By Nathan Garcia
“You hang by a slender thread, with the flames of divine wrath flashing about it, and ready every moment to singe it, and burn it asunder; and you have no interest in any Mediator, and nothing to lay hold of to save yourself, nothing to keep off the flames of wrath, nothing of your own, nothing that you ever have done, nothing that you can do, to induce God to spare you one moment.”
- Sinners in the Hands of an Angry God, Jonathan Edwards, 1741
To claim I am doing this out of anger is to attribute excitement to the dull muteness resting in my jaw. There is nothing I can write or say that will capture what I want to tell you right now. It is the bluntness of a large stick swung with the force of a much stronger man. It is not anger; it’s just…
When you met me near the train tracks there was no vision. We knew it would be a long trip. We knew we would not be alone. We knew to watch for thieves. We skimmed the high grass with our leg hairs, grabbed rusted bars with our hands, and climbed on top of box cars speaking of girls and yuca.
Home was long behind us and soon there was no sun and you grew tired. I held you, mijo. I held you in my arms negrito! You rested and gained the strength you would later use to run. Your sweat stained my shirt, your hair tickled my nose with every bump and hill along the way. The wind turned the trees into crashing waves. But I did not let you fall. I held you mijo, I held you.
The next day I saw the ghost of my father. You and I spoke over tortillas when I could finally eat and you held me too. My tears stained your shirt and muddied our boots but you held me mijo, you held me.
Why did you tell them who I was? Did you always know you would run?
When they stopped us we told each other not to be afraid. I took what little money I had and gave you some so you could pass it off as your own. Remember mijo? So they would not bother you. Do you remember? In many ways I do not blame them. At least they wore their masks on their faces. Yours was much more subtle. They could not surprise me. But you, mijo. You.
Today there is a vision. I cannot describe it but I feel carried by currents through the clouds. Papa and I speak of those times and we see my body next to a crumbling well, with animals picking at my bones.
And I see you mijo.
And you will see me.
Nathan Garcia is a law graduate who occasionally wades into literary waters. Too often guided by whiskey and women, he often finds himself masking his humility with heartfelt interest, learning more about the world in hopes of learning more about himself.