Book Details

Decide to Act

The tomato smashing, the snowballs, the relentless harassment all came pouring out like water gushing from a broken dam. My friends managed to pull me off him and when he looked up at me, the blood poured out of his nose and mouth. He jumped on the hood of a parked car and looked like he was about to try coming at me again. I pushed my friends off me, but he must have thought twice. He didn't jump. His friends helped him off the car and they walked away. I knew it was not over. - An American Dream

An American Dream is the true story of a young boy's battle with his environment and himself and life's lessons learned. It is a retrospective tale of growing up different in a society where different is often shunned and ridiculed.

An American Dream is also a wake-up call.


Book Excerpt

Being in touch with my mortality has given me a new appreciation for life. I am grateful.

I appreciate every morning when my eyes struggle to open as I shake away the cobwebs of a dream-like state. I am grateful for the beauty of a clear blue sky on a sunny day. I appreciate the chocolate darkness of a moon-lit evening. I appreciate the ocean blue with its overpowering vastness and abundance of life—life that gives life, a world within a world.

I often ride to work bathed in the early morning sunlight and refuse to put on my sunglasses. I just drive and admire the sun’s rays bouncing off whatever they hit. I look out across the horizon and am awed by an overpowering sensation of momentary peace.

I am grateful for the love and support of my family, whose love inspires me to press on through life’s many challenging tests. That in choosing between pain and pleasure, I strive for sagacity with an eye toward the consequences for my opposite, my likeness, and me. All lessons learned late in life; a search for balance that endures in perpetuity.

My father had a small statue of a clay Mexican sun hanging on the wall of his living room. He told me it was his favorite thing because it represented life and freedom. I asked my mom if I could have it. It now hangs in my bedroom and I acknowledge it every day; it represents life, freedom and my father.

We can’t emotionally prepare for the death of a loved one, but we can certainly live our lives so that the emotional impact of losing a loved one is somewhat tranquilized by the absence of regret.

There are no tomorrows.


About the Author

José Astorga

José Astorga is an ex-Marine, a father and a working man who continues to be a student of the human condition, wielding the written craft to enrich the mind and the spirit much like an artist wields a brush with expression, imagination or view of the world. An American Dream is the second in what will hopefully be a series of pursuits that will benefit the earnest reader.

Also by José Astorga

A Bull in a Glass House