Miguel, deported 

By Juan Carlos Lozano

“He was always in a hurry.”

As he approached fast through the cobbled stone street, I could see a cigarette in his left hand. I immediately thought the worst of him. That he was a reckless driver, that he would be blasting his music while speeding; in short: he was going to be awful.

Now, looking back, Miguel was a fast driver. But he was not a reckless one, and I never felt in danger when he was driving me. And yet, as I listened to his story, Miguel was always in a hurry: in a hurry to leave Mexico, in a hurry to gather enough money to go back north and start his life again. In a hurry to have a new beginning, at 56 years.

What was Miguel’s story? Just a few years prior, Miguel lived in Colorado. He was on the verge of retirement. He was satisfied that he had achieved everything he set out to achieve when he first arrived in Colorado. He had a house, a stable job, enough savings to move back to Mexico and live a modest but content life in Ajijic. Most importantly, however, he had the companionship of a woman who loved him. Or so he thought.

For 32 years, Miguel worked his way up in a series of restaurants in the Denver area. He spoke with a passion about cooking, I heard the nostalgia in his voice, and the look in his eyes while he was describing the heat of the kitchen, the camaraderie, the satisfaction he derived in cooking something great. It was in this kitchen that he met Anne, the woman he loved, when she was waitressing at that restaurant.

They immediately hit it off and were living together less than a year after they first met.

After ten years of being together, the managed to buy a house and put it under her name. They decided not to have kids. They kept on saving money, their common goal was that dream house in Ajijic. In 2010, only three short years before his planned retirement, Miguel was caught speeding. and three weeks later, he was deported  back to Mexico, a country he hadn’t step foot in for thirty-two years.

Although Miguel was born in Chihuahua, when he was deported he choose not to go back there. I could hear shame in his voice, he felt that if he ever came back there he would be defeated. So he choose Guadalajara instead, mainly because he knew someone. But I felt he also wanted to be close to Ajijic, he wanted to feel like he was closer to his dream, not farther away. He wanted to prove Anne that they were still able to fulfill the dream.

It only took a few months for Anne to forget about him. She stopped answering his calls, his emails. She took everything: the house, the money, the dream. His hopes, his will. He tried to keep himself together by holding on to what he knew he was good at: cooking. But he was never able to find a job that suited him, always underpaid, never recognizing his experience or his ability. After some years of working odd jobs, he finally saved enough money to put a down payment and started driving an Uber.

Since then, he’s moved on. He found a new love and he’s now a proud parent of Sofia, his 3 year old daughter, his life, his everything. But there’s still something burning inside him, the need to leave Mexico, the need to provide, the need to be able to show Sofia that he’s a successful man, the need to show her other worlds.

In his mind, Miguel knows he can only achieve that by going back up North. But this time, he’s thinking Canada. He knows someone in Regina that could sponsor him. His mind is set, his goal is clear.

He’s still in a hurry.

About the artists

Loraine Yow is a self-taught illustrator hiding in Portland, Oregon with her outlaw cat. Her home on the web can be found at www.lolo-ology.com



Paula Vrinceanu: “I am a Romanian visual artist working in this field for about 10 years now. Before this, I was a pianist: my life has always been an interesting and creative journey. I still play the piano when I have time, but now I’m focusing on visual art. I work in an advertising agency in Cluj, and at night- for few hours ( because, unfortunately, I need to sleep), I freelance and work on my own art business which I’ve started this year.