Against The Wall by Alberto Roblest
In the prologue to this inventive collection, the exhausted protagonist finally reaches his destination, but the longed-for entrance doesn't have a handle or keyhole. He considers climbing over it, but the wall reaches to the sky. He thinks of magic words that might open it and even kicks it, to no avail. The long, difficult trip has brought him to nothing except a concrete wall surrounded by desert. The characters in these seventeen stories run the gamut from undocumented immigrants to faded rock and soap-opera stars. Several pieces deal with people who are lost or long to go back in time. In one, Ramirez wakes up disoriented to discover he, along with untold others, is trapped in a bus terminal, unable to leave the Lost & Found area that's piled high with thousands of suitcases, trunks, backpacks and packages Strange dreams pervade the nights of others. A monster chases a man through a maze garbage and starving children. A dreams he's in a pool with Death swimming towards him. Exploring topics such as immigration, corruption and police abuse, Roblest expertly depicts the loneliness and uncertainty of people struggling to survive, but who yearn for something more elusive.