This post was written by Dennis Danziger’s student, Angel Patino, who graduated from Venice High School this past June. We thank Angel and Mr. Danziger from sharing this with us.
Angel Patino is 18, working to graduate, working to help, and wishing that was enough.
This turning point of my life happened last night when I realized that my mother doesn’t have enough money and she’s stressing out and I really don’t know how to help. I wish I could. I wish she didn’t have to struggle anymore. It hurts to see her cry and I feel like a coward because I can’t help.
I’m 18 and what the fuck am I supposed to do? I already give my mother my phone bill money and some rent money, but that’s still not enough. The car is breaking down and we might get kicked out of our apartment. I’m trying to look for another job (I already work 30 hours a week flipping burgers) so that money can go to her. But two jobs and I’m not sure if I might graduate with my class puts me in a deeper hole.
Why is this happening? I don’t know. Maybe this is my mission. Maybe this is why I was born and my mother and I didn’t die when she gave birth to me. I don’t know the answer, but it’s killing me.
I’m not able to sleep. My little sisters ask why my mother is crying. I can’t answer that their father is at home supporting his other family and my dad is 6 feet under. They look up to me, and it sucks because look at me—I’m a nobody. I’m surprised I’m not 6 feet under.
Yeah, I smoke weed so I can get out of here. It takes me to a place of peace and no worries. I’m pretty high right now. I’m at the beach screaming my lungs out, looking to the heavens and asking for help. But everything is going downhill.
Tears are running down my face. I’m just another Hispanic struggling to survive and keep my family proud, but at this point, I’m falling and I can’t even catch myself.
Image: hofluk / flickr