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Javi’s Story. Loss and death.

Mama, hermana, perdoneme pero ya no puedo mas. Mother, sister, pardon me, I cannot go no more.

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Illustration by A Journey through NYC religions

Illustration by A Journey through NYC religions



Thursday, November 29, 2012

I do not know what part of the mountain we are in. I eat two more pieces of my sandwich, because I am very hungry and I need the energy. I don’t have much water. At least, we are almost to the highway. In the evening we walk some more. I am optimistic.

When we stop to rest for a while, I drink the last water in my bottle.

It seems like it is going to rain. I do not have a jacket, just a plastic bag on my body. I remark that if the rain comes down, I am going to die because of the cold. A young man of the group gives me one of his jackets. It is warm and fits me very well. We start to walk again and, thank God, the rain doesn’t fall down.


Friday, November 30, 2012

Yesterday was supposed to be our last day of walking, but, weird, we have not gotten to the red light.

The trees here are big and spread out, and their shade feels very good. I eat the last two pieces of my sandwiches , and I do not have any more water. Yesterday, we started to walk and I was so tired that I could not feel my legs. Too much walking, and I have not eaten much. The thick soles of my shoes have many thorns in them. El Mosco is all over us, but we are able to hide again in the grass and caves.

We see the red light in the distance, but we never get to it. I hope today we do. God, I only ask that you protect my mom and sister.

Javi with thorns

Javi in Texas. Photo illustration: Tony Carnes/A Journey through NYC religions


Saturday, December 1, 2012

At 5:00 AM we stop our walking to find a secure place in the middle of tall grass and bushy trees to hide during the day.  We can hear the sound of the cars running on the highway. I cannot believe that we were almost there!

After waking up this morning, I see the bones of many animals around us. I also notice a young man sitting next to a tree. He is not someone in our group, so I approach him to ask if he is okay.

Hola, ¿como esta?” “Hello, how are you?”  I ask. He doesn’t seem to hear me so I repeat it three times. I duck down to lift him up and leap back. A snake and worms are eating his stomach, and he looks like he has been dead for two days.

The sun is burning, and I do not have any more food. I only have some green water that I took from a small pool. Right now, the dry wood that is all around me looks edible.

“Todo esto lo hago por amor a usted mama y hermana, y por la promesa que hice a mi padre.” “I do it all for love of you mom and sister, and the promise I made to my father.”

Everybody is tired, but we start to walk again tonight.  Finally, I cannot walk any more. I can’t feel my legs, and my feet are bleeding because of the thorns.

Thorns in border region of Texas. Photo: Tony Carnes/A Journey through NYC religions

Thorns in border region of Texas. Photo: Tony Carnes/A Journey through NYC religions

I just want to stay in the middle of the mountain and die there. El Mosco again is following us so we jump into a ravine with grass as tall as my body and big rocks.

After the police leave, we get out of the ravine. Everybody starts complaining that we have walked a lot and haven’t got to the highway. Nobody has food or water.

In the distance we see a pool and run toward it. I run to the pool, fast! I wash my face and my head and drink water—but I drink too much water. I am so happy. I feel like I am in Heaven with this water.

Later, as I look at the water in my bottle, I cannot believe the kind of water that I drank. I realize that it was a cow pool. The water is green and has small worms and tadpoles. Yet, I keep this water. If I throw it away, I will surely die. Instead, I cover the mouth of the bottle with my shirt to strain the small animals from my throat.

I think back to what the coyote told us. He said that we only are going to walk for four or five hours a day, for three days. By now we’ve walked a lot more than that. I dream about eating food that is good and sustainable.

More thorns, Texas. Photo: Tony Carnes/A Journey through NYC religions

More thorns in border region of Texas. Photo: Tony Carnes/A Journey through NYC religions


Sunday, December 2, 2012

I am a thorn man.

I do not know if I am still alive or dead. I have not eaten for two days. The water in my bottle is too salty, and it makes me thirstier. I see visions. I see a river flowing in the distance, I see trees with fruit, but I cannot go over there because the police will see me.

I do not know how I have the energy to walk today. I am just ambling with no sense. I feel like a zombie, eating a dry stick and some leaves that I’m not sure are eatable. We repeat the same thing: walking, running, hiding inside of the tall grass, walking.

I am separated from my group. I find a refuge of dry leaves and lay down under them.

My dreams and my love for my family brought me here. But here everything seems to be over. My seventeen years are disappearing in this mountain. No one will find me. I hear the Coyote’s bird sound, and I do not care. I am staying here …

I feel the sun burning my skin. I roll over and vomit green water and blood. Now, my stomach is really empty. I cannot anymore. I give up. Mama, hermana, perdoneme pero ya no puedo mas. Mother, sister, pardon me, I cannot go no more.

I thank you God for the opportunity to meet new soils. Now, please come here and take me with you.

Here lies Francisco Reyes…




With assistance of Pauline Dolle.

Read previous installment of Javi’s Story. Meets El Mosco, “The Bug”

Next: what happened after Javi drops down for dead?

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