The American Dream Denied

Samual Egana

People were digging up drums over here. You were digging up all types of debris. Any- and everything was dumped here, so it wasnt just a landfill. It was a toxic landfill, and there is a difference. People will say, You knew it was a landfill, but I didnt know it was a damn toxic landfill. I didnt know they were putting chemicals from every which place known that could cause various illnesses.

The thing that really peeves me is that the average person who says, Well you know the land is toxic, but youre still there. Why are you there? I would love to be someplace else, and its easy to say it. Well, which is more important, your health or your living? This is part of my living, so here I am. Where am I gonna move? Where can I afford to move? Where the hell am I going to go? I own this. It is so easily said if youre not in this situation, Move! And that sticks in my mind—that the average person would say, Move! It is not as simple as all of that, just to, say, pick up and move. For me personally, I would have been moved if I had known it would cost my wife her life. And it may still cost me my life.

.... Hopefully in another month Ill be 75 years old, three quarters of a century. Im ready to get the hell out of here. Maybe it will extend my life a little bit longer, so I just pray that it comes in the near future. I dont want to be like Moses. He didnt get into the promised land. I want to be here when the promised land come about.

I feel in my heart and in my mind that it caused someone close to me not to be here. Thats I guess thats why Im extremely bitter. I dont just want to get out. Im bitter about not getting out, because I do feel that it cost my wife her life.,,,Im still here, you know, and I have children. I have grandchildren. Who the hell wants to leave something to their children or grandchildren that you think may cost their lives if they live there.... Why would I want my daughter, my sons, or my grandchildren live on top of a toxic landfill, where I dont really want to live. But what am I going to do with this, just walk away from it after two hundred something thousand dollars, plus the work that Ive done in it? Its not that easy.

This page has paths: