Fermín’s Christmases / Rebeca Monzo

He always dreamed that his bones would one day, when the time came, fertilize the land that witnessed his birth. With the passing and the weight of years, he silently, sadly observed the march into exile of his friends and family. Little by little he was left all alone.

Now Fermín, his eighty years generously arrayed across his meager body, has left our planet, heading to Mexico with a small suitcase, and a heart full of expectations: finally he will be reunited with his entire family.

He made it Mexico City where a good friend was waiting for him, with precise instructions to deliver him to the U.S. border safe and sound. But Fermín, a little giddy about the trip, on arriving to Guanajuato, left the hotel, took a little stroll around the block, and exclaimed: “Coño, and I thought Miami was great!” His friend quickly extracted him from his mistake. Eleven hours of traveling was still ahead of him to get to the place indicated and, of course, once there he immediately invoked the Cuban Adjustment Act, to ask for asylum.

Full of the excitement natural to him, he boarded a bus for Orlando, but when he’d been traveling for a couple of hours he realized he’d forgotten his suitcase, with all his documents, at the border crossing. Without thinking twice, he took another bus back to Texas, recovered his suitcase, and started his journey once again. This time he would go direct to Miami.

Finally, after traveling 140 hours (from the time he left our planet), he managed to meet up with his anxious family. They interrogated him about the inexplicable delay, and Fermín — with a huge smile — replied,”Caramba, I was enjoying the scenery!”

After so many years and so many adventures, Fermín will spend this Christmas with his family.

December 12, 2010