Sometimes We're Always Real Same-Same
Unbridled Books, LLC
Publication date: January 2009
Digital Book format: ePub (Adobe DRM)
You save: $2.00 (20%)
Cesar leaves his gangbanging life behind in Los Angeles to help his mother reconnect with her estranged family in rural Alaska, where she hopes they both can get a fresh start. When Cesar arrives, he meets his college dropout cousin, Go-Boy, who believes he s part of a good world conspiracy and who bets Cesar he will stay in Alaska for a year. Here is Cesar ex-gangbanger from Los Angeles, seventeen years old, younger brother of a convict getting off a small bush plane, walking the gravel tarmac, meeting his rural Alaskan family for the first time. Here is Cesar, meeting his cousin Go-boy big hair, Eskimo Jesus tattoo on his forearm, a belief in heaven-on-earth. Here are the two, touring the tiny village in a busted up station wagon, stopping on the bridge at the edge of town, making a bet, I bet you stay in Alaska for a year, both staring through the windshield and down a road that just ends, both waiting for something. Here is where the story begins. Sometimes We re Always Real Same-Same is the account of two unlikely cousins and their parallel journeys through guilt and loneliness. A refreshing, coming-of-age story set in a location like no other, Cesar and Go-boy struggle with their matriarchal family and the quirky challenges of life in Unalakleet, Alaska. Inevitably, setting becomes its own character, pushing and pulling against the other characters. With his absent father and an older brother in prison for a gang murder, Cesar is badly in need of a male role model, even in this matriarchal society. In spite of being haunted by his passive involvement with an LA street gang and his older brother s involvement in a gang murder, Cesar believes his real life is waiting for him in California. He sees his time in rural Alaska as a temporary pit stop to help his mother reconnect with her estranged family. That is, until he meets Kiana, Go-boy s stepsister. Cesar muses that Kiana is the type of girl who can change everything, and after one drunken night of passion between the two, everything for Cesar does begin to change. He becomes split by his obsession for Kiana and his budding dependency on Go-boy. As Go s mental stability deteriorates, Cesar is forced to choose between fleeing Unalakleet, or staying with the family and community to help his cousin. Go believes the meaning of life is creating a heaven on earth, and he tries to rope Cesar into his cause. When Go-boy falls into a dark depression, Cesar struggles to understand Go s mental illness and the chain of events that led Go-boy to attempt suicide. It is then the two cousins realize that their strength has been in their similarity to each other, and to the community. Or as Go-boy puts, sometimes we re always real same-same. What Cesar finally discovers is how starved we are for the experience of tight-knit community, for being part of and known by a community, for better or worse, a very exhilarating and fulfilling and scary phenomenon that certainly penetrates into the DNA of Sometimes We re Always Real Same-Same.