Friday, September 19, 2003
A cube of ice the size of a pillow is what remained on the edge of the road, near the corner of the street. Three hours before it had been riding on a wooden cart, and its owner would scrape it with a metal object that collected bits of ice. These bits of ice would be placed on a cup, covered with a sweet liquid, and sold for a dollar. The ice belonged to an man who sold raspados.
Then the police showed up. Behind the police was a trash-collecting truck. It’s where the man’s tools-of-the-trade were thrown. He passed by Jefferson when the police was gone. His hat covered his head, but the hat did nothing to hide his shame. People stared.
You want to know where Jefferson is? Hop on a helicopter and have it hover over the San Fernando Valley. If you do it at about 7:20am, look for a woman and her 10 year old daughter standing at a corner, next to a supermarket cart. People surround them. They are selling tamales. If you do it in the afternoon, look for the same woman and her child, again, standing next to a cart. This time they are selling paletas (ice cream), but now they face competition; there are other five or six paleteros (ice cream vendors). One of them is the man who had his cart confiscated, and his ice thrown to the curb.
The man will not be seen on Monday. His competitors will be wise not to show up either. But step outside of Jefferson on Wednesday or Thursday, and have yourself a cold, tasty, refreshing paleta… sold to you by the same man who lost his cart today. 😀 Heh.
This reminds me of a song…
I swam across the Rio Grande, without making much of a fuss. The immigration threw me back out, and I landed in Nogales. I entered USA again, this time through another point. Again I was thrown out, this time to Juarez.
From there I headed to Tamaulipas, and I sneaked through Laredo. I disguised myself as a whiteboy, even dyed my hair. But since I didn’t speak English, back to Mexico I was sent. I went back in through Mexicali and San Luis Rio Colorado.
I’ve made it through all checking points, hidden of course. I’ve never backed down. I’ve come and gone as I’ve pleased. I know all the paths that lead to USA, roads and rivers alike. From Tijuana to Reynosa. From Matamoros to Juarez. From Piedras Negras to El Paso. And from Agua Prieta to Nogales.
The immigration caught me 300 times, I’d say. But I was never tamed. The immigration kissed my ass. The beatings I took from its agents were later avenged… when I dealt with their countrymen.
Los Mandados (Vicente Fernandez)
Cruce el Rio Grande nadando
De alli me fui a Tamaulipas
La migra a mi me agarro
Por Mexicali yo entre
La migra a mi me agarro
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