The River Of Dreams

Driving within close proximity to the U.S. Mexican border I have been repeatedly stopped by border patrol and I watch their SUV's roaming the desert. So I got curious about things and decided to see what the big deal is. I spent this afternoon at the Rio Grande, the river that divides the US and Mexican border and hung out with some Mexican guys who had "illegally" crossed the river. We spoke for a bit and then I helped them pick up rocks trying to catch some kind of bug with a lot of little legs that they were putting in a beer bottle and would later use to catch fish. "Jesse," the old man, said he made about $25 a day selling souvenirs to white people. He has been doing this for the past 40 years. With this money he is able to feed all of his family rice and beans. After a while I said goodbye, wished them luck and went on my way. Today I saw was a man trying to feed his family, nothing more, nothing less. Is the American Dream still within reach, or has it become the American Nightmare?

The River

I come from down in the valley
Where mister when you're young
They bring you up to do like your daddy done
Me and Mary we met in high school
When she was just seventeen
We'd drive out of this valley down to where the fields were green
We'd go down to the river
And into the river we'd dive
Oh down to the river we'd ride
Then I got Mary pregnant
And man that was all she wrote
And for my nineteenth birthday I got a union card and a wedding coat
We went down to the courthouse
And the judge put it all to rest
No wedding day smiles, no walk down the aisle
No flowers, no wedding dress
That night we went down to the river
And into the river we'd dive
Oh down to the river we did ride
I got a job working construction for the Johnstown Company
But lately there ain't been much work on account of the economy
Now all them things that seemed so important
Well mister they vanished right into the air
Now I just act like I don't remember
Mary acts like she don't care
But I remember us riding in my brother's car
Her body tan and wet down at the reservoir
At night on them banks I'd lie awake
And pull her close just to feel each breath she'd take
Now those memories come back to haunt me
They haunt me like a curse
Is a dream a lie if it don't come true
Or is it something worse,
That sends me down to the river
Though I know the river is dry
That sends me down to the river tonight
Down to the river
My baby and I
Oh down to the river we ride

-Bruce Springsteen