CrisisCity ©2000 SL Stinnett

Rachael and my friend Nina grew up together in El Monte. Barrio Brats. Nina just wanted out, Rachael wanted a little more. Un Poquito Mas. She got it. The Big Ticket. The High Time. She became a model then an actress, raged in New York and Milano, met a Trip-Hop DJ who ultimately left her with a great pad, a kid, and a drug habit.

Now she dates her dealer, wades through her equity, and leaves her kid for days on end with her last real friend.

I had been thinking about the view from Rachael's terrace as we passed old Sam on our way out of Ralphs.

That's when I heard Sam do his 'Devil' routine and had, what some call, a moment of clarity.

"...But if he beautiful, then people crowd right up and buy whatever he sellin'. That's how he get 'em. People come to get one thing, they end up with another. Sometime they don't even know it but till it too late. Th' devil...he got 'em."

I don't think I can explain it fully. I'd always been attracted to Rachael - who wasn't? - and a little jealous. But I realized that it wasn't Rachael or her lifestyle I coveted, it was her kid. I wanted to protect him. Hang out with him. Be a Dad.


It wasn't an impluse, it was an inspiration. Just seeing the little guy trying to figure Sam out. And me knowning that, given the way his Mom was going, there was a very good chance Mat might end up just like Sam.

I decided that this little one was not going to slip through the cracks. I was going to adopt him. Protect him. I didn't know how, considering that I was a single guy and that Mat wasn't my kid. But, since his Mom didn't seem to want him any more - I don't think she ever wanted him - I figured that with guts, luck and a good lawyer I'd find a way.

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