By Taylor Blasko
Have you ever wanted a way into talking about something that’s important to you without talking about the thing directly? Maybe you want to talk politics, but you really don’t want to talk politics. Maybe it’s just the whole concept of the personal is political…that’s basically where I’m headed. Disclaimer, this is my way of discussing something without directly having to discuss it, this is just a work of fiction.
“Mom I’m begging you, close the market.”
“Son, it’s not that easy, it’s the only source of income —” I cut her off, “Mom, if you keep going…I just don’t want your back to get worse, it’s not worth it. I’ll send money until Dad finds another job.”
“Baby, we can’t take your money, you have to support yourself”
“It’s decided, Mom, close it, I’ll wire over the money as soon as I get my next paycheck.” I had a way with being so far away to close conversations like this with my mom, I never had that ability before when we lived in the same country, but now she listened —she listened more than ever.
I remembered I would be getting paid today for the miles I had driven for the last month, it was the last Friday of November. Winter was coming. That meant driving in the snow soon. Driving in the ice soon. Driving with my life on the line soon. If you thought driving with four wheels on the ground in an ice storm was scary, man, you’ve never seen 18 wheels hit ice at the same time. That was what terrified me. Black ice. Black ice in the dark in the dead of winter waiting for my truck to slide just the right —or wrong, really, way —on top of it. My whole trailer would flip over. I would be done in a millisecond. But it’s not even about me. My family would be done in that same millisecond. They wouldn’t have any more money. They would lose the car. The house. They would lose everything back home. They would go hungry. They would die on the streets if it wasn’t for this money I was going to send them. And we all knew that. That’s why as much as my mom pleaded, she knew she needed me to send her money. And the market was making them go bankrupt. And her back was giving out, she would need another surgery if she kept working the family market. We both knew that too.
That’s why I came to America. And that’s why I stayed, illegal as they like to call me. What’s so illegal about existing? I have a job. I pay taxes. I rent an apartment. I do okay for myself. I’m not looking for free handouts. I don’t get or want special treatment because I’m not American. I just want to be here to make enough money so I can live a different life then my parents are living. But also, I want to make sure my family doesn’t go hungry. They never asked me to come here, but I came for them anyway. Because I love them. And I knew since I was the oldest son I had to go. I had to apply for a VISA on the off-chance I would get accepted into America. And I did.
Six months later I had to make the decision to stay or to go back home. I decided to stay. For my family. For my future. Is that so criminal? I mean sure, I could have went home and applied for another VISA, but the odds of getting accepted two times in a row are slim to none. I made the choices I’ve made and I’m not ashamed of them. They’re my choices. I’m just trying to live the best life I can live. But somehow in this country that has become a crime. My existence has become the biggest crime known to Americans. I thought American Dream was for everyone, but I’m starting to see that maybe I was wrong. I’m not here to be political about anything, I’m just here to live.