San Gabriel Valley
Where I grew up, I saw a lot of broken men. These men, who I saw in dusty strip malls and old cars, shielding their eyes against the searing, red desert sun. Men, who in their previous lives, had dreams of glory and big degrees that were now just paper. Men, burdened with regrets, debts, broken relationships, dashed expectations.
They were concave men, men who took up negative space in the way they slouched. It looked like they were just one big sigh.
Sometimes I would catch the glance of these defeated men. They would look at me with a wide-eyed, open stare on the border between hope and pleading.
I would scowl and glare. First, I was annoyed, but mostly, I was scared that I saw myself in them.