And of course, I promised Teresa, mamacita, that I would visit. Often. And maybe I will. She's not getting any younger. I should have seen Hector much more than my life allowed me to.
Most often, you're too busy living to do the important things in life. So a guy like Hector who meant so much to me, well, he gets placed a little bit on the back burner. You have your career to worry about, of course, and the kids, and myriad things that sometimes keep you from doing the things you ought for the people you ought to.
Somehow in this topsy-turvy world, the guy who's rebuilding your kitchen--you know, the one you hardly cook in--takes on more importance than someone like Hector. That's life, I suppose.
But still, I feel like a heel.
In the end, however, it was time to go. Time to drive from Saltillo, back to Corpus Christi, and back to the arms of my loving wife.
The ride through Mexico was a lonely one. And that was good. For too many of us, we have forgotten the power of silence, of being alone, of just...thinking, and being where you are.
We fill up our emptiness with the TV or, while driving, a radio. Or we gab--endlessly it seems--on our cells, or text, or IM or Facebook, or do something.
What we don't do is feel.
Feel our victories.
Doubly feel our loses.
The six hours back to Corpus Christi let me do that.
The road--I left at 4:30AM this morning--was empty. I had a full tank of gas. And I had Hector's obituary from Saltillo's English language newspaper in my wallet. I knew my wife would want to see it.
It was a typical obit, if you ask me, an inveterate student of the form. It covered the "David Copperfield crap," but missed the essence of Hector. It said who he was without really telling you what he was like.
I can't blame the newspaper people. They're on deadline. They have to file a story. Quesadilla was old news by the time they got out of diapers. So they write what Detective-Sergeant Joe Friday always asked for: Just the facts.
Maybe that's what got me.
The last sentence, I mean.
Because he left this child. As I left him.