Friday, January 04, 2013

Domingo Martinez: The Boy Kings of Texas (Part 2)


I finished The Boys Kings of Texas: A Memoir by Domingo Martinez (Lyons Press, 2012), in which the narrator eventually makes his way from Brownsville, Texas, to Seattle, Washington. 

Just how important is place, anyway? Where am I? Where are you?  It all depends on circumstance, I suppose.

Martinez gets at all of this quite nicely, or if not nicely, then with a pithy sense of humor.

Seattle was subdued, a retreat for overeducated, liberal-minded people . . . with exceptional and fascinating dropouts. It was a wet . . . rain-soaked city full of promise and civility, where people judged you not by what you did or your race, but by your hobbies. It was the opposite of Texas. (page 303).

On geography:  it took me a week to find [Seattle] on a map. Or rather, it took me a week just to find a map . . .  Seattle was up and to the left, the very far left. Near Canada.

"Hunh," I said to no one at all, in a library in Brownsville, looking at Seattle. "So that's where Canada is. Maybe I can go to Canada." (page 303).

Indeed, how does anyone navigate through life?  Do you dig maps? If not, how do you know where anything is, or appears to be? 

Finally, what surprises you in terms of geographical location or assumptions gone wrong, notions that turn out to be way off base?  

Today's Rune: Journey.  


jodi said...

Erik, I love descriptions of locations. If it's a place I have visited, I love imagining it so clearly. Location sets the stage for scenery, accents, local customs, etc.

Charles Gramlich said...

"So that's where Canada is." Lol.