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Another Pilgrimage

The shards of glass glittered in the blood-soaked wound. There on the left wrist, near a prominent vein, and he hardly bothered to wince. He spoke nonstop about another run across the border to be with his ailing mother, close to the century mark. He made that trip from the streets of Los Angeles to the streets of Tijuana many times. His mind was always clear for travel. Perhaps he was determined and no one bothered to analyze the quirkiness and bizarre behavior of this man. He was not hurting anyone and he was not hurting himself. At least not until now, that wrist in bad shape, infected, and cut.

The man spoke about how he was not crazy. He made certain to repeat it often to make himself be heard. He complained of pain in his back. He spoke of a boot in his back when he was a migrant farm worker: an old boss hurting him for speaking up for himself. He said this happened more than twenty years ago, before the first gray hair on his head came to be. He asked if a lawyer could be found to take up his case. He was sure the old boss was still alive. He wanted to remedy his hurt, which has found him in a state of pain and unemployment. Disability funds were okay, but he thought he deserved more.

The man spoke of time served up north in a mental health facility. He spoke about a crazy doctor that performed anal probes on him. He said he was violated and that something was shoved into his body that still bothers him. He said there are chips in there that must be removed. After more than twenty years, these chips must have deteriorated, he said. He blames this for his pain and increasingly forgetful memory. He said he does not know why he is here and does not remember cutting his wrist with glass. He states it must have all been an accident.

He said he is prepared to make that pilgrimage across the border. He feels his mother needs him. He feels her in his heart and his soul. He could hear her voice if he concentrates long enough. He asks to be released immediately. He does not know how much longer his mother will live. He looks at his wrist and said it doesn't hurt. He feels better. He said he has never thought of hurting himself. He rubs at the scab and said it feels okay. I have money coming to me, he said. With this money he could help his ailing mother and fix her right up from what is ailing her.

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