Chicano Art: The Day I Lost Lil Loco
It was a beautiful Sunday. One of those Sundays you only dreamt about. The sun was out and there were a multitude of people all around me.
I had spent my afternoon seeing a lot of the sights Chicago had to offer. I started off my journey by visiting the reflective bean at Millennium Park. I was in one of those mellow highs were nothing could bother me. Feeling satisfied with the bean, I started making my way towards the pier to eat at one of my favorite restaurants.
Believe it or not there is an actual restaurant called Bubba Gump Shrimp Co. at Navy Pier. I had my usual lunch and exited to walk the strip. It was mad packed everywhere. People were boarding the luxurious boats that were docked alongside the pier. Others sat around at their bars of choice drinking cocktails of all sorts. It was routine for me to make it to the end of the pier and back. The Ferris wheel seemed to have a jam because it wasn't moving and I could hear people shouting on my stroll back.
My last stop for the day was the Shedd Aquarium. I'm not sure what it is about sea creatures, but I have been fascinated with them ever since I could process information. You can bet money that I walked out of the gift shop in head to toe Shedd gear and even with a snow globe.
I hailed a cab as I was worn out from walking all day. It felt good to sit down and relax my legs. I told the driver my address as I packed myself a one hitter and offered him one. He seemed like a chill guy and he accepted without hesitation. He then turned on some jazz as we smoothly cruised back to my place.
There was someone standing at the stoop outside of my apartment building. I approached the hooded figure not knowing whether he was a salesman or a murderer. Before I reached him he looked up. "Can we talk man?", Lil Loco asks coldly. He had a blank stare on his face and it made me slightly nervous. "Sure buddy lets head upstairs", I say to him wondering what was going on. I asked him how he was doing and all I got was a meek "okay". I could tell something was on his mind and he was totally stressed out.
I turned on the lights as we walked in. I immediately headed over to my stash box. This kid needed to calm his nerves so I rolled us a nice little doobie while he walked around looking at the art with his hands in his pockets. "Dam man, you gotta lotta cool shit in here", Loco says to me as he kept his gaze on the walls. I grinned instantly as I lit the j. "Keep up with your painting and one day you might get your art framed", I tell him as I passed it to him.
I was glad to see that this wasn't his first rodeo because he didn't cough or spit after inhaling deeply. He loosened up and finally looked me in the eyes.
"That's why I came here. I want out man. I want out", he tells me. I realized he wasn't wearing any gold today and that he was referring to the Kings. "Dam dude, how do you do that?", I ask him. "It's kill or be killed", Loco said solemnly. "Sounds like your in a tight situation", I say. I could see Lil Loco being out and happy. I could see him taking his artwork to the next level. "You've got talent kid. Don't let it go to waste.
You know you could crash here for a while until you get back on your feet", I told him. I saw life in his eyes for the first time. "You'd do that for me?", he asked too surprised. "Anything to see a lil Chicano off the streets". I really meant that and wanted the best for this kid. I go back to my stash box and get out the last of what I had. I tossed a bag to him that had a little less than a quarter left. "Here man, you need it more than I do". "Thanks", he said with a grin. "I know what I gotta do".
I shook his hand before he left. I told him to let me know how it goes talking with his people. Who knows they might have sympathy for him and let him off easy. You never know with these dangerous gangs though. Not too much later after Loco left I crashed hard. I dreamt about new beginnings and thc concentrates.
If you haven't noticed by now I like to take walks. It's a perfect way to pass the time while burnin some calories. I was headed over to the Cermak to get a 40 oz to get my blood flowin. Little Village never got old for me and I could feel the warmth of the community with every hello thrown my way. I was approaching a local high school when something on the exterior of the building caught my attention. It looked like three little hoodlums had somebody in a corner. Something told me to go stop the bullying. I had a weird gut feeling about it but my feet wouldn't move. Time froze as I witnessed this fiasco unfolding.
One of the thugs threw the first punch. They all seemed to converge on the defenseless victim. I shouted at them to stop but it was too late. That's when I realized it was Lil Loco that was about to get jumped. I ran towards them like Forrest Gump. One of the guys decided to get tough and one on one it with Loco. They end up on the ground and one of the boys is rear naked choking him while the others kick him.
It all happened so fast. With a blink of an eye, Loco reached into his pocket for something. He produced a large shiny object. "NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!!!!!!!", I heard a voice come from inside me. With a swift backwards motion, Loco managed to stab the kid near his shoulder. Loco flipped the kid over and viciously plunged the knife into the kids left pec, straight to the heart. He stabbed him one last time before I could get to him.
I instantly pulled him off the other boy. "What have you done!?", I ask in complete disbelief. I didn't bother waiting for a response. I immediately called an ambulance and told them to send help ASAP. I bent over to look at the kid.
He was a little darker than Loco, making me believe he was of Puerto Rican descent. The kid had a bag of pot clutched in his hand. I didn't make much of it since I was holding the kid trying to keep him there. It was the most gruesome thing I had seen in a while. I looked up to see one of the thugs chase off Loco. I told the youngster to hold on, help was on the way. There was no point. He was bleeding profusely, getting it all over me. He quickly went into shock as I tried putting slight pressure on his gaping stab wounds. He started to seizure a bit and began to gasp for air. I felt his last breath, his soul hit me in the face. I closed his eyes out of respect as my mind just went completely numb during the whole police/ambulance crime scene investigation.
That was the last time I saw my friend Lil Loco. I found out that the police later apprehended him and that he was being charged for capital murder and he was being tried as an adult. I saw the whole thing but I couldn't stop it. For the first couple of months guilt was the only emotion I felt. For Loco, for the kid that he murdered in self defense. And it was all over that bag I gave him. That's why I felt the way I did. Lil Loco was officially out of the gang. He was sentenced to 60 years to life at Cook County Jail. Loco was finally free from the gang. But at what cost? At what cost?