Victor came to Silicon Valley from El Salvador more than twenty-five years ago. He lives in a small white trailer in Mountain View, a couple of miles from Google’s campus. He used to live in an apartment nearby but had to leave when the rent got too high. His trailer is parked in a long line of trailers, some inhabited by others who’ve lost their homes. Victor doesn’t have electricity or running water, but the custodians in his old apartment building remember him and sneak him in to bathe and wash his clothes.
Now in his 80s, he no longer works, but in his backpack, he carries a jar of ointment. When someone has a twisted ankle or a stiff neck, he or she knocks on Victor’s trailer door; “Don Victor,” they call him. He sets out a chair for his neighbor to sit on and massages the sore spot until the pain passes.