Written by Victoria Patterson
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The Little Brother, 2015
Gabe should have been named after our father, and Gabe always thought it one of many injustices that I got the name. We grew up in Rancho Cucamonga, a city nestled in the foothills of the San Bernardino Mountains, about an hour northeast of Los Angeles. Nothing much has happened in Cucamonga, and no one of note has come from here. It’s white-populated with a sprinkling of minorities, and with families whose main recreation is consumption, mostly at the massive shopping center, Victoria Gardens, a metropolis of stores and restaurants. In some ways, Cucamonga is synonymous with wandering through the consumer wasteland: a blur of palm trees and parking lots, escalators and promenades, mezzanines and restaurants, Muzak and lights.
When you drive along the 210 freeway, you can see the beige tract houses blended together in one giant swath, camouflaged like a sand field, all the way to the base of the mountains.
© 2015 Victoria Patterson; Berkeley: Counterpoint