I remember the sensation of being suspended upside down, the pressure in my head swelling to unbearable levels, and the warm, wet fluid pouring into my eyes from my mouth and nose. Drowning must be just like being born. One moment you are nothing, free floating in the womb, then someone awakens you to the suffering that will be your life until your end.
I was in a basement on an earthen floor, nude and alone. The entire length of the right side of my body was a shredded mess, but someone had dressed my wounds. My eyes however, were burning and left me in agony. I could tell that some fine sediment made its way under my eyelids and scratched grit into my pupils whenever I blinked. There was a vague recollection of being dragged across gravel and feeling dozens of small hands all over me, checking ever recess in my body for some unspoken treasure. And in that moment I wished I was dead.
A small mexican man brought me some milky colored water and only nodded when I spoke to him, clearly unable to speak english. The quality of the water and the lack of conversational english made it clear that I was on the mexico side of the border. Apparently my success came through the most difficult of possible scenarios. When the man left I poured the nasty water into my eyes to clear out the dirt, then drank the rest with the understanding that I would likely be shitting uncontrollably from sickness a few hours later. Then a large man with a large silver belt buckle entered the room followed by a little girl, no more than ten years old. I scrambled to cover my nakedness from her, but she didn't seem startled at all. She spoke. "What is your name?"
When I didn't answer the man shouted some mexican gibberish at me and kicked some dirt up from the floor. "What is your name and who is your family?" she asked again. I just stared back up at them, unsure what to do. The man barked again and the little girl ran out the door and closed it shut, and he stared at me while he began undoing his belt. I wasn't sure if I was in for a beating or a buggering, or even which I preferred in this situation, but the man's intentions became clear as he pulled the belt loose and let the large buckle dangle at the end like a savage medieval flail. I cowered with my back exposed to him like a frightened turtle as he laid into me. He aimed for the exposed part of my head and when I covered up with my hands he focused on them, my brittle fingers breaking with ease. The beating was so violent and relentless that I didn't even scream. I just laid there waiting to die. And after what seemed like an eternity he dropped the belt in the dirt next to me, the silver shine reduced to a dulled blood red, then I saw the shadow of his raised boot for the moment before I lost consciousness again.