Who exactly is Lupe in Buried Onions?
I know he's one of Angel, and Jesus's old friends and that he's considered a gangster.... but I can't think of a good enough explanation. Thank you so much for helping me :-)
Lupe is one of the boys who grew up with Eddie in the barrio. As Eddie says, Coach knew
"all of us glue sniffers - Angel, Lupe, dead Jesus, and me - since we were on bikes with training wheels. He (knew) that some of us would mess up, some more than others."
Lupe is not as hard core as Angel, but he is clearly headed nowhere, and most probably for a violent end. Eddie describes him as someone who is always bringing trouble, or asking favors, forever on the lookout for enemies. Lupe has been "stuck" before, and shows Eddie the scar on his stomach. He nonchalantly says,
"It doesn't hurt...it's like ice...they just stitch you and you're on your way...just like Jack in the Box...you're in and out."
In addition to being a violent gang member, Lupe is a drug user;
"the insides of his arms (are) blue with spidery tattoos, the sign of someone who is covering up the needle bites."
Lupe is headed for a tragic end, but his brother Samuel is even worse. Samuel is the leader of a junior bunch of gangsters who are already using knives on people they don't like, even Eddie. Lupe tries to keep Samuel in line, slapping him, yanking his hair, and yelling that the boy "should never, ever...pull a knife on a friend," but although Lupe is "scary when he (gets) worked up," his words fall upon deaf ears. Although Lupe shows more decency than his little brother, Eddie knows he will not last in the violent environment of the barrio. Eddie just knows that one day
"some vato would hurt Lupe bad or he would slow down from scars and broken bones;"
the future shows no promise for guys like Lupe.