Tuesday, May 4, 2010

My Fathers Journey - Part 1

He lay motionless, barely breathing, feeling the coolness of the mud penetrating the front of his shirt. He lay like that for hours, trying to control his heart pace, slow rhythmic breathing. He thought about how he had been hiding by the legs of the front side passenger, and how the driver, upon reaching the check point, had panicked and said “vale madre, ya sabenay que correr”. He remembered how with in seconds the car was emptied, bodies running away from the check point, the yells of the now surprised patrol officers.

He had stayed behind, hidden, the glove compartment pressing against his head; when the officers passed by he got out and ran in the opposite direction. He ran with out looking back, with out knowing where he was running to, he ran as if his life depended on it.

It did.

He went into the bush, struggled with low hanging branches and rocks, almost tripping over his own feet, over his fear. Heart pounding, his heart condition suddenly not an issue. As he ran he had noticed a small break in the tree line; something told him “there” and he lunged towards it, his body flew downwards as the ground gave out into a muddy rain aqueduct. His muscles gave out and he covered himself with branches, leaves what ever he could find.

Now he was stoic; trying to immerse him-self with the brush and mud. He could hear the officers looking for him. Yelling “we are going to find you.” Mixed Spanish “vas a ver cabron” and other insults. Fear was gripping him slowly, entering his body much like the mud which now soaked his clothes. He wondered what had happened to the others that had run. What had happened to the two young guys in the trunk of the car.

His mind was racing, thoughts of his family; the last time he had seen them, the car they were in drove off. The pain he had felt in his heart as his son looked out the back window and waved. Now the sun began to slowly set, the sounds of the officers began to grow fainter. They had gone.

In an imitation of military fashion, he began to drag his body along the aqueduct, slowly, stopping when ever he heard noise, pressing his body to the ground and holding every breath. Minutes or hours later, he was not sure; he came across a highway blocking his path, the only way to cross it was either go above and take a chance with the speeding cars or to go through a pipe that went underneath the highway. Exhausted he closed his eyes and slept.

When he awoke it was dark, the sounds of the speeding cars surrounded him, as did the faint lights of their head lights racing past. He crawled close to the pipe opening, no way to tell how far down it goes -he thought. Paying no mind to the terrible claustrophobia that had always haunted him; he braced himself and crawled into the pipe. Inside the putrid smell of garbage, mold and rat shit invaded his nostrils. It was dark and he could not see the end.

His body barely fitting, he was glad for his small 5’4” frame as he dragged his way across. Insects ran down his body, the smell impregnated his clothes and the pipe seemed to go on forever. Pain no longer harbored his body, he was too tired to feel anything; it was as if he was only moving out of sheer inertia, just motions with out thoughts. He was too tired. As he came out of the pipe he let his body drop; he saw only the dark wilderness ahead of him. Me voy a perder. Not sure where he was or where to go he decided the best option would be to stay close to the highway. It had to hit a town eventually.

He willed his exhausted body up and began to walk.


  1. Hmm you didnt really read this did you, he didnt leave his family, he was going to be reunited WITH his family. Criminal? no vende drogas. no roba. El hombre a trabajado por 20+ anos matandose. Se considera ser avaro tener que sufrir 20 anos para que tus hijos no tengan hambre? yo me imagino que de donde tu te sientas muy comodamente frente tu computadora, las cosas se ven de el muy simple blanco y negro. Lee sobre NAFTA, El effecto del capitalismo global, y las injusticias economicas que occurren al rededor del mundo

    Educate porfavor

    EL sin verguenza eres tu

  2. Cualquier idiota puede hacer comentarios sin enterder lo que acaban de leer. Gracias por insultar a una persona que nunca conoceras I ningun dia podras caminar en sus zapatos.Tus comentarion son mejor si se quedaran en tu mente no es necesario que escribar mas basura....Gracias por no comprender la realidad eres un idiota de primera clase.

