Chapter Four:     The Kids

ROBERTO deVEGA reporting events of Thursday, June 25 --

Sí, sí, señores y señoritas, this is Roberto Sierra Octavio deVega, although everyone around here is calling me "Bobby" now. I want to contribute to the ongoing "AooE Document" since I seem to have become part of the story. You know me: I am the 12 year-old son of Don Salvador deVega, who to my uncool shame and embarrassment is a very powerful drug lord commanding the Los Guerros Unidos Drug Cartel in central Mexico. Yeah, he's a bad guy and I'm his kid, sorry, nothing I can do about it.

In case you don't know, my father's drug cartel got into a little war with Adam and his S&F band while they were in Mexico and Adam kind of won, well, escaped alive anyway. So my father threatened to attack Adam's home in Monroe with a Cruise Missile. But I'm an ardent fan of S&F and just couldn't let that happen, so I hitchhiked up north to Washington State and volunteered to be their hostage so that my dad couldn't launch his missile. I hoped.

Since then, my dad has ended up in prison and I found out that he doesn't even have a Cruise Missile anyway-- they're pretty expensive, I guess --so the immediate danger level has peaked for now. But I'm still here because I want to be, plus these people seem to have a use for me. Adam's parents, Art & Elaine, are really cool and have more or less adopted me. I guess they want to save me from a life of crime around my father's drug cartel-- hey, fine with me. They even enrolled me in the local High School for while I'm here.

Also, I fit into the scene here pretty good: they have Nokhons, Bigfoots, Sasquatches like Adam, only most of them can't speak much English yet. I've always been good at languages-- I speak four --and nobody can hear that I'm a Mexican, most of the local people think I'm a gringo kid from California. I've already learned to speak more than basic Nokhontli so I've been teaching squatches English, yeah, even though I'm only 12!

They say multiple languages are easiest to learn before you hit puberty. Maybe so, but I think it has more to do with how much fun it is to speak it with someone you like. I've become pretty good friends with a Nokhon kid-- no idea how old he actually is, squatches aren't good at numbering stuff like birthdays --but he acts like he's about my age and we hit it off pretty good. We laugh a lot anyway. His name is Dalarbart, so I nicknamed him "Bart" and he liked it. We'll be going to the Monroe High School together in September. Bart and Bobby, the local guys.

When the Adam out of Eden document got "leaked" onto the Internet it popped up on my smart phone right away, probably just because I've Googled "S&F" so many times. I wondered if I should ask permission to read it, since it was clearly exposing stuff that everyone at the hacienda had been trying to keep secret. Hey, I knew there was something going on that they weren't telling me, but sure I get it: don't let the pre-pubescent child discover just how much nasty drugs & sex & rock & roll is going on behind his back, you'll fuck up his precious innocence.

So I went ahead and read the leaked version of Adam out of Eden. Wow, what a story! So THAT's why they sneak away every Full Moon! I was a really devoted S&F fan, with a romanticized white-washed Disney version of how my idols behaved, like kids do... but now I'm one of them. Oh, I'm still pretty innocent-- for a drug lord's son --but I can't help wondering what Shyøma smells like. But as for a Kha-Rat, there's no way I'm ready for that yet, thanks. I think.

Looking back on stuff, I see that no one ever really lied to me, they just didn't tell me everything. Editing out all the extreme juiciness for the innocent & unsuspecting kid. Pretty normal, I guess. And when I did mention that I'd read AooE to Art and Elaine, they were completely honest about things, just shrugged and told me what I needed to know. It was like being accepted as an adult, very cool.

Another dilemma my being an innocent kid caused my new friends was Naked Lake. It was summer and everybody here liked to go swimming and picnicking at a nice little lake just a couple of miles from here, but it was a nude beach and I was this 12-year old Mexican kid, maybe an uptight Catholic, who might just have a moral issue with nudity. It wasn't a public beach but not private either, open to anybody, but located in the Nokhon Corridor set up by the NNP. It was a place for Nokhons and a bunch of human regulars. Everyone seemed to know each other, they were all really nice. So I wanted in.

