Chapter 1: GhettoNerd at the End of the World 1974-1987

Space Ghost

"Oscar went home morose to his pre-Korean-sweatshop-era cartoons - to the Herculoids and Space Ghost" (Diaz 14).

Lord of the Rings

One of those nerds who was always hiding out in the library, who adored Tolkien and later the Margaret Weis and Tracy Hickman novels (his favorite character was of course Raistlin) and who, as the eighties marched on, developed a growing obsession with the End of the World...You get the picture. His adolescent nerdliness vaporizing any iota of a chance he had for young love" (Diaz 23).


Oscar listened to their messages on the machine and resisted the urge to run over to their places. Didn't see them but once, twice a week. Focused on his writing. Those were some ***** lonely weeks when all he had were his games, his books, and his words. So now I have a hermit for a son, his mother complained bitterly. At night unable, unable to sleep, he watched a lot of bad TV, became obsessed with two movies in particular: Zardoz (which he'd seen with his uncle before they put him away for the second time) and Virus (the Japanese end-of-the-world movie with the hot chick from Romeo and Juliet). Virus especially he could not watch to teh end without crying, the Japanese hero arriving at the South Pole base, having walked from Washington, D.C., down the whole spine of the Andes, for the woman of his dreams" (Diaz 33).

Robotech Macross

It was hard to explain. It wasn't just that he thought Ana was his last ... chance for happiness - this was clearly on his mind - it was also that he'd never ever in all his miserable eighteen years of life experienced anything like he'd felt when he was around that girl. I've waited forever to be in love, he wrote his sister. How many times I thought this is never going to happen to me. (when in his second favorite anime of all time, Robotech Macross, Rich Hunter finally hooked up with Lisa, he broke down in front of the TV and cried. Don't tell me they shot the president, his tio called from the back room...)" (Diaz 47).

Chapter 2: Wildwood 1982-1985

Siouxsie and the Banshees

"A punk chick. That's what I became. A Siouxsie and the Banshees-loving punk check. The puertorican kids on the flock couldn't stop laughing when they saw my hair, they called me Blacula, and the morenos, they didn't know what to say: they just called me devil-bitch" (Diaz 54).


"My plan was that we would go to Dublin. I had met a bunch of Irish guys on the Boardwalk and they had sold me on their country. I would become a backup singer for U2, and both Bono and the drummer would fall in love with me..." (Diaz 68).

"So much has changed these last months, in my head, my heart. Rosio has me dressing up like a "real Dominican girl." She's the one who fixed my hair and who helps me iwth my makeup, and sometimes when I see myself in mirrors I don't even know who I am anymore. Not that I'm unhappy or anything. Even if I found a hot-air balloon that would whisk me straight to U2's house, I'm not sure I would take it" (Diaz 72).