Salinas Escobar faced the stranger's door, the door of a new neighbor just one of many who he would have to stand in front of on this day. Salinas Escobar 's feet were moist and cold even though the day was warm and dry and sunny. His heart throbbed and his neck and temples ached. His insides struggled with the need to defecate, even though Salinas had been too nervous to desire to eat anything for breakfast or for dinner the night before.
Salinas Escobar faced the stranger's door and recited his litany inside his head, unable to find the courage to overcome his fear of knocking on the door. Salinas did not really need to recite what he would say when the door opened because he had spoken it many times that morning and many, many times in the past months in a number of different neighborhoods. Always he recited his litany with the fear which paralyzed him just as he was at this current moment but not without a shade of hope that, for once, his words would be answered with sympathy from the stranger, or at the very least, without hostility.
Salinas Escobar stood in front of the stranger's door, and felt something shift within his heart. As if his arm was apart from his body, he knocked upon the door. Moments passed, marked by the throbbing of his heart within his eardrums. The door opened and a woman stood before him. Salinas stared at the woman's feet, silent until, guarded and quizzically, her voice broke Salinas's stupor with, "May I help you?"
"Hello. My name is Salinas Escobar, I am 26 and I am currently residing at The Wildwood Motel at 1245 Martin Luther King Drive, apartment 4. I am required by the courts to inform you that I am a registered sex offender. I was 19 when I was sentenced as an adult for molesting my 11 year old cousin when I was 17. Until my release last year, I was raped in prison nearly every day. I was bought and sold like an animal. From my rapes, I got the HIV. My family never came to see me and now that I am out of prison they will have nothing to do with me. Every day in prison and every day since, I wish that I could die. I would kill myself but I am afraid of burning for eternity in hell. The only thing that I have to live for is the hope that someday my cousin, who I molested, will forgive me and my family will forgive me and take me back. I have had to move four times since I have been released from prison because someone always makes a complaint and my parole officer has to find another place for me to go. I am so scared and so alone..."
As Salinas Escobar trailed off, his gaze lifted up from the woman's feet until his gaze met hers and he found her eyes to be filled with contempt and loathing. The stranger woman slammed the door closed and Salinas Escobar felt his heart sink once more. Slowly he made his way down the short walk and up the few dozen feet to the walk of the next house.