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2/28/2014

Four Paragraphs Referencing Wyoming Boulevard

Rudolfo Carrillo


by Rudolfo Carrillo

Here are some things about Albuquerque you might like to know.

There was a thing called the Wyoming Mall. It was indoors y todo and had a fancy movie theater in the middle. The film house was decorated in blue and various shades of grey. This was in direct contrast to other suburban cinema hideaways in the city. The other movie theaters in town were for the most part red and gold colored on the inside. All of them showed the latest in popular celluloid fantasies but the ushers at the Wyoming Mall Cinema had to wear bowties.

A small record shop stood beside the theater and a store called Yanamoto's next to that. At the former a man in thick-lensed glasses went on and on about The Animals and The Yardbirds. He made most of his money selling rolling papers and small stone pipes from Mexico that resembled carved onyx chess pieces. At the latter outlet, rare Asian imports were craftily combined with a vision of post-war SoCal, at once confusing and robust. It was possible to get lost in the kimono aisle; the smell of tiki lamps blazing away during daylight could be intoxicating.

If you walked past the hobby business and it smelled like model airplane cement, that was okay. The sign in the window said they only sold the junk with the purchase of a complete kit, something along the lines of the Queen Mary. Or a tricked-out '55 Chevy Belair, a P-38 Lightning, or a 1/32 scale, assemble-it-yourself diorama of Washington crossing the Delaware. Each boxed project cost about 20 clams, way steep for casual users. Mostly it was pretty square like that, except for the shortwave radio display. A dude with a flattop and shop glasses (like the ones what are considered hep by kids these days) would yell at anyone who tried to tune in Moscow or Havana.

The cafeteria was decent but lacked the dusky theatrics of the big dark Italian restaurant on the periphery of this lost world. Over there were 42 varieties of sauce, possibilities of sausage, pasta shaped like smooth orifices into another world. Primitive video games and mechanical fortune tellers beeped and clunked while Neapolitan art songs were piped through crackly speakers. It was moody, mostly lit by candles and colored lights. The tablecloths were the checkered kind. Sitting down at a table for bread and antipasto meant forgetting whether it was dark outside or light.

2/04/2014

Nineteen Seventy-Seven

Samantha Anne Carrillo

by Rudolfo Carrillo

Here is a house with an oval of grass out front. The lawn is surrounded by cold lava rocks. The rough stones have been smashed to bits, are colored like dried blood. Banging them against the sidewalk makes small white sparks.

The family next door gets up every morning at four. Lights come on, trucks zoom away and the lot of them spend the last minutes of night wrapping up copies of the daily paper. The old man wears a cotton hat, smokes Viceroy brand cigarettes.

Across the street is an airline pilot with a small foreign car. He has a swimming pool. A woman in a bathing suit and long beach towel wanders back and forth between the front door and his Triumph, singing songs from Rumours by Fleetwood Mac.

In the white house with grey trim, Chen practices the viola. His parents own a restaurant filled with heavy wooden chairs. The cook on the corner drives a Cadillac El Dorado. He has painted the automobile bright green, refers to it as the luckiest car in the universe.

There are more plants in the back yard; the sprinklers come on at midnight. A small garden with oleanders and roses has been cleaved out of clay in one corner. The far end, beyond the peach trees, smells of dog piss and pine sol.

Summertime comes around. The swamp cooler shakes and buzzes. As evening advances all of the neighbors walk out to the street without their shoes. Everyone wants to talk about food, how long the days have become or why the surrounding desert sings.

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