Okay, I wasn't used to nudity back in Mexico, it would definitely be a moral issue for my Mama, but she's not here and neither are my sisters. Art and Elaine told me that I was welcome to come there, said I could wear a swimsuit if I needed to, there were no rules about it. But it was more embarrassing to be the only one who wasn't naked, so I took it off. Five minutes later I forgot all about me being naked, in fact it was kind of relaxing.

And there were naked girls. I know, I know, I'm too young, but I can look anyway. Can't you remember being 12? Besides, I am a muchacho macho, my father the gangster was always reminding me of that.

When I read the AooE document there were many mentions about "Naked Lake", where Adam and Melly fell in love, although that was another lake owned by a lumber company and is now surrounded by a suburbia of new houses. So the regulars got human and Bigfoot friends to help build a wooden dock on the water and opened up this new Naked Lake 2.0.

Adam and the band aren't here this summer, still on tour on the other side of the USA, but I got to talk with them over Skype. They were all glad to get to finally drop the secrecy and just say stuff like it is, instead of tip-toeing around the truth. I mean, everyone else at the Hacienda knows what's going on, so it's got to be irritating and unhandy having to keep secrets from just one stupid kid.

I'd been here at the Hacienda about a month before Dalarbart arrived. He was a young Nokhon, smaller than the other males, but still a bit bigger than me. He'd heard about the Nokhon Nation Project from a squatch guy who'd been here for a while, but had a hard time learning English, so gave up for the moment and went back to the woods. He was telling other squatches about the NNP and made it sound exciting.

Dalarbart already knew who Adam was, he'd even heard him sing his songs in Nokhontli and been fascinated by his guitar, the infamous hollow log-- which was supposed to be evil skesk but he liked it anyway! He was living somewhere on the Olympic Peninsula but not enjoying his life with a strict Atli fanatic so he decided to try another lifestyle with us, which was pretty brave, I think.

I guess it isn't so hard for them to find us at the Monroe Hacienda, Adam's told them how to get here. By the time Bart got here I had learned just enough Nokhontli to greet someone and we both had fun teaching each other our languages. So it went pretty fast.

Bart and I went into downtown Seattle the other day. We caught a ride in with Elaine, who had some business at the University of Washington with professor Evanzine of the IPR. She dropped us off at the Pike Street Market, arranged to meet us at the UW Hub at 5:00 pm for a ride back home. She even gave us some money (a $20 bill) and the bus number we should take. Easy peasy, I think they say.

Bart/Dalarbart is one of the few Nokhons who is really acclimating to the modern world pretty fast. He likes it. He's also not so hung up about skesk or technology, which is forbidden by the Atli and keeps most Nokhons away from the NNP. He doesn't even mind riding in a car, which most Nokhons find pretty terrifying, but he likes that too.

I speak Nokhontli just un poquito better than Bart speaks English yet, so we switch languages back and forth when we need to communicate something important like: "what the fuck are you doing?" We both like to learn swear words, the nastier the better.

Anyway we hung around the Public Market for a while, saw the market guys throwing and catching salmons, which they do for the tourists... like us. But we were getting our share of tourists too, or at least Bart was. He was wearing clothes that covered up most of his hairy arms and even though they were close-trimmed and his head hair was shorter than mine, but everyone could see that he was a Bigfoot. Not that he was especially tall, still under 6 feet, but almost as wide and muscular as Adam, even though he's just a kid like me.

It was okay, nobody freaked out. Some people asked us questions and Bart even answered in his clumsy English, but he did pretty good, although I had to translate some stuff. We were given some pastries from a Danish bakery, which was nice but sugar isn't very good for Nokhons, so Bart got a little weird and silly—kind of like getting drunk, I guess. So I had to cut him off or he would have eaten pounds of those pastries. I liked them too, but had to get him out of there.

This was Bart's first trip to Seattle. or any big city, so he was really a country bumpkin, saying "oo" and "aahh" and "dj’iess" to everything. I'd been to Seattle a couple of times before-- spent some time around Green Lake with Art's Uncle Gary and Aunt Rhoda --but hey, I'm used to Mexico City DF (Distitro Federal), one of the biggest cities in the world (pop 23 million), so Seattle didn't impress me so much. Oh, it's all right, just not compared to DF.

