Chapter 12

After takeoff, a flight attendant cuts my handcuffs with a little clipper thing. They must get a lot of deportation-ers on these flights. Those Immigration officers seemed to think it was funny to send me as far away from the border as possible. So many questions flood my brain: what am I going to do? Why are they taking me to Guadalajara? How am I going to get home? Why is this happening to me?

A Pee Wee Herman movie starts on the screen in front of me. I can’t handle this right now. I feel the growing sadness in the center of my chest that signals depression, like lead flowing through my veins. I feel heavy, dark and tired, not to mention a little nauseous.

After about an hour of silent rage and frustration about my whole situation and how it is still playing out, arguing in my mind about who is at fault, tying to remember the guards names who shoved me around like a criminal, who I’m going to sue, and what CNN is going to say about all this once I get back, when I tire of all this screaming in my head, I come to the realization there is really nothing to do but sit back and go for a ride. I see a AAA Travel Guide to Mexico in the pocket in the seat in front of me. I pull it out, and flip through the pages. Wow, this is going too be a six or seven hour flight in cramped seats and crummy old movies. Maybe I can sleep my way to Guadalajara.

I begin to fantasize about jumping from the plane. I take back what I said to Willie about work and my version of hell. Right now, my whole life is hell.

 

The magazine pages, glossy and full of ads seem to be all for hotels and car rentals in Mexico, with happy white faces smiling at me, telling me what a great time I’ll have when I get there. Even the ads are insincere; fake smiles on fake families with fake promises.

 

 

Dad looks so different now. He is balding, which is rare for a Mexican, and the ring of hair in a circle around his head looks like a scruffy horseshoe. His mouth is dry and cracked and blistered from too much sun, his nose is swollen with thick purple veins from too much alcohol, a huge belly brags of his lack of physical effort and it sticks out from under a plain white sweat-stained tank-top t-shirt. His tattered blue jeans strain at the waist and stop right above his ankles, his sagging black socks show through his tan sandals, and his toes stick out through holes his toenails dug while tunneling to freedom. I’d recognize him anywhere.

His family comes up behind him like a sad garden, every flower a wilting tragedy. Torn and wrinkly dresses of various faded colors, and pants with holes in the knees. All the boys are fat around the middle and skinny everywhere else, just like their father. All the women, girls I should say, are barefoot and pregnant, from Mom right down to the teens and tweens. The whole tribe has gaps in their smiles and what’s left of their are yellow or brown. They obviously prefer tequila over mouthwash and the kids run around skinny and dirty with muddy mustaches made from dirt and snot. They smell like a garbage dump, and flies circle their heads looking for treats.

The family stares at me, trying to get me to come close so they can marvel at their American relative. Their sad, shameful faces painted with guilt, pleading for forgiveness, wishing they could be like me, thinking that maybe if they would have been kinder to me and my mother, things may have turned out better. Regret is their master and they swim in a sewer of shame and dishonor—evidence for all to see. They’re even shunned by other Mexicans and live like hobos, begging from town to town.

Someone asks me, “how can you be related to them?”

“I’m not really,” I tell them.

 

 

“This is your captain speaking.“

Huh? How long have I been asleep?

“We are on final approach at the Miguel Hidalgo y Castilla International Airport in Guadalajara.  The weather is sunny and a balmy eighty-five degrees. Please observe the fasten seat-belts sign. . .“

Oh, crap, I’m still on my way to Mexico. My wrists still have the indentations where the handcuffs were. This is really happening.

 

“. . . Please remain seated until the plane has made a full and complete stop.”

The moment the plane has all it’s wheels on the ground and the plane is level, many people jump up out of their seats, grab their things and rush to the front of the plane. It’s like a race or something. I guess, here in Mexico, there’s a lot of grey area in the definition of a full and complete stop.  I think I’ll wait and let them fight it out to get off the plane the quickest. A couple of extra minutes aren’t going to hurt me any.

As people pass by me, they stare at the guy who had the handcuffs on. This is so humiliating. At least now I know what real scumbags have to go through when they get deported. I always thought transporting them back home was a gift. I can’t wait to tell Shane. . . wait, I can’t tell Shane and Willie I got deported.

It looks like I might get the chance to face my father and reveal to everyone the scum-sucking pig he really is. This could be interesting. . .

 

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Mike J Quinn About Mike J Quinn
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