Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Why I'll Hide a Mexican in My Basement

For one thing, it's an unfinished basement. For another, I owe the Mexican people a debt of gratitude, or at least one Mexican people a debt of gratitude. As I pointed out in my previous post, on occasion I would use the boxcar as an alternative means of transportation between San Louis Obispo and Seattle. It was while sitting in a boxcar that I had my one and only contact with la migra which amounted to an accent and skin tone check. Guess they weren't looking for Lithuanian/Irish hippies from Philadelphia. The guy I was with was an Aussie on a cross country American adventure. Guess he didn't count as one of them either. At one point in the trip, somewhere around San Francisco, the slow freight stopped next to the BART line and about 5000 Mexicans got on. Men, women, children, all chattering away. So odd, like something you would see in a travelogue about the Calcutta Express, except that no one was actually sitting on the roof. We sat there as the airconditioned streamlined BART train whizzed past no more than 10' from us, carrying all of 4 paying customers. The freight chugged along for about 10 miles and everyone besides me and my buddy got off. In the middle of a bunch of fields. I don't know where they were going. Work, I suppose.

On my way back I rolled back into San Luis around 2 in the morning, hungry, tired with my poor long suffering dog Fred trailing along behind me. I walk by this restaurant and the dishwasher standing beside the back door smoking a cigarette. He motions for me to wait, walks back in the restaurant and brings me out a plate of food, a beer and a dish of water for my dog. We didn't have much to say, since I know no Spanish and he knew little or no English so I finished the meal, smoked a cigarette with him, thanked him and left. To this day I think it's the nicest thing anyone's ever done for me. That's why I'll hide a Mexican in my basement.

1 comment:

  1. Touching, but after seeing your basement, he might want to take his chances with immigration.