I took the Mex Express to La Guardia. Truth in naming, it was Mex and Express. The minivan was comfortable. I noted the crack across the bottom windshield, and the whistle on the highway confirming the computer’s report that the lift gate was ajar.
The driver said he had lived in Fresno for a few years, picking grapes. He has done all sorts of work over the years: fields, restaurants, construction. He likes anything that pays American money, and has been driving for the car service for five years. His family has lived in Brooklyn on Avenue C for many years, paying less then $900 for a large two bedroom apartment. He likes his neighborhood but now too many white people are moving in.
He has two sons, American born. They understand Spanish, but they speak in English. He says they’re good kids, and their teachers love them, but he worries that in Junior Highschool they may be exposed to bad influences. He says he warns them every day to be careful to make good friends and to avoid drugs. There is a third child on the way.
Some years back he drank too much but that has changed. He loves to work. You see people, they speak good English, standing on the streets, asking for a dollar, fifty cents, five cents? “That is no way to make money.” He showed his sons that on a hot day you get some bottled water and sell it at red lights. It is always better to work.