It was a cold August afternoon in darkest Mexico. I had strolled into the cantina, listened to the voice, shot a man, and ordered a drink. I found a corner in which to bide my time, waiting for my chips and salsa.

The service was slow, and once I had seized a waitress, surly.

"Bring me chips," I growled.

The old woman looked back at me and laughed, "We have no chips here for murderous gringos!"

"How dare you call me murderous!"

"You just murdered a man," she replied coyly.

"Very well, then. Bring Me The Head Of Alfredo Garcia," I smiled.

"You just shot him."


I sighed and sat back in my chair, and contemplated the options before me.

"Bring me a taco," I muttered, "Just bring me a taco." I released the woman, and went about the business at hand of balancing the budget. The voice in my head was relentless, however; ceaseless in its barrage of cruel indecencies.

"You don't know how to balance a budget," it would say.

"You don't even know whose budget it is you're balancing," it would say.

"Your penmanship is atrocious," it would say.

"You always hog the covers," it would say.

I handled the voice in the only way I know to handle the voice, and shot a man dead. Laughter echoed from the kitchen.

"Don't forget the cilantro!" I yelled, but I knew there would be no cilantro for murderous gringos.

"Why do you all laugh at me?" I screeched, and whirled around in little circles, hands pressed tight over my ears, eyes rolled back in their sockets. The Mexicans stared at me, silent. A young girl prayed to an elderly virgin. A Christ grinned.

I awoke in a deserted underground field. The earth was cracked and dry, the sky unusually dark and moist. I pretended to be asleep until I awoke in my chair in the cantina.

It worked.

"Here is your filthy taco that the cook spit in. I hope you donít mind, because I donít care if you do." The waitress winked, seductively. I took a bite.

There was no cilantro.