I opened my eyes to the sound of my man, Enrique, whispering into my ear, “I’m going to Home Depot to get grass.”
I still don’t have running water in my casita, so I’ve been staying with Enrique and his boss from time to time. Enrique stays with his boss during the week because he’s kind of in between houses and a steady job. He owned a bar in Rosarito, but was beaten, badly beaten, by a man and his security guards. The man, according to Enrique, is the husband of the women who gave him a business loan. After the beating, Enrique feared for his life and was forced to close his bar — to give up his dream, in more ways than one. So it goes in Mexico.
Anyway, it occurred to me this morning, as Enrique left at 7:30 a.m., that I am dating an illegal immigrant. He does anything and everything just to make a buck (yard work, electrical work and even laundry and taking care of the dogs), and it’s all under the table. I know there are millions of people in his situation, but it’s sad to see someone you know scrambling the way he has to.
Enrique has a son to support. Pay in Mexico, even for a decent job, is still way below normal living standards, so people have to get creative just to survive.
The hardest thing for Enrique, I think, is the pride thing. He’s got so many amazing qualities but they’re all trumped by the fact that he was born in the wrong country.