  3. Querido Estupido: le doy Gracias a Dios que Somfolnalco JAMAS caminara en los zapatos de un perfecto idiota como tu. Por que no mejor ocupas tu tiempo en algo mas y nos dejas en paz? Si no puedes apreciar lo que lees mejor no leas. Es mas, por que no sigues juando con tu "google translator" a ver si esta vez te traduce al espanol correctamente.

    Somfolnalco, as always I love your writing and your work. Eres mi heroe (abrazos) <3

  4. Made me tear up. Can't wait for part deux.

  5. The loyal readers of this blog appreciate all the individuals who read these entries. Some read for entertainment, some read because they are intriqued, some read because they are interested in the politics that are frequently discussed. However, most people that read these entries are friends and family of Gabe. People that care, love and support Gabe deeply. When these anonymous comments are posted, it does not just effect Gabe, it effects all the loyal readers.

    You do not have to read this blog. You do not have to like this blog or agree with anything that is said. Truthfully, you can comment all you want. But your opinions will not sway the thousands that read, support and care for this blog's author. You should try and find another outlet to lend your opinions to. Possibly, an outlet that will support your strong disposition to these events and topics.

  6. Dear Anonymous negative posters, it amuses me that you have no idea what you're talking about... run along and get an education then maybe you can state some real facts instead of the stereotypes you keep regurgitating... thank you... love, me.

  7. Dear Anonymous #1, 6, 7:

    Please do educate yourselves.

    Your ignorance offends. There is not a "large element in Mexico that aspires to nothing greater than to sneak across the border to get "rich"." It is very clear you do not even understand the reasons why immigration occurs.

    Allow me to provide some explanation. Following the signing of NAFTA, millions of investment dollars flowed into Mexico. (Birdseye, Green Giant, Campbell’s Soup, Hunt, Arthur Daniels Midland, ConAgra, Cargill and Tyson all increased or began operations within Mexico). Each of these companies have prospered as a result of their investment in Mexico’s agricultural industry. But, the effect this investment has had on the average Mexican agricultural worker has been devastating. According to the World Bank, half of all Mexicans live in poverty while 1 in 5 Mexicans live in abject or extreme poverty.

    Displaced from farms and land by large U.S. agricultural businesses, along with the absence of social programs for Mexican citizens, the choice between starvation, among other things, and illegally entering the U.S. is obvious.

    And, it is not just NAFTA--as it has had its positive impact, as well. There are many other reasons why Mexicans and other Hispanics leave everything they have…precisely to take care of their families. This is not labeled "irresponsibility"; quite the opposite. If it was possible to live within their means and plan for their children's future in Mexico, than, rest assured, undocumented immigrants would do so.

    The Hispanic people are not known to "complain" for what we do not have. We go to where the opportunities are--we migrate. The vast majority of us do not come to the United States in hopes of leeching off the system. We come here to have a better life, and we are more than willing to work hard for it. Do not stereotype the whole Hispanic community based on the instances of a few undocumented immigrants who may take advantage of the U.S.

    The American "teat" does not belong to a particular race. The United States is a land of immigrants. Embrace that fact because we are not going anywhere!

  8. starvation? Please!

  9. Great post, as usual Gabe. Can't wait for part II as well.

    As far as some ill-informed, anonymous readers, and quoting from one of them, "Life is unfair. Do what is legal and just, and stop plotting on how to suck more of the American teat, 'cause it isn't yours."

    We are on the same side friends. That is, unless you belong to the exclusive wall street millionaires, elite who are indeed sucking us (documented and undocumented) dry.

    The only difference between us is, that us DREAMers and undocumented folk are doing something for ourselves. We are educating and preparing ourselves for a better future. We don't demand change, we are it.

    You, on the other hand, can't admit that you are not part of the elite groups. Thus, bullying others makes up for your lack of money, education and civility.

    Life is unfair indeed, friends.

    Keep up the great writing, Gabe!!!

