The city of San Bernardino, California, area code nine-o-nine, home of the first McDonald’s and one of the cozy dwellings of the notorious tricycle club, I mean, motorcycle club, the Hells Angels.
It is my city, and I am proud of it, but I am one of the few that share this feeling. I understand, it is hard to see the good in a city that is mostly hood, ghetto, vandalized, and neglected. At the time of this post, I would presume that the population is about a quarter of a million, and I am only one of its inhabitants.
San Bernardino, California, you’ve provided me with so many fond, and not so fond, memories: my first kiss was in this city, my first love lives in this city. You’ve provided the setting for the first shooting I witnessed, and in retrospect, that shooting may have been the reason why I was unable to stop dreaming of being shot and killed for awhile; I am privileged. Those dreams made me come to peace with the possibility of getting shot and dying: they were so vivid.
I died in my dreams many times, and as I slipped out of consciousness in the dream I would slip into consciousness in real life and awake breathing deeply, feeling for the gun wound–thankful it was just another dream. I’ve been shot so many times in my dreams that I intuitively feel I know what it’s like. You’ve nurtured me, and I thank thee.
You’ve taught me the shady side of life, and continue to teach me. You’ve taught me to be thankful because one has only to throw a stone to hit a homeless person in this city. You’ve showed me that government is not benevolent, and that it really could care less about us. You’ve taught me how fortunate I’ve been to accomplish what I’ve accomplished. You’ve taught me to look at others as equals, thus ensuring my survival. You’ve taught me to accept, and tolerate, and you’ve taught me patience. You’ve taught me how corrupted the system is. You’ve taught me many life lesson which I will take to my grave. You’ve taught me to want more than I was entitled to. You’ve taught me to teach myself.
San Bernardino, I owe you, and would like to live to see the day when you are as great, or even greater, than what you used to be.