In honor of Valentine’s Day I’m posting an old Facebook post about my girls and their search for vatos locos when they were in their early teens and too stupid to know any better. They are no longer in their teens (see what I did there?).
Disclaimer: No gang members were hurt during the writing of this post. Any gang members reported missing during this time period is purely coincidental.
Who the heck is Alex Fuentes? My worst nightmare, that’s who. I haven’t met him yet, but he’s out there waiting, stalking me almost. I can just see the little no good tatted up smile-now-cry-later-mi-vida-loca-only-God-can-judge-me thug bastard in my mind. He’s walking around all big shit like if he knows what the hell he’s doing. I wonder if he knows what’s coming to him? Does he even suspect the hell he is about to walk into? Probably not. Guys like him never do. They think they are gonna live forever. Yeah, they think the rules don’t apply to them. Not this time. This time he’s gonna hit a brick wall named DAD. If there is a smudge left for DNA testing I will be surprised.
Let me explain. Some time ago, in my desperate efforts to get my daughter Lauren to read, I bought her a set of “books”. A trilogy, I think. It was in the teen section at Barnes and Nobles. I had tried to get her to read real books, you know, anything that might fall under the heading of “literature”. But she would have none of that. She barely reads anything assigned to her at school much less anything she is not required to read. So I figured as long as she read something, that had to be good. So I bought her these books and told her to give them a try. Two months later I was sitting in the living room of my house when I heard a scream from her room, “OH MY GOD!”. I jumped up, ran down the hall, and dove into the room ready for anything. Of course there was no way I could have been prepared for what I saw. It just wasn’t one of the possible situations I had considered when I went in the room. Lauren was lying in bed…reading a book. After the shock wore off I asked her the obvious question, “What the hell is wrong with you? I almost had a heart attack!”. Well, as it turns out she finally got so bored that she had decided to pick up one of the books I bought her. Apparently, she liked it,- A LOT. Never in her short and boring life had a book actually “moved” her the way this one did.
Finally, yay, I did it. Yay, I knew it would backfire on my ass.
This is where Alex Fuentes comes in. Apparently the books I got her were teen romance books. The ones I got her were about this white girl who falls for this Hispanic gang member. There are gang fights, arrests, murder, bouts in detention, and, of course, forbidden love. I swear Lauren read all three books in a few days and even shared them with her sister Grace. I don’t think Grace was nearly as impressed as Lauren was. I don’t think her feet touched the ground for a few weeks after she read those books. Since then it has been Alex Fuentes this,and Alex Fuentes that, every where Alex Fuentes. She can’t see a Hispanic kid on TV or in school with tattoos who doesn’t remind her of Alex Fuentes. She wants to marry the guy. She wants to have his babies. She is crazy loco over this made up punk. Damn you Alex Fuentes!
What is it with nice girls and bad boys? Don’t answer. You don’t know either.
What’s worse is now I can’t get her to read anything that does not have Alex Fuentes (or one of the Fuentes brothers) in it. So that’s it then. At least until the author decides to write another sequel to this story. Preferably one where all the Fuentes boys die horribly in a shoot out with another gang. But I don’t think I can wait for that to happen. Plus, if it does she will probably fall even more in love with the guy. I guess I will have to go out and look for Alex Fuentes myself. I and every other father out there. We all have to find him and stop him before he makes an appearance on his own. I have spent a lifetime developing certain skills, after all. I know things. I am an expert on crime scene reconstruction, decomposition rates, and all that other neat stuff one should know to make a human body disappear without the cops getting involved. Hell, I keep a jar of specially bred insects designed to make a body disappear in record time. We all need hobbies right?
Okay, okay…I’m exaggerating a little bit (a very little bit). But I am a dad. I do have 2 young beautiful girls on their way to womanhood. They are racing toward it. And I am afraid. I know what’s out there. And most of it isn’t good. I don’t want an Alex Fuentes for them. Hell, I don’t even want a Robert Alvarez for them! They deserve better. They deserve to be happy. I know it sounds corny but they deserve to swept off their feet, to be cherished and loved. Life can be hard. The only thing that makes hard times better is to have someone good and honest to share everything with. Someone who wants nothing else but to share everything with you. I guess we all want that for our kids. We want them to be okay. But I have no special skills to make that happen. No one does. We do what we can, try our best, and let them go. They will make their own mistakes.
BUT I WILL BE DAMNED IF ALEX FUENTES IS ONE OF THEM!
Post Script: As it turned out I should have just warned all the Alex Fuentes’s out there about my daughters. My bad.