Human beings are social creatures who must and will always respond to circumstances that cause a change in life. Depending on how circumstances make one feel, it will lead to a favorable outcome or not. This therefore ensures direct reaction to the change by accepting what happens or put up a front and become strangers to our own selves. Under extreme cases human beings can totally live a lie up to a level of non recognition of the original position. This is predictable for it connects the past, the present and can be predicted in the future. Luis Cintron changed when he lost the mother and also changed when he met Naomi.
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It all starts with the loss of his mother and ends with a beautiful young lady named Naomi who in some way connects him to memories of his mother’s demise from cancer. This has something to do with missing his mother and dealing with the pent up emotions. The mother used to remind him that she loved her and when there was totally no reason for that she would tell him, she loved him because he was her son. This reassurance seems to be what balanced his life and losing her brought about this change in character. His activities and dedication to coming up with strategic and mischievous plans to prove a point to his peers keeps his mind away from the reality of the loneliness he feels. Judith Ortiz introduces a young man who is evidently a truant based on the fact that he has been set free from a juvenile center (Ortiz, 1). It is expressed that he was involved in a forceful trespass action of an old woman’s house and was caught. The unique factor is his criminal lack of motive. Who breaks into someone’s house with no intention to steal or harm? This act can further deduce his actions of being a serial troublemaker through his activities with his own high school social group by the name Tiburones (Ortiz, 1). This means the shark. The group’s mischievous activities are based on bets and dares. Being a leader of the group naturally demands him to set the pace and come up with wicked plans. This has become his way of seeking a new identity. An example is when he sent a classmate by the name Kenny Matoa to apparently borrow some items from another classmate’s desk (Ortiz, 1). Why is it that the borrowing is without the consent of the owner?
At the silver mountain, Luis stands atop the hubcaps and pointing out and sweeping his arms as the Pope would do in blessings proclaims, “Someday son, all this will be yours” (Ortiz, 1). After that, he glides down the silver hill. This is the first time he is at the hill and his character is not good. He is still rude and has work pending. The hubcaps are not all clean and he is still not happy to be working at the yard. Change is visible when the next time he is drawn on top of the silver hill with his arm raised. Earlier, he had looked up to see Naomi sketching something. She had captured his image on top of the hubcap pile back at the junkyard. By his arm outstretched on top of the hubcap pile, she envisioned him as being in charge of his deeds and was focused on his destiny. It is as if he was reaching for his destiny which was definitely bright.
This communicated and connected to him almost in an instant that he only needed to put in effort in his ambitions and he would definitely be in control of his future. He then excuses himself and left for the junkyard. He climbed the hubcap hill and this time round when he came down, he had finished all the work and neatly grouped the hubcaps. He had worked tirelessly and even harmed his hands but did not give up as he organized the hubcaps in neat selected piles. This is a clear indication of the change that not only occurred from the outside but internally, he had found meaning in assisting others and doing his part in endeavors responsibly. He manages to retrieve a hubcap that could match Naomi’s wheel and he washed and polished it so well that he combed his hair while using it as a mirror (Ortiz, 3). He combs his hair to symbolically mean that he straightens his past and by looking through the mirror he appreciates who he is physically and whatever good qualities that were for a while hidden.
Naomi is a trigger that makes Luis to go back to his former self. He is known not to prefer any work. His father recognizes this trait and wishes the family business did not end with the word son because he clearly had neither intention nor interest of making the hubcap garage business succeed. The business name was, Jorge Cintron & Son, Auto Parts and Salvage (Ortiz, 1). All this is changed through Luis’ willingness to help Naomi acquire a hubcap that would fit on her wheel. This reflects a change of heart and self determination especially after his father had openly expressed his fear that this was going to be next to impossible task. His connection with his former self had made him convert within hours what had not been achieved in years.
All the changes that are highlighted happened because of Luis’ change of years. Luis noticed how grey his father’s hair had turned and was amazed because t used to be as dark as his (Ortiz, 2). His father had turned into an old man and he had not noticed. This in itself indicates that it had dawned on him he was not younger either. It ensured his reflection on this particular day when he met Naomi and made it his responsibility to follow what his father asked.
Such is life; people always cover their feelings and true selves through different ways. We meet the perfect stranger in us when we decide to confide in them and act according to how the stranger wants people to see us. Change is often driven by the demands that make this stranger unique for our personal convenience. It is only when we decide to assist others out of pure self fulfillment and voluntarily that we have peace within us and a meaningful existence.
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