deposit that at that time they required you give to use the cart. I would make easily three or four dollars. That was alot to us but I was also only  years old and I already felt the weight of the world on my shoulders. Some times my sister and I would only have top ramen to eat which was perfect for us , my grandma would let us play and make her some union soup with a small oinion and water. She would say how delishious that was but thinking of it now that was all she would eat, I suppose the top ramen was all that was left for all. 

We did have alot of happy times also, taking the bus to Santa Monica beach and fishing for hours off the pier with my grandfather, my grandmother forcing us to do my times tables and learn presidents prior to playing outside                ( secretly I actually loved it ) . I wont write much about my father just because that would be a whole lot more information that would lead in a different direction. All I will say is he loved us , he had his faults and was a sloppy alcoholic but with all his fault he made sure we knew he loved us. 

After living in the hotel scene for a couple of years, my mom receieved a call from my aunt in Oregon begging to let her fly my sister and I up there and and so our journey to Oregon began. 

To be continued 

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