The traits of Down’s syndrome include mental retardation, short stature, and stubby limbs, but it was the slanted eyes and a Mongolian-like fold of the upper eyelid that caught the fancy of a nineteenth-century English doctor.
When I asked Javier what it was like to be a wetback, he smiled at the implausibility of summing up five years of experience, and then he looked thoughtfully at his hands. We had just met and were sitting on a shady curb next to a hamburger stand in West San Antonio; it was one of those first hot weeks toward the end of May when you know it won’t be cool again till fall. Javier’s hands, I noticed, looked too old for his 24 years.
They were all summer children. They had shining hair and brown arms and bare legs, and as I watched them, under a blue sky in the dense heat of four August afternoons, nothing was serious.