Translated by Katrina Hassan
Begoña wraps herself in a blanket that she takes from her sofa and goes down the stairs of her building. She lives on the 3rd floor. She starts her car and comes back to her apartment. She puts 4 spoons of coffee in the coffee machine and two cups of water. She takes a shower in order to wake up properly while the coffee is ready. The clock says 3:15 a.m. It is Saturday, the beginning of spring. She is expected at her restaurant job at 4 a.m.
She puts her wet hair into a ponytail, hurriedly gets into her uniform, coffee in a cup, purse in hand and opens the door to her apartment quietly. She doesn’t want to wake the neighbours. She locks it quietly too and goes down the stairs. The cold dawn air makes the arthritis in her hands hurt. She gets in her car and drives off. On the way to work she fixes the smooshed up towel she has squeezed into the gap near her feet where the cold draft of air comes in near her feet.
She goes into the building where she works, downstairs, into the basement. There, along with many other undocumented workers, she will be chopping vegetables and packing food for 16 hours. She finishes at 8 p.m. She will miss the first sunny day of spring, and summer, and fall, just like she has missed the last 14 years ever since she arrived in the US.
Fourteen years that her three children await, back in her hometown of Santa Ana de Yusguare,
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Ilka Oliva-Corado @ilkaolivacorado