Uncle Larry is an island in himself as a man with crutches approaches him. The man coughs three times to get his attention, Uncle Larry quickly looks around and notices him: a gray-headed man with bushy eyebrows and a bright smile on his tanned face, his sunglasses are on his head and a rucksack slung over one shoulder, a cigarette is held between his index and middle finger, and one leg is in a cast- his left leg from knee to foot- Uncle Larry is not the last any longer, he smiles at the man.
A grin spreads across the man's face, " Can you give me a light?" Uncle Larry shakes his head, "No, I don't smoke- Smoking damages my health." His grin rapidly vanishes from his face, " You're right. I'm not a heavy smoker, I smoke about twenty cigarettes per day." Uncle Larry's eyes widen in surprise, " Really?! Man, you should quit it." The man nods, " Yeah, I'm trying to cut out smoking, but it's not very easy- I've been smoking for twenty years, " he lets out a deep sigh, " My father used to smoke a lot- about three packs a day- Smoking calmed his nerves, he was so upset, " the man stares into space, " he much missed my mother, as is he had had no one in the world but her, " his eyes fill with tears. After a pause he smiles at Uncle Larry, " I'm Texas. By the way, what is your name?"
Uncle Larry can't help laughing, " Texas! what a funny name! I'm Larry, you speak English very fluently, Texas."
Texas grins, " Thank you. In fact, my name is Julio, but my friends call me Texas. Well, we used to live in Texas." He sticks the cigarette between his lips, then looks into his shirt pocket, but he can't find any lighters.
At the moment, the sound of the crutches can be heard. The deep worry lines appears on Uncle Larry's forehead as he sees the same young man coming toward them. Texas laughs, " He's my cousin, Fernando." Uncle Larry nods, " Yes, I saw him recently by the telephone, he was speaking with Isabella on the phone." Fernando whispers in Larry's ear, " If the telephone rings, don't answer it. " Uncle Larry nods his head, " Okay."
Texas asks, " ¿Tienes un encendedor? (= have you got a lighter?)" Fernando hands him a matchbox. Texas thanks, " Muchas gracias." and Fernando walks away. Texas strikes a match and lights up his cigarette. He is watching the man going away, shaking his head sadly, " Poor Fernando- He was out of work, so Isabella left him. Now she lives in America."
The silence surrounds the two of them for a while. Then Texas says, " My mother lives in America, too. When she was a child, her family moved to the States to live with her older uncle who lived in Austin, Texas. She worked hard there until she became a beautiful young lady. At that time, she returned to Mexico. There, she fell in love with my father at first sight. They got married two hours after they met. So, I was born in Mexico. Later, we had to cross the border, because our house was too small to live in.
I grew up in San Antonio. We were a very happy family until the second Monday of December-- I was only 12- My father and I had to go downtown, " Texas begins laughing, " Poor daddy- he was the worst driver that I've seen until now, he was driving so carelessly that I was terribly scared, when he raced through the stop light, the cops appeared, next they checked our documents and sent back us to Mexico. My mother stayed in the U.S. to work hard. My father couldn't help thinking her- He tried to cross the border several times, he didn't succeed however. So he was sitting alone, smoking cigarette all the time until he passed away. Now my mother lives in California, she became a U.S. citizen recently."