Te Encontraré – PART II

(To read PART I, go HERE.)

Te Encontraré – PART II
~Sin papeles, pero con amor~

Sitting in my little blue Chevrolet on that mild August night, Carlos decided to trust me with a secret. At the end of that first day together, having spent every last dollar of his paycheck on me, he seemed reluctant to get out of the car and say goodnight.

“Tengo que decirte algo,” he said suddenly.
I looked at him, waited for him to say more.
He clasped and unclasped his hands. He looked at his lap, looked back at me.
“Estoy sin papeles.”

Without papers? What papers? What in the world did that mean?

It may seem impossible that I should be so naive, that I didn’t know, but that goes to show how very different our lives were. Earlier that year I read T.C. Boyle’s Tortilla Curtain – felt compassion for the immigrant in the story, and then promptly forgot all about it upon returning it to the library. Carlos did not have the luxury of reading such a story and then forgetting about it – he was living it.

I needed more of an explanation to fully understand what it meant to be “illegal”, (today’s preferred term, “undocumented”, wasn’t used as much back then.)

How was it that a stamp inside a little paper booklet to cross an invisible man-made line could matter that much? He explained in more detail what his situation meant for him and how he had come to be “without papers”, then he said,

“Do you still want to see me?”

His eyes, the color of wet earth, searched mine, as if seeking the answer before I spoke it.

“Yes…it’s okay,” I said. Knowing this about him didn’t change my feelings – If anything, I liked him a little more for his honesty and for trusting me.

“It’s okay?” he said in disbelief.

“Yes, it’s okay,” I smiled.

“Okay,” he smiled back, sighing, an obvious weight lifted.

We kissed goodnight and he climbed the stairs to his brother’s apartment. I sat in the darkness, watched the moths flutter in and out of the beam of my headlights, free to go wherever they wished.

___

“Borders are scratched across the hearts of men, by strangers with a calm, judicial pen, and when the borders bleed we watch with dread the lines of ink along the map turn red.” – Marya Mannes

___

Go Read: PART III

21 thoughts on “Te Encontraré – PART II

  1. Pingback: Te Encontraré – PART I « Latina-ish

  2. If our lives were any more similar, I think I would imagine you as a crazy stalker, twisting the little details of my life just to throw me off your scent. Can’t wait to hear the rest.

  3. Pingback: Te Encontraré – PART III « Latina-ish

  4. Pingback: Te Encontraré – PART IV « Latina-ish

  5. Pingback: Te Encontraré – PART V « Latina-ish

  6. Oh! You have grabbed my heart and squeezed it.

    I also read T.C. Boyle’s “The Tortilla Curtain,” (actually, I heard him speak and shook his hand a couple of years ago.)

    I loved that book; it was fabulous. I have had fairly frequent contact with “undocumented people” and can vouch that there is so much that they deal with in their lives.

    I love your moth metaphor for freedom.

    God bless you, Tracy. I love what you’re doing.

    • @ RitaElizabeth – Wow! You got to meet T.C. Boyle – what an honor! I really admire his writing.

      Thanks for all your kind words. It means a lot to me.

  7. I’m very inspired by your blog. So cute! maybe cute is not the word for amazing writing!!!!! I’m guanaca (salvadoreña) too and quite surprised to have found your blog by accident! besos!

    • Yay! Una guanaca! Gracias y bienvenida :) I really appreciate your comment. Which department are you and/or your family from?

      Thanks again for reading. Besos!

      • Hello Tracy,
        Well I’m originally from Morazán, Oriente how we call it there, but grew up in the city San Sal! My husband is Canadian and we live in Canada for now. I love your blog, and just checked your husband’s as well and I love the stories, they are very well written. You say you are a writter right? Is your husband too? his writting is impeccable I would say.
        The suegra topic is my favorite, everybody has issues with them!
        Saluditos y keep up the good stories pleaseeeeeee! parece novela!

      • Hi :) Thanks so much for your compliment. As for my husband’s blog, I do most of the writing for him. He talks to me about what he wants to write about and I help him put it together which is why you may see similarities in the writing style. LOL. We explain this on the About Me page of his blog I believe (that I’m helping him with his posts.)

        Saludos!

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