I was coming home from a housing meeting in Taos, and decided to stop at Mike’s Mini-Mart in Velarde for a green-chile cheeseburger (made with real Velarde chile.) As I was enjoying my meal, a young man with his arms and face covered in ornate tattoos bounced in. “Hey bro!” he exclaimed to the guys behind the counter. “I’m gonna be holding the biggest tattoo convention New Mexico’s ever seen! A hundred of the best tattoo artists are coming from all over the country! You oughta check it out!”
The fellows at the counter grew very excited about the tattoo conference so the man ran out to his car to bring them a stack of pamphlets
In the meantime, a saleswoman from PMI ambled up to the counter with a gallon jug. “This is the best cleaning solution there is,” she explained to the guys at the counter.” They engaged her in animated discussion and had just finished purchasing a gallon of cleaner when the tattoo artist returned. “I think I might come by and get a tattoo,” promised the man behind the counter.
“When’s the convention?” I asked after the tattoo artist departed. The fellow at the counter said, “July 26 and 27 at Buffalo Thunder. Want to see my tattoos?”
He rolled up his pants to display a detailed depiction of Jesus wearing a crown of thorns on one calf, and La Virgen de Guadalupe on the other. “I’m gonna finish them by tattooing my parents’ name on one and my grandparents’ on the other. And I’m gonna tattoo a tree of life on my back.”
“A tree of life would be elegant,” I agreed. “You must be pretty religious.”
“Na, not really.”
Just then, my phone rang. It was Chris Madrid, our county Economic Development Director. “Community organizing’s a pain in the ass,” I informed him for no particular reason.
“Very true,” he agreed. “Just reminding you we’re meeting in Planning and Zoning at two to start working on the Housing Ordinance.”
I looked around but failed to see evidence of a business center on the premises. I made a note in my head to suggest one. “Can you print out the materials for me?” I asked him.
“You got it,” Chris responded.
I left, firmly convinced that Mike’s Mini-Mart in Velarde is a one-stop shop for all of life’s important needs.