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City of Night

       City of Night is a story written by John Rechy. He was born in El Paso, Texas, in 1934. His family lived in an old house located in El Paso, Texas. A little boy, the youngest of the family who was about 6 years old, had a dog named Winnie; she was a really sick dog. This boy took care of her. One day, the weather was really bad. It was a windy day; he was scared and went outside to look for Winnie. When he was outside, he got closer to where the dog was sleeping and noticed that Winnie was dead. He and his older brother buried her in the backyard of their house. This boy had a lovely mother. The boyís father was old. He worked selling pianos and in a hospital cleaning out trash. His father loved music. When his father was young, he played the piano and directed a symphony orchestra. His father had a different kind of personality. Sometimes he was very happy and nice. In those times when he was nice and got paid, he came home with flowers for his wife and gifts for his children. On Sundays, he took his family to Juarez, Mexico to dinner. Other times, he was really violent. One day he was playing solitaire; he was very calm and told his son that he would set fire to the house when his wife and his son were sleeping or he would kill his wife in bed. After that conversation, the boy changed beds with his mother and never slept again in the same room. This boy surrounded the bed with chairs, so that he could notice when his father was near. Years later, his father gave him a gold ring with a beautiful red stone; it was a ruby, but days after he took it back. The time passed, and this boy grew up. Before he enlisted in the army, he wanted to say goodbye to his father. In spite of his fatherís behavior, he thought that his father loved him. Weeks after, when he was at Camp Breckenridge, Kentucky, he received a telegram. His father was sick. He decided to see his father, but when he went to his house, his father was dead. After his fatherís death, he remembered him tried to understand his father. He returned to Kentucky, and when he finished serving in the army, he returned to his motherís house. He left his mother crying because he was going to look for a night life in the big cities of Chicago, New York, and San Francisco.

       When we started this course, our teacher told us that some students, who took this class before, had felt in some way connected with some stories in this book. I thought, am I going to be like those students? Well, I must say that I feel in some way connected to this story. I didnít have a violent father, I had an absent father. I saw him once or twice a year when I was a child. When I saw him, he didnít say much. He argued with my mother every time. I had dogs. I loved them. They died. My parents divorced, and I decided to come to The United States. I left my friends, my sisters, and my mother was crying when I left the house. I decided to come to Phoenix looking for a better life.