MEXICO CITY: A Sandwich Tree

Mexico City was just as wonderful as when I’d left it, and all my feline friends were with me. I honestly couldn’t have been happier. But I could not sleep to save my life. It turns out Jessica snores at about the same decimal level as a fighter jet taking off. I don’t know how she slept through the racket she was causing. I certainly couldn’t, and you might remember that I’m deaf in one ear. Just imagine how awful it would have been with two functioning auditory nerves.

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In tiny, packed hallways, shoppers crowded around small vendors. Each vendor sold a variation on a similar theme: witchcraft. Santa Muerte glowered down from every surface, that wonderfully evocative patroness of the lost and downtrodden. Since I booked my flight to Mexico, I have been deeply intrigued by this heretical icon. She is revered by many people in Mexico, but the Catholic Church has condemned her worship. She’s skeletal and terrifying and considerably menacing to some. Legend says she will appear in your dreams, answer your prayers with the right gifts, and bring death to your enemies. She’s charming. Santa Muerte is not a truly Catholic image, obviously, instead she is the perpetuation of ancient Aztec religious belief.

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