I once read of a tribe of South-West American Indians that are famous for their tapestries. However, each and every tapestry is made with one loose thread. The significance of the thread is that no work of art is ever really finished.
A couple of people have asked me what happened to the character Beto from my novel ´Lobo.´ Beto is the right hand man to the villian Emilio Diaz – he is a reluctant criminal who falls in with a cousin and helps run his drug empire. His girlfriend is nagging him to get out of the gangs and get a real job – to go straight.
At the end of the story, I left Beto´s future to the reader´s imagination. Maybe I should have given a nice, neat ending to that character´s sub-plot but I felt that it was a more powerful story if we are left to imagine Beto´s future. His boss fails in his dasterdly schemes (as all villians must) and Beto comes out with (we assume) the $100,000 pesos that he has bet against his boss.
That´s it. Does Beto and his girlfriend go on to open the restaurant they have dreamed of or does he take the easy way out and continue in crime. Maybe he takes over his cousin´s empire and becomes the new crime boss of La Independencia, the barrio where much of the story is set.
Again, no work of art is ever really finished so …. I did revisit a few of the characters from Lobo in my short story ´A dog with nine lives´ from my collection Mexican Mutts, Tequila Pups and Chili Dogs. Maybe Beto will pop up in another story somewhere down the line.
I prefer to think that he did go straight and open that restaurant. Maybe he represents the hope that no matter how deep the hole is that we dig for ourselves, there just might be a way out of it.
David Gordon Burke
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