How long has Eddie been on his own in Buried Onions?
Eddie has been on his own for six months. He says,
"I had cartwheeled into manhood. Wow, now look at me. On my own for six months and rooming with cockroaches. And with the telephone dead, no one was calling."
Eddie's time on his own has been characterised by bitter hardship and despair. He had originally enrolled at City College in a program to prepare him to be an air conditioning repairman, but had dropped out after his cousin Jesus was stabbed to death at a club. Eddie lives in a tiny, stuffy apartment in which the heat is only somewhat alleviated by a balky swamp cooler. He struggles to get by, seeking odd jobs and painting street addresses on people's curbs.
Eddie's father is dead, and his mother lives in nearby Merced with her sister Gloria. Eddie's mother does not seem interested in her son, and seldom communicates with him. When he gets desperate, Eddie sometimes asks her for money, but the help he solicits from her, though promised, is not often forthcoming. Although Eddie truly wants to escape the gang life and make something of himself, it is difficult for him to get away from negative influences. Gangbangers continually hound him, and he has no family to support him. Even his tia, Jesus's mother, pressures him to exact revenge on her son's killer.