Wednesday, May 9, 2007

Punta Perula

Perhaps it felt something like this to travel through the South during the Depression. Eating at a roadside taco stand, I imagine Alabama. The plastic chairs and tables are covered with a corrugated aluminum roof, the open kitchen defined by boards nailed unevenly across the lower half. Flies buzz around the stove. We hear the tv going in the house next door, where a blanket hangs across the window. A woman comes out and we ask if it is possible to get food. She tells us that she can make three things, and I don’t understand the last one. We choose tacos de adobado. (There is only one kind of meat in this town. Earlier we had gone to the carniceria, which was closed because, the butcher told us, “no hay carne.” Gesturing towards the truck parked outside loaded with two fat sows, he says: “But tomorrow there will be pork.”) The cook’s neat skirt is covered with streaks of dirt. I feel comfortable with dirt; I can’t remember how long ago I showered, though I did wash our clothes, by hand, which took four hours. These are the best tacos I’ve had in months. While we eat, a little boy plays with a rusting saw, slipping his hand along the blade.

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