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Human beings are social creatures who must and will always respond o emotions. Depending on how circumstances make one feel, it will lead to good or bad. Love is the only one that makes one definitely go either way. Love can make one do wrong and also make one do right. Love has no boundaries and once genuinely felt, it cannot be resisted nor be changed despite the prevailing circumstances. Love can change someone when given or received. It either exists in one’s circumstances or does not exist. This is predictable because it connects the past, the present and can be predicted in the future. Love made Luis Cintron go through changes and eventually settled for good. Luis Cintron changed when he lost the mother and also changed when he met Naomi. Love will always lead one to the right situation, place, thoughts and actions.
Judith Ortiz introduces to us a young man named Luis Cintron who is evidently very naughty, disturbed and a serial trouble maker (Cofer, 41). He is just back from a Juvenile detention hall meant to discipline truant youth who finds no fun in doing genuine work or being committed to a good cause. We witness his unbelievable change from a lazy and rude young man to a dedicated and considerate young man. It all starts with the loss of his mother and ends with a beautiful young lady named Naomi who in some way connects him to memories of his mother’s demise from cancer.
Luiz is initially presented as suffering from juvenile delinquency which is seen through his troublesome activities when he joins high school. This has something to do with missing his mother and dealing with the pent up emotions. The mother used to remind him that she loved her and when there was totally no reason for that she would tell him, she did because he was her son. This reassurance seems to be what balanced his life and losing her brought about this change in character. His activities and dedication to coming up with strategic and mischievous plans just to prove a point to his peers is one activity which keeps his mind away from the reality of the loneliness he feels. He dislikes authority and has little regard to what his father says or plans especially when the talk is directed to the family business. This is clearly brought out when the father wishes the family business did not end with the word son because he clearly had neither intention nor interest of making the hubcap garage business succeed. The business name was, Jorge Cintron & Son, Auto Parts and Salvage.
Naomi a pretty young lady in search for a hubcap for her vehicle showed up at the junkyard. He was instantly drawn to her besides the fact that she was familiar. It dawned on him that she had been present during his mother’s funeral and further made him reminisce moments with his mother prior to her death. During the evening, he borrowed the father’s car and went on an aimless drive while in deep thoughts, memories of his mother (Cofer, 42). He became too emotional and found himself parked at the funeral home where her mother’s funeral had taken place. He broke down and wept for sometime before realizing he was being watched and as expected, parked in front of Naomi’s house. She was sketching a picture and as he moved to her he realized with amazement that it was not his crying moment that was captured but his image on top of the hubcap pile back at the junkyard. He was impressed. By his arm outstretched on top of the hubcap pile, my opinion is, she envisioned him as being in charge of what he did and was focused on his destiny. It is as if he was reaching for his destiny which was definitely bright. This communicated and connected to him almost in an instant that he only needed to put in effort in his ambitions and he would definitely be in control of his future. He suddenly asked Naomi to wait for him and left for the junkyard to get her hubcap. He worked tirelessly and even harmed his hands but did not give up as he organized the hubcaps in neat selected piles. He finally gets her hubcap, cleans and polishes it till he can see himself clearly in it through the moonlight. It is symbolic when he actually combs his hair through it. This can be interpreted that he straightened out his previous mental mess and replaced it with love and responsibility. He also was appreciating good work that he had done during the night and out of self motivation. This is something his father had tried so hard through the years to communicate with no success. His infatuation had made him convert within hours what had not been achieved in years. Everything he had been told suddenly made sense because he now had a reason, Naomi. He voluntarily participates in what he previously dislikes moments after meeting her. His commitment to pleasing Naomi provided a mirror to focus on his self and bring out what he really was, the Luis that existed when his mother was alive, proud and loving him. He unveiled the potential that was concealed by all his truant activities. He also remembered his mother and wept which he had not done before and wants to make everyone who matters to him impressed as well as him. He now gets why his father worked hard and insisted on the same because this brings about his self fulfillment. Through assisting others he discovers his worth, a good young lad who occasionally gets into trouble in his quest to seek an identity in his own confused and disturbed life.
Such is life; people always cover their feelings and true selves through different ways. We all want people to perceive us as tough and strong when we need to let go and have someone offer us comfort, guidance and hope. Many a times it takes us to meet someone we really care about to succumb to our true feelings and expose ourselves. Human beings affect each other in good or bad ways as the changes brought about on Luis through his friends initially and through Naomi. True love and genuine intentions will always make us do the right thing and shape our destiny.