Archive for the ‘Daniel Romo’ Category

By Daniel Romo

They could pass for living. Their tatted, hickied skin still bronzed from

SoCal sun that bullied their abuelos in strawberry fields forty years ago.

Their mascara still harshly etched around their eyes in an extra bold font.

Their hair still all, Aquanety. But you knew they were dead. Their Cortez

feet combined with Ay dios mio hips in painted-on cheap denim, lacked

the saunter that bestowed them teenage motherhood on multiple occasions.

Shy Girl became extra introverted. Dimplez’s cheeks were bloated. Gigglez

played the straight man. They simply wandered through the aisles like

gangsta’fied ghosts, past the Asian vendors who knew just enough Spanish

to communicate with their rough-and-tumble clientele: muy barato (very

cheap), dos para uno (two for one), es oro real (That’s real gold). It was an

epidemic of inked teardrop proportions. They were zombie Cholas at the

Santa Fe Springs Swap Meet! But when the cries of Lowrider oldies faded

away, the pulsing dance beat that reeked of ‘85 brought them back to life,

and Debbie Deb was in club form all the way live as if to say, “Free our

heinas.” The Cholas’ Latina blood boiled to a rhythmic fervor, and their

jalapeno souls grooved to the tune of— When I hear music, it makes me

dance/You got the music, here’s my chance. One by one the Cholas emerged

from their hazes, from behind Dickies displays, oversized Pro Club tees, and

jumbo bags of chicharrones. Mi vida loca met Thriller, an assembly line of

various barrios coming together in the name a good party. The Cholas danced,

danced, danced—Chicana bodies swaying back and forth cutting through the

air like hidden razorblades. The patrons froze, elotes (corn-on-a-stick) in hand

mesmerized by the scene out of a modern day Diego Rivera painting. The

display lasted exactly seven minutes and thirteen seconds (because it was the

extended remix version). After that, the Cholas disappeared. No one knows

where to. But on that Sunday in June, while most of L.A. was watching the

Lakers beat up on the Celtics, the city of Santa Fe Springs celebrated an event

bigger than any championship series. The Cholas savored every synthesized

note like the last bites of the chimichanga plate at Hector’s. Their heavy pencil-

outlined lips smiling like homegirly clowns… It was beautiful, I tell ya’.

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