Written in the voice of her mother, Mariela Ticas exposes an ugliness that still runs through the United States.
The following is the bitter story my elderly mother had to endure last week while coming home from a casino trip to Indio, California in her own words:
My name is Adriana Ticas, I’m a 69 year-young handicap woman. I came to America in 1979 at the dawn of the Salvadoran Civil War. I was young and feared no one. With much work and dedication I became a Naturalized Citizen of this country in 2002. Years of hardship have come and gone, but on Monday, February 11, 2019, I was coming home from a casino trip I had taken several times before, and little did I know this fun excursion wasn’t going to be like any other trip.
I had pre-purchased my casino bus ticket of $17.00 from an independent contractor who works as a bus coordinator in connection with Fantasy Springs Casino, on the 10th and scheduled to come back home on the 11th. To my surprise, on that day, I was told there were no more seats available and only reserved seats remained. I asked, “What do you mean? My seat is also reserved. It’s paid for.”
Carefully, I got on the bus with my crutches. When I attempted to take a seat I heard several patrons on the bus exclaim, “We don’t want Latinos in here. Only Chinese, Vietnamese, Koreans or Philippines.” Thinking it was a joke, I said, “Well I love everybody.” I attempted to sit beside a woman and she purposefully placed her bags on the seat. I then tried to sit beside another patron, but I was rudely told, “NO!”
This happened a total of four times!
The bus coordinator got on the bus and she began to shoo me all the way to the back of the bus, bypassing several empty seats. For two hours I was forced to stand in the back of the bus, pinned beside the restroom stall and placed my arms above the high seats to sustain my balance and prevent a nasty fall. Halfway through, the coordinator asked if I wanted to sit down, while the bus was still in motion without a safety rail to hold on to. I guess it was another one of her cruel jokes.
I stood for two hours, tired, humiliated and heartbroken, while holding on for dear life. With the last bit of strength left I was able to dial my daughter and notified her of the dilemma. 30 minutes later, I arrived to my destination and like my guardian angel she was waiting for me with to assist me off the bus. To this day, my back pain has increased because of the incident and I’m left to beg the question, “How can this happen in the 21st Century? Are there others out there like me?”
In my early years of coming to this country I endured many hardships like ageism, sexism, and sexual harassment, but I always stood strong and undeterred. After all, failure was not an option. But I never felt so small and so hurt like I did that day. I wasn’t seen as a person. Not my disability or my age gave that woman’s bloodstream a reason to pump blood into her heart. I cried for two days after that horrible bus ride home. To be seen as someone less than a person because of race, or disability is everything that America shouldn’t be.
Not only is racism still alive today, but it has mutated in the form of different race groups. However, there is only one race, the human race and we are not each other’s enemy, only hate and bigotry.
Mariela Ticas lives in Los Angeles, CA. and is a regular contributor to ATRP. She is a podcast personality/co-host/blogger for “The Strange Kamelion Show” on iTunes and is an active member of Sag-Aftra as a performer. She has always been a writer at heart and got her start writing poetry as a teen. Mariela got her start in the entertainment industry back in 2012 and is now currently working on her first children’s book! On her downtime, she’s a volunteer member of the Motion Picture & Television Fund. You can follow Mariela on Instagram! Be sure to read her podcast blog, and scope her IMDb for upcoming features.
Images above were provided by Mariela Ticas and may not be reproduced without consent by her or ATRP.
The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the official policy or position of All The Real Parts.
Stock image by Ant Rozetsky from Unsplash.