We went up 1st Avenue to visit the tallest skyscraper in Seattle, the Columbia Center, 76 stories high. I wanted to show Bart the view from the top, where there's an observation room on the 73rd floor, a big room with a 360 view of the city. But we found out that it cost $35 per person to get in, which we didn't have extra, so we just took the free elevator to the 72rd floor and looked out a window. Pretty much the same view, just not all the way around.

I was expecting Bart to react to being so high up, but it was me who started to cringe when I got too close to the window and he wasn't fazed at all. He says he's used to climbing mountains and Nokhons never use skesk like ropes, of course.

Me-- I've always been used to being rich, I would never have thought that $70 was an amount of money that could keep me from doing whatever I wanted, but now that my father has wiped out all my bank card accounts as punishment for disobeying him and joining his enemies, I have no money. Except from Art and Elaine's generosity now and then. And of course Bart had never had any money in his Bigfoot life, ever. So we were just a couple of hobo kids.

Finally we hopped on a bus to the U District to meet Elaine at the University, but we got the wrong bus and ended up at a place called Alkai Point, a long way from where we were supposed to be. Lucky my smart phone still works (so that my family can keep in touch with me), so I could call Elaine and arrange to meet in downtown Seattle instead.

Bart is really fascinated by my smart phone, which is not so weird, so are the other Nokhons. The same goes for native Mexican Indians the first time they see one, but even those indigenos can learn to use the text messaging while Nokhons can't ever, not even Adam. There's a word for not being able to read or write, but I don't know it. (NOTE--dyslexia)

I think my contact with los indigenos in Mexico has made it easier for me to relate to Nokhons-- including Bart. I've always been a bit offended by the way Spanish Mexicans automatically feel superior to the native Indians. Some of our nannies were Zapoteca Indians and often spoke to us kids in their own language, so we learned it. One can tell if someone is stupid or smart by what they say and most of those Mestizo cartel goons were dumb as bricks, while most Indians seemed pretty wise to me.

One of the things I like about Bart is that he's smart. He gets things, new concepts aren't a challenge for him, like they are for many... no, sorry but let's say MOST Nokhons. And then you get a once-in-a-while genius Nokon like Adam Leroy Forest. But Adam was deliberately bred to be an Orator and Bart wasn't. Still, he learned new English words pretty fast and could remember them. Even his accent gets better every day. Like I said: smart.

I think one of the things that made Bart and me be friends is that we are both foreigners. I may have been educated in those international schools, but I still get confused by the craziness of Americans who still don't understand that the rest of the world isn't necessarily stupid. They do lots of dumb stuff themselves. But I can't claim that Mexicans are any better. They're both pretty ga-gak about religion.

Anyway, it was late by the time we got together, so Elaine took us to her favorite Seattle Downtown Mexican restaurant, La Cocina Oaxaceña just off the I-5 Freeway. I got all excited, thinking it would be authentic comida del pueblo like the terrific Mercado Central in Oaxaca: Caldo de Res, Pollo con Mole, Chiles Rellenos, but no, it was a refined version of American Tex-Mex.

We ate Quesadillas Fritas, which were really great, although I've sure never seen that version anywhere in Mexico. It was the gringo version of Mexican food: lots of cheese and sour cream and guacamole, which you almost never get in Mexico. Tasted pretty good, but it wasn't the more simple rustic everyday comida I'd been looking forward to. Bart and Elaine liked it a lot. Actually, so did I, but I couldn't help feeling guilty for all the money I was costing Elaine. Oh, I know she and Art are not poor, not with Adam financing the Hacienda with his rock star money, but I can't help wishing I could contribute a share. Maybe later, I hope.

Of course, none of that even occurs to Bart, who still doesn't quite understand what money is for. The lucky guy. He doesn't have a father who's earned the wealth I've become addicted to by dealing drugs and death.

Chapter Five

the Adam out of Eden series