The Last Vato

Hey man! I’m cool
What’s my onda? Where am I from?
What am I doing here in this barrio?
You ask a lot of questions
Don’t you know, Ese?
It’s cool. I’m just checking out the old Barrio
I left long ago before your time
I am one of the last Chicano’s of my time
Times were different than they are now
I don’t see much of my own here anymore
The Chicano must have died when I blinked
No! I don’t have familia here anymore
I don’t know anyone here now
They all moved away and had kids
Everything changes and there’s no stopping it
If I were to knock on any of these doors
I would see that the faces have all changed
The old Vato is dead and the Ruka went too
The old Pachuko left and got a job
I am a Veterano without any more roots
I was cut down like an old oak tree
This was my Barrio then, in another time
This was my stomping ground once upon a time
But since I left I can see it has all changed
I don’t see Vato’s and I don’t see Chuko’s here
I don’t see Cholos hanging around here either
Everyone I see now dresses exactly the same
The music has faded and now it is just a beat
It is now just the repetitious thump I hear
There is no more “ritmo” in between the thumps
And they all sound the same, except louder
I can’t tell one from the other without the lyrics
Now everything has to rhyme and offend the ears
It does not soothe like it used to back then
When we would all be moved by the “oldies”
When we all sang acapella on this same corner
I can still picture Anna and Maribel at the curb
Leaning up against the first lowriders in the world
I can see Eddie pull up with Chris riding shotgun
Richard is already parked and Arthur is getting ready
Hector and I are anxiously waiting for the rest of the girls
Anselmo is smiling as René turns the 4-track up
We were all in a newly started garage band nearby
It was an excuse to drink and we all knew it
We would get together at the drop of a hat
My old lady is no longer waiting for me to return
She was once so beautiful and so very young
The smile upon her lips still beckons me to her
She was a half-Chinese and half-Mexican ruka
She had enough inspiration for me to last a lifetime
Now she is gone and I don’t know where she is
And I know that she has already forgotten me
All my old familia is gone along with my memories
The music has faded and I can’t dance anymore
My dreams have all become muddied in the water
It is no longer clear as it had once been long ago
The scenery is still the same more or less I guess
I see the old buildings and they hint to that time
The graffiti and murals are beginning to fade
It gives me fragments of those old memories
I am here looking to recapture some of it
Before I crawl off to die somewhere far away
But at least with the taste of what once was
I am now but a faint relic extinct as the shadows
I can no longer hear the footsteps on the pavement
I can no longer hear the laughter of my “conjunto”
I have become deaf and blind in the absence
I am but a leftover unburied bone in the pile
My memories are no longer accurate in the lie
Yesterday can not be recaptured today or tomorrow
Dreams are the only reminders of another time
And even they have changed through the years
Just like everything else has changed around here
And I have no place to go for I can no longer fit
I am but a piece of a puzzle with rounded edges
I am the last of an era that cannot be compared
I am one of the last Vato’s to roam the old barrio
I hate to admit it but I have become an old relic
I am not able to fit in with the strange new crowd
I don’t recognize the landscape of this old barrio
I am out of place among you like a fish out of water
Or maybe it is just me that has changed in time
Trying to go back to a past that no one knows
And you and I do not even look alike anymore

For I am the Last of the Vato's from the Old Barrio!

El Pantera Azteca

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