el rito virgin 

Everyone said Vicente was so guapo, he made bad teeth look good. Everyone said also “Cuidado, his old lady has the evil eye, she’ll make your chickens drop dead and if you don’t got chickens, you better get some or she might get you, you know?”

Vicente had this power thing going, this third eye that said “Hey man, look here, look this way,” and that’s how he went from a broke-step trailer in a single-wide park to owning half of Los Onofres, a gated community outside of Algodones that in twenty years outpriced Santa Fe, if you can believe that. All built on top of a dumpsite they never cleaned up.

He had these green eyes, see. Not always green, sometimes yellow like a wolf. Vicente’s teeth were all wrong, crowded together except right in front, where he had this big gap. He had it filled with a custom-made cap – gold with a peephole, and inside you could see a 3-D picture of La Virgen de Guadalupe, all roses at her feet. He had this special lens, the kind you use to look at diamonds – “Hey man, you want to see something incredible?” – and if you did, you looked between his teeth at la virgen, surrounded by flowers, and people said his breath smelled just like roses, like Jesus and Mary and all the saints were right there in his mouth, and they said “Yeah, you the man,” to him and they also said “Hijole, here is a man with blessings and I don’t think I wanna fuck with him.” So Vicente became the most powerful land baron between Socorro and Santa Fe. Until he got on the wrong side of his old lady, who gave him La Virgen.  And later, took her away.

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