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Bright Shiny Morning

She was small, like both of her parents, and she had a full head of curly black hair, like both of her parents. She had light skin, almost white, and dark eyes, almost black, and she had exceptionally large thighs, almost cartoonishly large, as if her upper legs had somehow been inflated. She was an easy baby. She constantly smiled and giggled, rarely cried, slept well, ate well. Because of complications related to her birth in the desert, which had partly been caused by her giant thighs, Jorge and Graciella knew they would never have another child, and it made them hold her more closely, carry her more gently, love her more, more than they thought they would or could, more than they imagined was possible.

The family drifted through Arizona for three years, Jorge worked as a picker at citrus farms tangelos, oranges and nectarines, Graciella, who always had the smiling, giggling Esperanza with her, cleaned the houses of the wealthy white upper class. They lived simply, usually in single-room hovels, with only the bare necessities: a bed they shared, a table, a hotplate, a sink and a bathroom. They saved whatever they could, every penny nickel and dime was coveted, every dollar counted and kept, they wanted to own their own house, make their own home.

That was the dream, an American daughter, an American home. They drifted north into California. There were always citrus farms, there were always houses that needed cleaning. There were always communities of Mexicans in the same position, with the same dreams, the same willingness to work, the same desire for a better life.

They lived in the garage of a man whose cousin was from their village. They slept on a mattress on the floor, went to the bathroom in buckets that they poured down the sewer.

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It would be temporary, they hoped, they were ready to find their house. Washington, Bell Garden, Pico Rivera. There was nothing they could afford, they went to Boyle Heights, which at the time, in , was the most dangerous area of East LA, and they found a small dilapidated house with a ramshackle garage, the previous owners had tried to light it on fire because they thought it was possessed by a demon. Either way, they were scared to live there and wanted to get rid of it. As they walked out of the house, after agreeing on final terms, Jorge fell to his knees and started crying.

American daughter. American home. American dream. They moved in a month later. They had their clothes and a couple of worn blankets, Esperanza had a doll she called Lovie. On their first night in the house, Jorge bought a can of grape soda and some paper cups, Graciella picked up a Hostess fruit pie. They had soda and pieces of the pie. Esperanza ran around the house asking what they were going to do with all of the rooms, she wanted to know if it was a house or castle.

Jorge and Graciella sat and smiled and held hands. They slept on the floor of the living room, the three of them under one blanket, father mother and daughter, together under one blanket. On February 18, , Los Angeles County is formed as one of the original twenty-seven counties of the Territory of California. On April 4, , the City of Los Angeles is incorporated. On September 9, , California becomes the thirty-first state of the Union.

Dawn fades with the rising sun. No answers for Old Man Joe. He gets up brushes the sand from his legs and arms walks back to his bathroom, which he will vacate, except for the facilitation of necessary bodily functions, for most of the day. After his breakfast, he gets a cup of coffee, which a man who runs a coffee stand gives him for free in exchange for advice on women. Even though Old Man Joe is single and has never been married, he considers himself an expert on women. Most of his advice to the man revolves around the idea that if you ignore a woman, she will like you more.

Occasionally, of course, this tactic backfires, but it works often enough to have provided Old Man Joe with free beverages for several years. With his coffee in hand, Joe walks south for fifteen blocks to the Venice Pier, which sits at the end of Washington Blvd. He walks to the end of the pier, which juts two hundred yards out into the Pacific, walks in a circle, and walks back to the boardwalk.

Occasionally, he stops at the end of the pier and watches surfers, who use the wave breaks on both sides of the pier, which crash against its pylons. After his walk, Joe heads out to a bench along the main section of the boardwalk and sits down. Once he is comfortably seated on the bench, Joe begs money from tourists so he can afford to get drunk.

In , Mexican nationalist Juan Flores attempts to start a revolution intended to liberate Los Angeles and return southern California to the control of the Mexican government. He was caught and hanged in what was then downtown in front of 3, spectators.

The Second Amendment of the Constitution of the United States reads as follows— A well regulated militia being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the People to keep and bear arms shall not be infringed. Nondescript and drab in Culver City. There are two doors at the lone entrance and exit, one is made of steel bars, the other is made of solid steel. There are security cameras along the roof that record everything that happens along the boulevard, everyone that comes in and out of the doors.

The exterior walls are made of aluminum siding, and behind the siding there is a two-foot layer of concrete to prevent a vehicle, almost any type of vehicle except a tank, from driving through them. Parking is on the street. A mean-ass motherfucking hater. He hates everybody. He hates blacks, Latinos, Asians, he hates women and gays, he hates Jews and he hates Arabs, he really fucking hates those Arabs. Larry is white. Unlike most white racists, Larry is not a white supremacist. The first time his mother heard him make the remark, she commented on how intelligent she thought he was.

He told her to shut the fuck up, that he hated her too. Larry is a gun freak. Larry owns more than of his own guns. He keeps his guns in a fortified room in the basement of his house, which is a few blocks from his shop. The armory, which is what he calls the room, is also stocked with more than 10, rounds of ammunition, and booby-trapped with plastic explosives. He also owns and is the proprietor of the gun shop housed within it. Unofficially, Larry calls the shop—the place where I sell shit to kill people.

Whether the killing is done in self-defense, or as the result of some form of aggressive action, is irrelevant to him, the result is always the same, a sad dead motherfucker going to the morgue. Though he hates almost all of them for one reason or another, Larry makes no distinctions between his customers. As long as they are not convicted felons, and as long as he is legally allowed to sell them a firearm of some kind, be it a pistol, a rifle or a shotgun, be it revolver, single shot, or semi-auto easily converted to full auto, Larry will take their money and give them what they want.

Once they leave his shop, what they do with the weapons is none of his business.


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He knows, however, and takes a certain joy in the fact, that if used properly, the weapons will do their job, they will kill human beings, kill motherfuckers that he hates, rid the fucking world of them. He hates them all equally. He sells things that kill them. She is twenty-six years old.

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She is originally from Indianapolis. She has lived in LA for nine months, she moved here to become a publicist, her family did not approve. Three weeks ago she was walking through a parking garage, it was late at night, she had been on a first date, she had had two glasses of wine with dinner. Her date had wanted to walk to her car, but she liked him, really liked him, he was a year older, an entertainment attorney, someone who wanted, like her, a career and later a family, and she knew if he walked to her car he would try to kiss her.

She wanted to take it slowly, try to engage in as old-fashioned a dating process as possible.

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He said he would call her. She smiled and said she looked forward to it. She walked away.

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She had been in the garage many times, her office was down the street, it was in Santa Monica, which is a safe, wealthy, stable community. The garage was fairly empty. She took an elevator to the fourth floor. She got out and started walking towards her car, which was on the opposite side of the garage.

She immediately felt uneasy.

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She started walking more quickly something was wrong wrong she was suddenly terrified absolutely fucking terrified something was wrong. She was twenty feet from her car, fifteen, ten she reached for her keys ten feet away as she reached for her keys she was terrified.

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He stepped out from between two cars, came at her from behind, she was five feet away, her keys in her hand. Age Purchases a. He used to work at a printing shop, but it closed due to advances in.