No Thugs in Our Houseon July 27, 2012 at 6:20 pm
‘There you go, Romero. Huatlacoche quesadillas and a Mirinda. Want a straw or a glass with that?’
‘No, Arsenio. That’s fine.’
‘This one’s fine.’
‘More chili sauce, some guacamole, mustard, tortillas?’
‘No, everything’s good.’
‘OK, Romero. If you want something, just ask.’
Arsenio walks away, sweating in the midday heat towards the even hotter kitchen. I turn my attention to the food. Huitlacoche quesadillas are not to everyone’s taste. I remember telling that gringa that Huatlacoche was a mould scraped off the corn-ears. When I showed her, she almost vomited. But it is holy food. The food that a disciple of La Santa Muerte should eat. Santita, some say you are Mictecacihuatl the death goddess. Others say you are Tlazoteotl the devourer of filth, the one that eats our sins to leave us pure. Perhaps you are the mother of Jesus who sacrificed the Holy Innocents to save her son, the redeemer? Whatever. You know us, what the world is for us. Tijuana is filth and death; Matamoros is filth and death; even Zacatecas is filth and death. It’s the same everywhere. Any place I’ve been it’s all the same and you, Santa Muerte, are the only one who stays with me when others leave. The only one who cares for the poor and the forgotten. It is why I give my life to you.
Daniel Ribot is a reassuring construct of wetware cobbled together with Mexican wrestling masks, New Zealand Paua shells, Catalan caganers and mud dredged up from Leicester’s enchanting Frog Island. In his defence, he’s just written a Soviet vampire-hunting novel (forthcoming from Omnium Gatherum Press) and is a member of The Speculators writers group. His appearance is pleasing though not overwhelmingly so, his opinions are trenchant rather than brusque, his manner is gentle without being submissive. He is in addition gullible enough to believe you without appearing to be particularly stupid. In short, he deserves that drink that you’re thinking of buying him. Make it a large one.