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Monday, January 25, 2016

A Lonely Man

Don't Act Smart

If you are waiting at the end of a long line, you have to be patient. However, Uncle Larry is not, he is fed up with this slow-moving line. So when he realizes that a migrant's family is a pizza shared between two countries, in his haste to call Sergey, he rushes to the head of the line.

There, a young man is speaking by phone. Such as many people standing in line, he has a broken leg, for this reason he is on crutches. The man is holding the receiver between his head and shoulder and talking to his wife at the other end in English. He looks very upset, his cheeks are wet with tears. Uncle Larry stands there, staring at his tearful eyes. For a few seconds he hesitates what to do, then hands a tissue to the young man and says sadly, "Amigo, Don't cry, everything will be OK, she's angry now .... why don't you call her later? I'm the last, let's change places, how's that?" The man looks at Uncle Larry, thinking he is kidding, then he begins talking on the phone again.

Uncle Larry doesn't give up easily, he repeats his request over and over again, but the man takes no notice and keeps talking by phone," Isabella, If you want me to, I'll come back." Uncle Larry frowns and taps the man on the shoulder, " Amigo, have a heart! My brother is decidedly worried about me. Please, let me call him right away, it will take just a few minutes." The young man covers the receiver with his hand, turns to Larry, looks him in the eye and shouts, " Senor, you have to wait in line like everyone else!"

Uncle Larry takes two steps backward, but he doesn't leave there. The man's face is dark with anger as he presses the receiver to his ear, " Isabella, Isabella, Isabella."

The man bursts into tears, the phone has gone dead, Isabella is not at the other end anymore, the receiver is hanging from the telephone, and the people are shouting at Uncle Larry.

As a man happily grabs the phone to call his wife, Uncle Larry returns furiously to the end of the line. What drives him mad more is that he found he has missed his turn. The pretty woman whom he was talking to is not there anymore, because many newcomers have joined the line. Uncle Larry looks completely disappointed. No smile is on his face, no light is in his eyes.

Alone in line, Uncle Larry stands staring at the people. Some of them are telling their immigration stories and the others are listening to them. Few Mexicans are weeping bitterly and their countrymen are trying to calm them down. Uncle Larry's eyes fill with tears, he feels sorry for all the illegal immigrants, he is wondering why they immigrate? what is the chief cause of their immigration? and another thousand questions are burning on his lips, but there is not anyone to answer them. He wish Google were here, maybe it could help. Uncle Larry sighs deeply, why no one talks to him? why no one notices his loneliness, as if he was invisible. Uncle Larry feels so homesick, he wish Sergey were here, he wish someone spoke English, he longs Pedro will be back before long.

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?"

Best Wishes


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