The American Dream much?

Perhaps it was mere proximity. More so, a proverbial nostalgia. That led my Shameless feet into the halls of my high school alma mater. "Teach me goodness, discipline and knowledge." was the name of the game. The motto of the mode.

The brilliance that is a college preparatory education combines with over 600 budding boys who discover the pathways to fruitful careers, somewhere between doodling obscenity and a perpetuated penal-phallic stage.

The crude joker of today, is the CEO of tomorrow.

I stood in the main hallway looking at our student body photo with my former classmate, Jay Chou. And like gossiping girls, we caught up on who was married, who had babies, who did what and who did nothing. While we reveled I noticed a familiar custodian. Leon who worked these halls, handling trash bags, and perhaps mopping urinal excrement, as young men occasionally miss the mark.

My experienced guess is that he hails from Mexico. The thick Latin accent being a near dead giveaway that he came to America for a better life.

The American Dream much?

Leon recognized me immediately, and his countenance exuded the most enthusiastic welcome I've ever received.

"It always good to see you guys! How are you?" he exclaimed while embracing me like a father to prodigal son.

"I'm quite Shameless! Thank you for asking! How have you been?"

"Wonderful! My son graduated!"

Son? Ah yes. I remembered. Before I went off to university his son had joined the ranks of "goodness, discipline and knowledge."

I watched as Leon's face filled with paternal pride as he showed where his son graduated. He beckoned me a few photos down, and showed me where his second son had also graduated. The warmth. The utter joy. The absolutely pure love. Filled that hallway.

The American Dream much?

"You must be a Proud Papa? Felicidades!"

"Muchas gracias amigo. Hasta luego!" as he hugged me once more.

Is this what immigration laws seek to restrict? A moment like this? I don't know. But what I do know, and not by experience this time, is that Leon had to endure something for this. Whether it was urine tiles or wading rivers, his boys blazoning upon the wall of success means more than my perception can express.

Their photos are only a couple and few down from mine. Mine, a few down from my brother's. So on. And so forth. Reaching all the way to 1900. All similar with proudly postured pride of academia.

But our stories, struggles, motivation and even gravity for success are not the same. They hold the intricacies of humanity that make each life worth living, each story worth telling. And for me? A blog worth writing.