Peter Pan was deeply upset that he’d grown too old to go trick-or-treating on Halloween. He would never again find joy like that — the past was gone, irrecoverable, only fading memories. After journaling his feelings for a few hours, he was comforted by a realization: Halloween now meant he could get totally wasted and dress up like an idiot!
“I’m actually from Florida. I’m visiting a friend from high school, and she’s at work today, so I’ve been walking around all day. In Florida I do construction, and I work with a lot of immigrants, guys from Mexico and Guatemala and other countries. As I was walking today I was thinking about the conversations I’ve been having with them the last few weeks. One of them told me about what he had to do when he was 17 years old to get from Guatemala to the US. And I know how hard he works now. He’s in his 40s and he’s got 3 kids and a wife, and has taken his citizenship test. And he works sooo hard, doing this shitty manual labor, and he never complains.
Today I was looking around, and I saw these two kids sitting on the ground, with a hat out, asking for money. They were playing a guitar, and I just thought, There are people literally killing themselves to get into this country, and they do nothing but work hard, and work hard, and work hard, and everyone is trying to get rid of them saying that they’re the problem. And then you have people who were born here who just don’t care.”
“Did you always have this view of immigrants and immigration?”
“I never really had an opinion until I started to work with them, and I learned a little bit of Spanish, and they learned more English. I’ve been talking with them the last few years, and it just changed the way I look at everything. Of course, it doesn’t mean that every single one of them is good, just as not everyone who was born here is either good or bad, but things are not black and white as some people are trying to present them. The majority of immigrants I know don’t break the law, work hard, look after their families and try to do the right thing. And today, seeing those kids with their stupid curly moustaches asking for money, I just thought, Get a job! It’s not that hard. If people can stay up for 5 days and hide and sneak their way across the river just to get here, you can find a job. So that’s what I’ve been thinking about all day.”
“Do you think that the whole problem is worse in the Northeast?”
“No. I work in Naples, Florida, which is really, really wealthy and really, really privileged. Two blocks over from a $4 million house on the beach you have 12 people living in a little 1-bedroom house. And the rich people still want to get rid of them, probably without even thinking that they are the ones cutting their grass, doing their laundry and working at the restaurants. They think that if they get rid of them, because they’re illegal, everything will be better. It’s just one of those things where some people don’t like them because they’re different, and they don’t know why they don’t like them, so they have to find a reason not to like them.”