The Cure for the Common Cold

by Danielle Fong

Once upon a time in Northern Mexico, my mother was sick. She had come down with a cold. Sitting on her porch, an old, tiny Mexican man walked up to her and said, “Beautiful lady, why are you looking so sad?”

“I have a cold!” she said. “I am tired and chilled. I feel like nothing.” Hearing that, he took a small flask from his jacket. “Take a swill of this. You will feel better.” It burnt on the way down. “Tequila perhaps,” she thought, “if it is, it is the best I have ever tasted.”

She said nothing. With a smile, the man shifted his hat, turned his body, and walked away.

The next day, he visited my mother, sitting on the same porch. “Are you feeling better?” he asked, reaching for his flask. “Maybe a little,” replied my mother, quaffing the fiery liquid with uncertain haste. “Good,” he said. And with that, he pulled the collar of his jacket taught, smiled, and walked away.

In a blur the days passed. The old man visited the next morning, and the morning after that, and on and on for a week. Finally, he asked, “Are you feeling better?”

“I am!” she said. “Good,” he replied. He shouldered his bag and turned to go.

“Wait!” she faintly cried, “Won’t you let me sip once more of your medicine?”

“More tequila?” the man said concernedly, furrowing his brow. He waved his hands in circles towards her. “There is no need. You are cured.” And with that, he gave a smile and a wink, he turned, and walked away.