Leviatán

Pechakucha Night

I was very little, I think I was ten, and my mom worked in El Paso, she went back and forth about four days a week. Eight years earlier, mom had looked for her ex-husband, or I don’t know how to call him, since he showed up from time to time just to make her a baby per visit. Anyhow, she was looking for him, because her local passport had been taken away from her at the bridge check point. She needed help to get it reinstated; she deserved it, for she had given him 4 children. However, he had an angry response.

Ramón Quintana Woodstock

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Pechakucha Night

 

 

 

 

Ramón Quintana Woodstock

 

 

  

I was very little, I think I was ten, and my mom worked in El Paso, she went back and forth about four days a week. Eight years earlier, mom had looked for her ex-husband, or I don’t know how to call him, since he showed up from time to time just to make her a baby per visit. Anyhow, she was looking for him, because her local passport had been taken away from her at the bridge check point. She needed help to get it reinstated; she deserved it, for she had given him 4 children. However, he had an angry response.

 

The messenger was my sister, the oldest. She wasn’t more than 14, just a child, and she was the recipient of a slew of insults, for her to relay to my mother. He told her she was a whore. The one writing this was the apple of discord, he was mad because he thought that Soledad had gotten pregnant by another man. He already had another partner and children that were around the same ages of my siblings, but he was still disturbed with a fit of jealousy.

 

Without knowing how to read or write, without a house, and with five kids to raise, she toughened up and started out on the journey of her life. She drew strength from who knows where, her heart started to work; and I’m not talking about the organ, but that courage that is implicit in the woman’s soul, in the claws of the wounded animal that fights for what it has left. With that spirit and a sad smile, she alternated her job as a mother and as a “wet back.” The Rio Bravo (Rio Grande for the people over yonder) became her friend, and she traveled on its waters for many years, and it was her declared accomplice who sponsored her fare to get to the houses where she worked until the day of her death.

 

The stories of her adventures flowed for many years, and I wanted to know El Paso, because dozens of pictures went through my mind; things that I imagined and that maybe weren’t real, but they were there and accompanied me in such fantasies. One good day I got a hold of a set of binoculars, and I would lie on the top of a hill, on the dirt, and with them I would surveil every inch of the Sun City. I would daydream about going to El Paso with mom.

 

Many times she told me how “la migra” would catch her, and they would throw her out as far as Porvenir. The Border Patrol antidote was to hurt them, by taking Chole and the ones who, like her, dared to cross the Rio Bravo, as far away as possible, as a form of punishment; so they wouldn’t come back. Certain days per year there were long faces at home, because her plan had aborted and she came back home, from afar, very tired and with the torment of having to make up for that day. In spite of all this, at home there was no deprivation, everybody went to school, and food wasn’t lacking.

 

As years went by, she stopped being an illegal, now the hunch of the freeway was her zone of traffic. I grew up at her side, and one night I came back and I told her that finally I had completed my undergraduate school, which made her very proud. Then, it happened what always happens in this abhorred world, where everything has an actuality: she died. I still hurt but I have assimilated it and lived with it. I’m functional, in such a way that I have learned how to make good friends, one of them being Heriberto, photographer, who ushered me into the city I used to dream of as a child. Now, in 2018, I am facing La Plaza de los Lagartos, where my mother waited for the bus hundreds of times; where she sat down to eat the burritos she brought for lunch.

 

I’m sitting on a modest chair, completely alone; no one has arrived for tonight’s invitation. There’s a clean carpet and a gorgeous weather. Out the large windows I see the plaza, my mother’s old plaza. Outside, on the establishment’s veranda there’s a banner that reads: Pechakucha Night 20x20. In half an hour I will exhibit my own photographs; I’m the only one from Juarez and the only one that is the son of an illegal alien. I’ve felt like crying, but this is not the time.

 

With very limited English, the exhibit was a success. My mom could not see this… But, wherever she is: Thank you for being who you were, and for teaching me how to be who I am.

 

 

 

Ramón Quintana Woodstock
refrigerador97@hotmail.com

FB: Ramón Quintana W.

 

 

 

Ramón Quintana Woodstock
refrigerador97@hotmail.com


Ramón Quintana Woodstockes Licenciado en Derecho, Licenciado en Ciencias de la Comunicación y Licenciado en Psicología, con maestría en Investigacion. Es oriundo de Cd. Juárez en la zona poniente-periferica. Es comunicador en el IMER, fotgrafo de ocasión y columnista por necesidad. FB: Ramón Quintana Woodstock. El-mail: refrigerador97@hotmail.com

 

 


Martes, 10 de Julio de 2018

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