Thursday, October 23, 2008

City Secrets

New York is full of secrets. They are on the streets and in the trains and they do the hard work that keeps this city moving.

Miguel Aquino is one of New York’s secrets. He left the Bronx apartment he shares with seven others at 6:00 a.m. There was a quick stop for a newspaper before catching the 2 train. He found a seat in the back corner of the last car, pulled his Yankees cap low and started through the paper as the train worked its way under the Harlem River and down Manhattan’s westside.

Aquino gave his seat to a woman at 42nd Street because the train was full. He stood in the corner and kept his eyes on the paper.

Aquino wasn’t looking for the stock reports or even the score of last night’s World Series opener. He was trying to become invisible because that’s the key to his survival.

He hauls steel and concrete for a fancy new building in SoHo that will provide homes for millionaires. When it’s finished, Aquino will move on to the next hard job that needs to be done. His eyes will always stay buried in a newspaper because he doesn’t want any trouble in a city and a country that gives people like him nothing but trouble.

That is our dirtiest secret.


Donna said...

Thank you for writing this story, Todd. America should be a country that welcomes all.

JoeyBoy said...

A good story that needs to be told until more people start to listen.

Ron W. said...

It is terrible the way new immigrants are treated. Almost all of us got here because of immigration and I bet most were “illegal”. People can be really weird.

Larry Jaffe said...

Todd, your writing is magnificent... nuff said.