He worked the farms in central
The drinking had begun when he returned to
Jose’s reasoning wasn’t always clear, but he knew it was the Christmas season because of the Christmas lights that were strung on the houses nearby. He remembered the long ago Christmases of
He knew they wondered why he slept in his car. When he had a family in
He didn’t want the police to find him this way. It meant certain trouble for him. He rose unsteadily from the ground and turned toward the car only to fall to his knees again. He began to crawl, the pain in his chest overwhelming now. When he had finally gotten himself into the back seat he rolled onto his back and the rear window swayed above him. The pain could not be quieted and for the first time in his life Jose prayed to die. He was too tired. He wanted to see his family. He wanted to see his seven year old son. The windows were fogging and he thought again about the family across the street. He wondered if they would notice he was gone. He hoped they could use his chickens. He liked the neighbors. Jose closed his eyes tightly and prayed again.
The police talked to the neighbor across the street. The officer that seemed to be in charge asked the neighbor when he had seen Jose last. He asked him if he had noticed anything unusual the night before. He asked if Jose had any relatives that he knew about. He said it appeared Jose had died of natural causes.
The neighbor crossed the street to tell his wife LaToya what had happened. When she heard about the man with the chickens, the one she had waved at each morning and had helped on some occasions, she lowered her head to the table where she was wrapping Christmas presents and began to softly cry.
The medical examiner’s assistant removed the wallet from the small brown man’s hip pocket. She searched through the contents for a clue to the man’s identity, hoping to contact his relatives. Inside the wallet she discovered a photo of a young and smiling Mexican woman and 3 children. The oldest child in the photo, a boy, appeared to be around six years of age. A younger sister stared into the arms of the mother, smiling at a newborn baby sister. The mother smiled at the camera. In an inside sleeve of the wallet she found another curious piece of folded paper. It was a full page of white notebook paper with what appeared to be the words of ‘