Saturday, May 12, 2012

Why We Live in Mexico, Reason #16

Because you can go out to a junky antique shop in the countryside to pick up old irons for bookends, a huge slab of mesquite for a table, a red metal birdcage to fill with tall candles, and afterwards you sit under a blue Pepsi tent to shade yourself from the sun and order a crazy hamburger with cheese, lettuce, tomato, onion, ketchup, mustard and mayonnaise ($1.10) and two super-cold Modelos ($0.95 each) and eat them while dust is blowing across the highway and your view is of the same kind of roadside stand across the street, with its cinder block walls and its signs for carnitas and tacos and cold beer, and a truck might roar by and it will get even dustier for a minute, or two kids on a donkey may trot in front of your table, the boy at the back just five years old and barefoot, and an old man might stop for two small bags of Cheetos, leaving his wheelbarrow with its broken front wheel and filled with chunks of freshly cut wood and a machete right next to your table, and while he tries to open his bag with very bent fingers and long, dirt-filled nails you go back up to the counter and buy him a Coke and when you give it to him, before he downs it in one long, delicious swallow, he says to you in heavily accented English, "thank you."