The El Paso I Lived In

By Chuck Taylor

The El Paso I lived in was a very different place. There was no Wally’s near the Bassett Center when I left the city in 1977. K-Mart was the king of retail. Sears was doing OK at Five Points. Of course, I was shocked terribly by the shootings. I was in my house here in Kyle, Texas. In 2017, 20 people were killed in Southerland Springs in a church sixty miles from my home. These horrors are things your mind can not easily process. One wants to run away from them.

There’s an old Japanese saying that it is easier for a parent to face their own death than to face the death of a child, but it is a horrid blow to any family to face a sudden murder of anyone in the family. I do have a friend who suffers from psychosis and takes medications. He told his girlfriend to take him to a mental hospital because he was going to kill himself or her.

We have very troubled people in our society who are not getting the mental health treatment they need. Also, young men in their rebellious teenage years can easily fall victim to hate speech and conspiracy theories on social media. I believe high school students should be taught logic and critical thinking in schools so to protect alienated young men from being swept up in the doctrines of white supremacy. Also I think the young should be exposed to the art and literature by diverse ethnicities, in an effort to humanize what is mistakenly viewed as the other.

You can reach Chuck Taylor at: mysticpoetics@gmail.com

Photograph by Miguel Juárez.