Painting of a fence overgrown with flowers
Patrick Martinez, Bougainvillea Fence (after Hammons). 2016, acrylic on panel with fence tarp. 48 × 48 × 4". Courtesy of the artist and Charlie James Gallery, Los Angeles.

Social media is a bunch of bullshit. Like, if you’re old or move to another state or you’ve been out of touch with people or whatever, then yeah, it makes sense. But people here just use it to promote this fake version of themselves. It’s sad. You get points depending on what you post and who you already are. This guy who went to my high school, Jonas Carrera, some kissass puñetón who was only on the football team because his dad was on the school board, got 352 likes on a picture of him standing by some fountain in Austin, caption saying Hispanic Pre-Law Association Co-Chair 2016 or some shit. It’s all HD and you can even see the pinche blackheads on his nose. Three hundred and fifty-two likes. No mames. All white people too, last names like Blanchard, Willis, Palmer and shit. That’s the dude they know from Mission, Texas. That’s their Mexican Friend. Their Hispanic Guy. El vato is Latino now all of a sudden. Like in high school homeboy said that ICE should come check out the soccer team after the state found out our goalie was 19. I swear, if his dad wasn’t a big local lawyer on the school board, el vato would have gotten jumped dirty at the Duck Park after school.

But whatever. I try to put time into my family instead of all that fake shit. My brother Moises and I share a room in the house we grew up in, same fire pit in the back, same basketball posters, same plain white sheets, but honestly, when you see how distant families can be, it makes me feel grateful. It’s cheaper here, plus it’s nice to have our parents cook and take care of things. Moises and I are sharing the room until August, when he gets married to Maritza Elizabeth Segovia and moves upstate for an oil field job drilling holes in the ground. Then it’ll just be me and my little brother, Efraín, who’s weird and quiet and 13.

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