from The Way of the Jaguar

The apartment in Mexico City was full of people from all over the building who had come to watch Neil Armstrong step on the moon for the first time. It was only one of three TVs in the whole building, so the room was full of children in shorts and men and women cologned and perfumed and wearing their best, as if they had been invited to a solemn, privileged, and long-anticipated occasion. Tía Carmelita, the older of the two sisters who lived there, had decided to charge one peso as an entrance fee to cover the cost of “la electricidad.” She had also made some tostadas spread with black beans and sprinkled with lettuce, diced tomato, and a crumbly goat cheese. These she tried to sell for veinte centavos. The lemonade was free. The picture of the moon came on the screen –beige, with potholes the depth of which could not be measured. They could be potholes or they could be craters the size of Guatemala.

Behind the Eyes cover

All of the sudden, Tía Lele got up and announced to the world that she was going to take a shower. She went into the bathroom, which no one ever locked no matter what anybody was doing there. It was lockless, in fact. I heard her start the shower and again I found myself at one of those crossroads of life. Whom should I watch? Should I watch Neil, my human representative up there taking a small step for man, a giant leap for mankind, presumably me included, or should I watch Tía Lele, naked? Tía Lele, whose body was still radiant at forty. Tía Lele, whose buttocks often rubbed against me as we passed each other in the tiny kitchen. What was more important? Which moon was more significant, more real, all things considered?

            I headed for Tía Lele.