Monday, April 21, 2008
Literary Chopsticks II
Here's a continuation of Literary Chopsticks from this post:
Cesar's best friend was Arthur Figueroa. Arthur wasn't as pretentious as Cesar. Although he was Mexican, he didn't lay claim to being related to Montezuma--Moctezuma, Arthur corrected--or any of the Aztecs. Arthur was a little more subtle about his heritage. He never mentioned that he came from an old California family, with a family tomb in the Missions. He didn't mention that he was a descendant of Jose Figueroa, Governor of California in the 1800's. He simply took a quiet pride in driving down Figueroa Blvd in downtown Los Angeles, smiling knowing that this street sported his name. Indeed, he smiled driving down other streets of Los Angeles like Alvarado, Pico, Sepulveda. He was related to them all. He was raised not to brag about his lineage and Arthur never did. Inside, however, he wanted to tell people in his office that his family basically created this fine state.
That's why he enjoyed Cesar Wong's company. Arthur never mentioned his family bacground, but Cesar sure did.
"Did you know Figgy is one of THE Figueroas," he'd say to a friend. Arthur knew that Cesar was doing it to elevate Cesar, impress everyone by saying he knew a Figueroa. It was quite pathetic really. He saw Cesar's brows rise whenever he met some poor cretin named Kennedy. "Are you related to one of THE Kennedy's?" The answer was always, No.
"He's just A Kennedy," Cesar said, "not a THE."