The Day I Broke Up with the Statue of Liberty

Yeah, I know; this is a crooked photo that I apparently scanned with one eye closed. But you get my point, no?

Lady Liberty is definitely an emotional touchstone for me. I’m a New Yorker.  Some of my family came through Ellis Island. My husband and I met in NYC.

And of course, the Statue of Liberty peeked through my grandfather Ben’s downtown Manhattan living room window.

I’m also a typical product of the US public school system. My elementary school books most definitely didn’t have any Howard Zinn

For me, the Statue of Liberty represented everything that was right and good about the world. In my limited and ignorant view, the “world” meant the United States of America.

When my husband Picasso was deported in 2001, it was under the order to stay out of the US for 2o years. The full spread of it means 2021.

My husband got the 20-year ban because he was previously deported, in 1993. At that time, he was ordered out of the US for five years. He waited out the time, and then entered the US again without papers.

So he got what’s called a reinstatement of a deportation, i.e., the 20-year ban.

We were legally married at the time of his deportation on April 26, 2001.

I came to Mexico in August of 2001. Right before 9-11. My city falling apart on the Mexican news. But that’s for another day.

I visited New York in 2002. My city was walking, but on crutches.

I went to visit my grandfather Ben on Water Street. We sat by his living room window. He went into the kitchen to make us some herbal tea.

The Statue of Liberty peeked through my grandfather’s living room window. It had been a long time; she wanted to catch up.

I lowered the blinds. Lady Liberty slipped away to cry behind a cloud.

I see her at parties sometimes; we do a good job of avoiding each other’s eyes.


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