Thursday, December 8, 2011

Chapter Forty One: Christmas could be good or bad depending on whether you have a job

I didn't know what to do with Christmas coming on fast.  I was afraid to leave my family circle for fear my family would not make it through the holidays.  I was surprised to find out lil Santee was home after spending a couple of years in California going to high school. I listened to my ghetto son, Santos, talking on his cell phone to find out if anything had happened to lil Santee I should be alarmed about.  He said to somebody I don't know who he didn't think he did anything really wrong, but he had insisted Santee do pushups every day when he was young and now he had fists of steel.  I told Santee when I was alive he should get his fists registered as lethal weapons since his arm muscles were like rocks.  And Santee had hit a kid who seemed to take it all right, but after two months decided to press charges.  I guess the more he thought about hard he got hit the madder he became.  Lil Santee was probably homesick anyway, so he came on home.  I hoped he would not get in trouble in Arizona, since the reason he had gone to California to school in the first place was because of some trouble he got into there.  It was mighty easy for a sixteen year old to get into some melee they hardly thought was anything at all and ruin their lives.
Santee used to tease me by saying he wanted to grow up and do drugs and go to jail.  His mother and dad were both working day and night to try to keep him off the streets and out of jail for his first fourteen years.  His relatives in California had done the same thing, and told him finally if he got in trouble one more time, he was gone.
No teen aged boy can keep from getting in trouble at least one more time, or that is what my sons had always done, first Rafe, and then Jerome and well, Santos, although he was my ghetto son but he had gotten into the least trouble of any of them.  He wanted to play basketball on the varsity team so he stayed away from drugs and alcohol.  He did not even smoke.
Santos was also the only one of my sons who said he was not going to buy a fancy car and pay big car payments.  When he got home from the navy he ran his little second hand car until Santee's mother's car broke down, and he gave it to her and started riding an old vintage motorcycle he bought or he took the fast transit.  He was the only young guy I knew who willingly took public transportation anywhere.
Santee's mother thought it was everyone in her family's god given right to waste her time all day long chauffeuring them everywhere.  After my VW got stolen by the guy who drove me back east because he thought I should see the country before I died, I walked everywhere and so did Santos unless we could not get there on foot and then we took a bus.
I left the old mansion and rushed back to California where I found out Jerome was trying to contact his nephew to see if he had done anything about getting back in school.
I dared not leave Arizona until the Christmas holidays were over.  Lil Santee made everybody nervous and over excited when he came around.  First of all he was a sensational looking kid that all the girls were starting to notice.  He did not seem to know what to do with his new found appeal for girls and kept changing girlfriends to his mother's disgust.  He probably thought there was safety in numbers.  His dad had warned him that he did not want a baby when he was only seventeen as his mother had been when she had him.  Santos was not much older and was just headed out to sail around the world, so he was not available to help take care of his kid for three years.
By that time lil Santee was completely out of control at three and Santos had to exercise military discipline on him that greatly upset this mother and other grandmother and even me. Could lil Santee be blamed because military discipline had not been available to him for the first three years of his life?  He was about as shocked as a little boy could be when his father attempted to straighten him up.  So there was quite a hallabaloo centered around Santee for quite a long time.  Santos and lil Santee's mother even got back together for the sake of their child, but it still looked as though lil Santee was thoroughly confused.  He did not like his father he used to tell me quite often at first.  He told me once that on a scale of 1-10 for bad fathers, his dad was a 11.  He confided that he might even kill him when he grew up.  But I did notice that people enjoyed lil Santee more than they had before.  His behavior improved despite his dad's ruthlessness. 
Santos granted that his son was not a poster child for good behavior still.  Instead of the sunshine he said he was the thunder.  I thought that was a poetic way to put it and must have meant that Santos admired his spirit, but he was bound and determined he would win the battle of wills the first few years at least.
Santos sounded like he was still down and out in California.  I told him to try the veterans' organization when he got home. They would surely find some place for hm to stay.  They could not let a seven year veteran go homeless or could they?  Santos did say his back was better.  Now he just had to find a job that would not interrupt the healing.
So I thought I better find a place to perch just like one of the snowbirds who flew into Arizona when the first big blizzard hit back east.  We would enjoy the mild weather together during the holidays.  And hope for better times to come for all the down and out of work citizens like Santos.

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