“We’re Coming For You…”

This will likely be a long story, and with triggering content. Cartels, drugs, and violence.

Nineteen years ago right now, in 2000, I was dealing with the aftermath of a house fire. I lost my pets, most of my possessions, and my place to live.

Fast forward to over a year later, Spring 2001. I was still with my ex. He was freshly out of a job again, so he chose to sell weed. At one point, he was kind of given an offer he couldn’t refuse… buying weed from a Cartel, in Dallas, arranged by a middleman (friend of a friend) who lived there. I chose to get myself involved as well, driving. We did get caught eventually, right before my 24th birthday.

After we were busted, we owed the Cartel about $8,000. I saw what this Cartel did to a guy who owed them $20,000. I didn’t witness anything, but I saw the poorly cleaned crime scene. Maybe I will save the graphic details for a movie.

My ex had our only cell phone, prepaid by minutes. Random numbers started calling one day. Texas, Illinois, Minnesota… the Cartel wanted to find Mike. Maybe me too, as his girlfriend and the driver, but their focus was definitely Mike. They filled our inbox with threatening messages, saying things like, “We’re coming for you… We have guys from Chicago and Minnesota and they are coming for you…. We are getting closer….” We never responded, at least not at first.

I later found out that a friend of mine was visited by them right after we left her house one day. They beat her pregnant self up pretty good, trashed her apartment, and kicked in her big screen TV, because she didn’t have answers for them about where we were.

We were hiding out, bouncing around hotels for about a week or so. Once night at this hotel, I noticed a truck creeping through the lot real slow. I had this vibe but kept my cool. As they made the bend to leave the parking lot, I peeked out the blinds. I noted Minnesota plates and three people. The one in the middle was wearing a hat typical of Rancheros. Probably them. They never found us though.

The Cartel then told our inbox that they know when the next court date is, and they would just snipe him/us out there. Mike got real scared, and called his lawyer. What do we do about this and our safety? The lawyer called the Sheriff’s department, who called the DEA, who called us. We met with the DEA, two agents. One talked with us, and the other took our phone into their vehicle. He emerged some time later, looking rather shaken up. He said, “Oh yes. This is definitely real.”

The Cartel called AGAIN talking their BS. Mike answered this time all pissy, and basically told them to fuck off because we just talked to the DEA. Guess what? We never heard from them again.

I still won’t answer my door unless I’m expecting someone, but I feel a lot of relief knowing that specific Cartel was taken over some years ago.

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So Much Hate at Only Eight

I have always been fascinated by travel, and maps. I loved the atlas. I had US and world books both. I spent countless hours studying them. Geography was a strength in school, when I went. I was in a dream world much of my childhood because reality wasn’t always so nice to me. I had friends in my neighborhood, like so many kids do. I had to be like seven or eight years old this one day….

I was at the neighbor’s house. There were three girls, but this day only one was there. She was five I think. Her mom was white, and her dad Mexican. He was in and out of their lives for whatever reasons but he obviously was here for this.

The door was kicked in and the apartment was soon filled with cops. It was a drug raid. The four of us were handcuffed, face down in the living room. That’s right, seven year old me and five year old her, along with her parents. There were cops in each corner of the room with handguns drawn in our general direction. There was one cop who stood over Felipe with a shotgun barrel buried into his brainstem. Felipe would shout, “No hablo ingles. No hablo ingles!” To which the cop replied, “Bullshit, Felipe. We fucking know you can speak English!” And he would shove the barrel a little harder. Unreal. I just kept thinking how I couldn’t believe this girl is watching this happen with her dad.

Eventually the situation calmed. They had me in the girls’ bedroom separated to ask me whatever I knew, which really wasn’t anything. They asked about my family. It broke my heart when I couldn’t tell them anything about my own father. They let me go home. It seems like they didn’t find anything other than a kitchen scale, which didn’t make sense to me until I got older. But anyway.

I think it was the same year when I was by myself climbing a tree in my front yard. It was on the terrace, the strip of grass between sidewalk and street. I knew if we didn’t cut that grass or rake those leaves we would get in trouble with the city. I assumed it was my tree. A cop pulled up and stopped. He looked up at me and said, “You need to get down from there. That tree is city property. You need to get down from there right now. If I come by here again and see you up there I’m gonna arrest your parents.”

Are you KIDDING me?!?!?! I was furious. I said nothing, but got down and went inside. Arrest my parents? Dude I have ONE parent, you ignorant fuck. And she was everything to me. How can you make my mom go to jail for MY actions? It made no sense to me.

That was the day I decided I want nothing to do with this country. I wanted to run away many times already in my young life, but this just affirmed it. It gave me an actual reason other than the general feeling I didn’t belong. A rebel with a cause.

I am so smart and had great grades when I wanted to, but then I had Civics class. My teacher said day one if we participate in class and turn in assignments we would pass the class. Indeed. I passed with a D-. I refused to learn about a country I did not want to live in.

I did take opportunity to leave the country. I was gone five months. I learned a lot about myself. I also accepted that I had been so wrong for so long. America wasn’t quite so bad, after all. But, I don’t really want to have my own kids. God forbid they want to climb a tree or something.