We didn't always live by the fence. When Hector first arrived, he lived in a different neighborhood, close to the border, but not like we are now. Then he lived up on a hill, where we could look into San Diego, but it was in the distance and easily ignored. When I joined Hector here, we lived far enough into Tijuana where I didn't think about the fence at all. Now we live practically pushed up against it. When I open my front door, the fence is right there, staring me in the face. It's presence is a constant reminder of the "here" and the "there".
When Hector was first arrived in Tijuana, I was angry. I was scared. I did a lot of blaming and finger pointing, most of it directed at the United States. How dare they separate my family? How dare they take my children's father from them? What kind of government would intentionally wreck the lives of its own citizens? Every time I visited Tijuana, the fence was a hideous reminder of the life I had lost. I hated the fence, with it's hideous flood lighting illuminating midnight and seen for miles off. I hated the barbed wire, feeling like it pierced my own heart.
After moving to Tijuana, the fence became less of an issue. I began to accept that this was the life that I was going to live. The government just did what it does- millions of times in the last 8 years. The fence became less of a problem as the line to cross consumed my hatred. My job and circumstance began to fill the place that the fence had occupied. I did not look at the fence regularly, and it became a case of "out of sight, out of mind". My feelings toward my situation changed. I no longer blamed the U.S. for my situation. I blamed - and still blame- ourselves for what had happened. I can look back and see all the mistakes that Hector and I made over and over that led up to that fateful day.
But now, there it is. It looms on the bluff just above our apartment, the flood lights pouring in through the screen door. Sometimes the border patrol perches their Jeep up between the fences, and I wonder if they're watching me turning on the gas or leaving for work. They could with a good pair of binoculars. Their cameras are pointed right down the street and I wonder what they could possibly be monitoring that's so interesting. The fence gets a lot of thought, but none at all. It is just part of the scenery, but it makes you think and remember. It is almost like a public memorial. It makes me recall my journey to this exact moment, to this exact place. It makes me think about the evolution of my relationship with the it. But most of all it simply reminds me that my family is all together on one side of it. It doesn't necessarily matter which side it's on.