Sergio Cilla is introducing Tales of the Chesapeake, a collection of short stories that will certainly lead to reflection. Today, Dreamland, living in complete denial.
Ramon saw the lights of the police car in the mirror, and immediately understood his worst fears were being realized. He knew the routine. He pulled over, and placed both hands on the wheel.
Since Ramon had left his homeland in Honduras and his family behind, his mind and his body had been fighting off obstacles of all sorts. He would call them “problemitas”, as minimizing the fact that he desperately wanted to live the so-called American dream, even though life was undoubtedly disagreeing with him.
He was on the brink of losing a new job once again; thus mutilating all the possibilities to gather some money to send to his wife and children back home. He had been in the United States for one year and a half, and he had not even been able to collect enough to make ends meet.
He would live in shelters and share rooms; once he slept in an old car for three weeks, and even stayed in jail for a couple of nights. He had not managed to get any papers, not even a driver’s license.
And news from home was just as upsetting as discouraging. His younger son had died of cancer a couple of months before, and his wife was not being able to feed the rest of the troop every day. They would just talk for a couple of minutes on the phone every other week. She would cry unceasingly, and Ramon would spend this precious time reassuring her that a brighter future would lie before them.
“Compadre, can’t you see life is not going well here for you, and your family needs you back home?”, his only paisano on the Eastern Shore of Maryland had once remarked.
But not only Ramon was denying his total failure in the dreamland he had created, but he was also somehow escaping from a life he had never wanted to initiate.
The police officer asked for Ramon’s license, registration and insurance, and he had none. And he was taken to jail again.
He knew this was the end and he would end up being expelled out of the country, and back home. Nevertheless, he would comfort himself thinking of a plan on how to go across the border next time.