Jorge Mendoza was the last man to receive a call. As he picked up the phone, he was still debating whether to go to work or not. If he went, what would the other men think? If he stayed home and lost his job, no one in the valley would hire him. And if he got deported, he would lose everything.
They began to line up long before dawn. First in line was a man from Africa.
His name on the small yellowed sheet he had folded in half, then folded again and placed in the right front pocket of his pressed blue shirt was Mohammad Abbasi. The driver’s license in the brown fake leather wallet he’d bought from a man on the street had his name as Martin Fisk. So did the green card he’d paid fifty dollars for, too many years ago to remember.
There’s a temperature – not too warm, not too cold, just right – where I am caught for hours. Thousands of tiny water drops form like islands in an ocean upon the inner wall of the shower stall. Streams run down, connecting the islands and growing bigger to eventually drop to the puddle at my feet. As the water hits my forehead, eyelids and cheeks a comfort settles, knowing no matter how long I stand here, the water won’t stop. Sooner or later all of the thousand islands will be connected and new ones will form. The streams reaching my feet will not stop streaming and the flow will keep wrinkling my hands. I lean left and the shower hits my shoulder creating a waterfall.