Tuesday, September 3, 2013


They Call it The City of Angels

A New Serial Novel by Joshua A. TRILIEGI

Exclusively for Readers of BUREAU of ARTS and CULTURE and
our Three sites in Los Angeles, San Francisco and New York City

All National & International Copy Rights Reserved to the Author

Chapter Eight: Ryan

Ryan was a good kid. Aced his grades in school, held down
two jobs, was an excellent athlete, always the courteous type.
A throw back who held doors open for old ladies, was always
respectful to women, looked after his little brother, everyone
liked Ryan. He had known Josie since the third grade, they
had last names that started with the same letter, so, all
through grade school they sat next to each other. Back in
the seventies, public schools used an alphabetical system
for seating and year after year, they found themselves next
to one another. Ryan's mother came from the same country
as did Josie's parents, so whenever she complained about her
parents, he knew exactly what she was talking about. The so-
called generation gap loomed large between them and their
parents. Between the sexual revolution of the nineteen sixties
& the hang loose style of the nineteen seventies, many immigrants
had no idea that their new American children would leap forward
so quickly into the modern age. Ryan always told Josie to have
more patients with her parents, "They're coming from all whole
different world." Instead, she began to keep her inner world more
and more private.

When Josie & Junior split up, within days, she attached herself
to Ryan. He had always been there as a friend, someone she
could talk to, now she began to depend on him. Quickly, they
became an item. If Ryan went surfing, then Josie sat on the
shore, either studying, reading or just reflecting on life.
When Ryan was working on his car, Josie would hang out in
the garage, playing records and sometimes quizzing him on
an upcoming test at school. They were both, what some kids
called 'squares', they didn't attend ditching parties or smoke,
but they did go to concerts and dances and it was safe to say
that most of their friends would never have guessed that they
had a serious love life. Josie was a very passionate person.
Ryan was always very responsible, they talked about taking
their time and Josie always felt at ease. He had been saving
his money for a new wet-suit for the winter surfing season and
decided instead to by her a ring, it was getting serious. When
a group of students asked Ryan to run for class president, he
declined. It was safe to say, he was, in more ways then one,
the unofficial president of his class. Josie was glad he turned
it down. She was very much attached and although mature,
still didn't entirely understand her feelings. She was possessive
of Ryan, having someone of your own to a girl such as Josie
was everything, in her mind, he belonged to her and they
belonged together. They were one of those couples that just
about everyone figured would be together after graduation.

When Ryan found out that Louis Junior had been calling
Josie, he freaked. Although he was a surfer, he had plenty
of friends from the other side of town, where Junior lived.
One of his pals had written in his yearbook, 'To a cool punk,
for a surfer.' The divide between surfers and low riders was
wide back then. Not for everyone though, certainly not for
Ryan, who knew about all kinds of classic cars, sports, music.
He was a bit of a crossover, culturally speaking. On several
occasions he had helped guys with their car projects: chopped
tops, pin-striping, dual carbs and manifold installations. His
old man had been big on custom cars back in the day, even
won some awards and made a few bucks reselling fix ups.
Ryan's life did not involve the kind of built-in drama that
Juniors did. Juniors Uncles and Aunts were always coming
into town with one problem or another and his Mother tended
to let them stay longer than his father would have liked. This
created an uneasiness at home and always gave Junior an
excuse to get into trouble elsewhere. His old man was a dish
washer at the local cafe back then. Junior hated to see his
dad relegated to this position. As a young man Louis Senior
had studied to be an engineer and later ran an entire ware-
house with a dozen guys working under him. This was before
Junior was born, but it still put a thorn in his side at times.
To know that his old man had been passed by, just to be an
American and have a family here, seemed like a sacrifice.
Sometimes, Junior thought they would be better off going
back to where his grandparents were from and several times
he himself had done just that. Spent time on the farm, he
loved it. This was the side of Junior that Josie fell in love
with and it was also the thing that made Ryan jealous.
He himself had come from a good family, had been given
things, was considered upper middle class, never knew hunger.
He had no real drama to speak of, before Josie, he had never
even felt much of anything. Josie made him feel things,
he was suddenly vulnerable, jealous, passionate and even
angry. When Junior began to contact Josie again, Ryan
began to swim in a new sea of emotions that he figured
had everything to do with growing up, "This is what life is
about." He could hear his Dad say, in some imaginary scene.

That night was not at all unlike a film that occasionally played
on late night television. Ryan saw himself as the James Dean
character, if he backed down to Junior's challenge, he'd be
disgraced. Maybe Josie didn't know it, but she was the Natalie
Wood character and Louis Junior was well aware of his role in
all of this. He had always been the 'bad boy'. Had found it easier
to get attention by screwing up rather than doing good. Nobody
seemed to notice whenever he did something well, but if he ever
made a mistake, it was hell to pay. A family dynamic that had
been played out for generations and he was no exception. If the
boys had only gotten into a fist fight, everything might have been
better. Instead they settled things with machinery, in this case,
with their cars. Some of the guys Junior hung out with used
knives, bats and even pistols. He was old school, didn't believe
much in weaponry. Plus, he was a good fighter, he didn't have
to settle things like that. The whole thing happened spontaneously.
Ryan had promised Josie that he would avoid any altercations .
But when Junior pulled up at the stop light, only Ryan could
hear what he said and thats when it happened. The boys began
to rip down the boulevard, side by side, running red lights and
stop signs in a reckless abandon that teenagers are known to do.
By the time they got to the old bridge underpass, which crossed
the oldest rail road tracks in South Bay, just past the skating rink,
two kids in skates were crossing the street into the trailer parks
across the way. To avoid the kids, Ryan swerved to the left, hit the
curb at the curve and flipped his car into mid air, it tumbled several
times before the final landing, which crushed the entire cab taking
both their lives. Junior looked into his rear view mirror and saw
what he thought hell might look like. The bridge was like a giant
gateway, the fire, flames and smoke were all he could see. He drove
off and wasn't found until the next day. By then, he too had been
consumed by a sort of fire. Sifting through the ashes in his mind
was the single memory of the only girl in the world who had ever
looked him directly in the eyes and simply said, "I Love You."




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