  10. As much as I sympathize with the plight of the poor around the world, I cannot disagree with most of the other anonymous posters. Also, suggesting that anyone who disagrees with the bleeding hearts here is, well, disingenuous at the least. I feel I have a bit more insight that the average commentarist as I am an American who waited tables (sometimes illegally) and taught English to pay for three years at the Ibero. Of all the chicas that wanted to date me not one thought I was good enough to meet the family.

    William Hamilton
    Austin, TX

  11. Great job Gabe,

    I must say that your writing skills are amazing.

    And im kind of disgusted by anyone who has anything negative to say. Someone who listens or reads in this case, to a journey like this and only further castes out the person is not what I would consider a good-decent-or even acceptable human being. All I can say is leave them to their own judgement.

    Keep writing, I look forward to the next part.

  12. Como vales madre Gabriel. Por que dejas que la gente pueda comentar como "anonimo"? La verga, diles que se registren si no ni madres que pueden comentar. A ver si es cierto que muy chingones.

    Me dio risa cuando tu jefe corrio para el otro lado de donde corrian los de la migra. Parece como una pelicula de Carlos Mencia.

    La verdad no termine de leer todo el post, pero conociendote, de seguro se va a tratar de como sufrio tu papa para venir a los united states. O me equivoco?

  13. Thanks To all for the support. seeing these anti comment on my blog makes me think hmm i must be doing something right if the trolls are taking the time from their busy schedule to bother me :)

    It is great to know that there are so many others out there though that understand and are educated to the actual reality of things, not just binary options.

  14. This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

  15. My dear,
    Have been gone for a bit but now am back. Loved your post and can't wait for the continuación :) I also think it is time you go through who can comment or not on your blog. It is unfortunate to come and see that as you mention there ware people who don't have anything else to do but spew uneducated bolas de veneno they have accumulated inside themselves. Their hope it seems is to chatter the hopes and dreams of others. No los dejes y refundelos asta los rincones mas lejanos de este espacio :)

  16. Dear Anonymous,

    My real name is Gabriel, and unlike you I am not afraid to have my name seen. As for my narcissistic tendencies...erm Anon, can you please read the title of the blog? Documenting you? documenting Them? Documenting environmental legislation and the gulf oil spill?

    No. its simple. I apologize for your obvious lack of comprehension skills.

    As for the Nacho jab, that is a nice one. It reminds me of Nacho Libre. Great Movie. Thanks for the memories :).

    I wont bother with the rest of your incoherence, since there is no linearity to your rambling. I will tell you this brother (or sister. The career of "pinche/yardero" to which you say I am doomed? Well, anon, I think it will be you how will be pleasantly surprised, and hopefully in the future when you are using a wireless product to stream your Youtube videos on your new Iphone 45G, it wont cross your mind that it will be the company that I started which will produce the millimeter wave (google it) radios that will allow for that technology.

    Please maintain your anger, as it drives my desire to succeed and to look back one day at this with a smile on my face.


    Gabriel (or Nacho to those ignorant enough)

  17. mexiroccan :) gracias. I know that the support and kind words of people such as you trump the ignorance, hate and fear of the others. I am considering the changing of who can and cannot comment here. pero tambien no les quiero dar el gusto :)

  18. Hey Gabe.

    MMMMMmmmmm.... nachos... lol


  19. Anonymous... go suck on the American tit while you watch some Disney movies instead of wasting your time writing racist comments....You son of a gun.

  20. Felicidades Gabriel!!
    Congratulations Gabriel!!

    This part was great: "Dear Anonymous,
    My real name is Gabriel, and unlike you I am not afraid to have my name seen".

    Those people need to get a life
    and... all they need is love, love... love is all they need...

    Vamos a ganar! No porque esté escrito sino porque estamos trabajando para ello.

    (By the way, thanks to share your pics, video is almost done)

    Peace and solidarity Man

  21. Gabe, do not listen to haters. The government does not negotiate with animals and neither should you. The difference between Gabe and most people is that if the tables were turn around he would fight for what is right. So, keep trolling losers without a life, because while you hate in your computer, Gabe has real friends and love ones to watch his back for him.

  22. Beautiful writing.
    It really made me feel something deep inside.