Mucho frio.

This is the first Christmas that I'll be away from my home in Chicago. 

Leaned up against a pickup truck parked in front of a roadside abbarote, I conveyed that sentiment to one of the younger Mexican dudes with whom I was chatting.

He was young - mid-20s, maybe, slightly effeminate and wrapped tightly in a blanket as he leaned up against the door-frame in front of me. I could see his too-long pajama pants bunched up around his ankles beneath the blanket. It wasn't particularly cold.

"Estas enfermo?" I asked.

"No...pero mucho frio," he replied. 

He smiled at my question. I took a sip of beer, and he slipped back inside.


I can pee wherever I want. I rarely even have to get off my bike; normally, I torque by body to the right while straddling its frame – I don’t dismount – and I piss while stopped on side of the road whenever the urge strikes. I feel no shame in taking advantage of the sexually-dimorphic hand that I’ve been dealt.

Today, I stopped to relieve myself on the side of the road in rural Mexico. The pavement was about 6 feet higher than the farmland below; a ditch, a row of trees, and a wire fence separated my personal incident from the rows of agave in the field beyond.

As I began to urinate, I drifted into a daydream. I imagined myself in a dry, dry desert. I had been wandering aimlessly, hopelessly, for days. During this time I hadn’t eaten, and I’d only drank enough water to feel sufficiently and desperately parched. I was on the verge of death.

Suddenly, a quasi-omnipotent being appeared before me. His eyes were limes; his legs were goat-like. I was sure I wasn’t hallucinating. He told me that if I stayed alive, I’d find myself back in civilization within 24 hours. First, though, he was going to change my hands into two of the most delicious hamburgers imaginable. I didn’t have time to argue. I looked down, and my hands were hamburgers. Handburgers.

He said that they were real hamburgers, but they’d revert back to my normal hands once I reached civilization in 24 hours. He guaranteed it.

There was a catch, though. If, in my desperately famished state, I took a bite of my handburgers, I’d find myself with a corresponding chunk of hand missing once they reverted from their hamburger state. If I ate half of a hamburger, I’d find myself with half of a hand in 24 hours. He challenged me to abstain from munching on my own delicious appendages at a time when I hadn’t eaten in more than a week. I’d have given anything for a god-damned sandwich. Do I really need my hands? Jesus. Could I do it?

I jerked out of the daydream as my own personal waterfall petered out at my feet. I tucked myself in and looked up. The Mexican Marlboro Man was leaned up against a tree in the shade in the ditch between me and the fence. He was wearing a cowboy hat. We locked eyes, and he nodded at me. He had seen me pissing on the side of the road the whole time. My dick was nearly at his eye-level.  He nodded his head. He smiled, and he waved.

I left. A Cadillac Escalade sped past me. It was the first Escalade I’ve seen in Mexico.