Friday, August 7, 2009

Tamale Amor

Last summer I had the privilege to work with the delightfully quirky conductor, Michael Rice and his cat Walter.

Here at Sacramento Music Circus, we pay homage to a sacred Thursday tradition. That tradition is the Tamale lady. Her name is Esperanza and she journeys from the mountains of Mexico three thousand long miles all the way to Music Circus atop the back of a mule cradling a satchel full of magic tamales made of Gold and Visiones. Well, maybe she just pulls up in a beat up white station wagon, opens the back and sells tamales in the street in front of the theatre, the point is: these tamales are fucking delicious. There is always a line and sometimes people fight over them. Okay, sometimes I fight over them, but no one else does.

Michael and I (along with comrades Rachel Stivers and Brian King) developed a special love for this Tamale Ritual. We soon learned that a bad day could be healed with the sweet love found between the sheets of a corn husk molded by Esperanza. Many days stress would bog me down and deadlines would overwhelm me like mustard gas to a trench. Luckily, I would return to my desk and see that Michael had been the Tamale Fairy and left me a little slice of hope.

Esperanza was not named arbitrarily.

Michael isn't in Sacramento this summer, but Brian and I are keeping the dream alive. Though, it is unfortunate that the tamale lady has been less consistent this year. In fact, I've been trying to pin that bitch down all summer and just had my first tamale of the season yesterday. I was getting so insanely frustrated by her inability to show up to our weekly date that I began referring to her as the "Nomadic Tamale Bitch" and occasionally "The Mexican Brigadoon."

I emailed Michael yesterday saying I finally got my mitts on a tamale and he said:

"If Brian really cared about me, he'd have faxed me a tamale."

And that's just what he did.

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