The Narc and Lawrence Chavez

Monday, 27 June 2005

La Raza Junior High. I had to take shop; pardon me, Industrial Arts. It was that or French. Even though shop meant probably getting my ass kicked, the choice wasn’t hard.

The teacher, Mr Gomez, was a nice man who generally kept everyone civil and on point. Some of the boys—there was not one girl in the class—were better at welding and woodwork but no one in there was even close to me at drafting so I did okay helping others out sometimes.

The nice man took a sabbatical and since there were no academics involved we got the Narc for substitute. He was a huge fella, the product of all the local blood lines plus a few. Looked a bit like a Mestizo Andre the Giant. No one ever, ever called him anything but the Narc. I never heard his real name once.

Lawrence, tired of picking on the only honky in the class of the lifetime D average representatives of la Raza Cosmica, started to pick at the Narc. I think Lawrence went after him about the same old, same old. The other blood lines obviously represented in the Narc’s collage was Negro. I write Negro not to provoke but because Moroccans and Egyptians are Africans just like Zulus and Hutus. African isn’t a color, culture, or race. It’s a continent.

When Lawrence started in, in local Spanish, the Narc was spacing out on a shop stool, leaning against the painted cinderblock wall at the back of the room, with a big old boner. The head of his cock peeking out from behind his belt, pointing at his belly button where his 70’s era polyester shirt had ridden up.

One of those moments where my consciousness was nowhere near the classroom my body was stuck in. I truly hated my parents for bringing me back home to New Mexico. That was all.

Some sort of challenge happened. They were on their way to Mr Gomez’s walk-in closet sized office at the end of the room. The steel door shut and locked. The blinds came down. For five minutes, while the cement walls shook, the blinds rattled, and we heard a filing cabinet get tossed around, Lawrence got the most important lesson in his life, though he didn’t ever know it.

Contrite, put-down, Lawrence exited the office first. No one talked about it ever.

I wish there were more volition involved in memory. I never should have had to think about it again for a second after the bell rang that day. The boner. An all boys class. The grinning, eager ass-whipping of the best looking boy in the pack. It’s twenty-plus years later and I only put this together this morning. How that boner has haunted me. Maybe now I can let it go, so to speak.

I heard someone killed Lawrence a few years ago. I guess some lessons just don’t stick.

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