November 10, 2005
When I was in Marathon, Texas last week I talked to a guy named Sam at an auto body repair place. He was a tall quiet fellow wearing a jumpsuit with the name Juan stitched over the pocket. He was covered in oil and he tended to cover his brown teeth when he smiled. The furthest he had ever been from home was El Paso which was about 2 hours away. "Far enough for me," he said.
As Marathon only has a few hundred people he instantly recognized me as an outsider. "Where did you come in from?" he asked. When I replied "Brooklyn" he almost started. "I watch movies. I know Brooklyn. I dream of New York sometimes. It looks like paradise." He went on to ask many questions about my life and I about his. He said one day he would drive to New York in his truck, that he would drive over the Brooklyn Bridge to Central Park and eat a hot dog. I asked him what he would do after that. "Walk," he said. "Look at all those people." He was particularly curious about brownstones, the subways and girls ("There must be a million different types! I imagine it's something.")
Today while walking around town I tried to see the world through Sam's eyes... All the faces outside the taxi window. The umbrellas and the rain. Everything new and exciting. Something indeed. I hope he makes it here one day and somehow I think he will.