The bejeweled robes fell aside as soon as Pedro entered the antechamber. From the side, I could only gasp at the tumescent profile. Hot flashes ran up and down my body; thoughts of Mexico and sin filled my brain as synapses misfired with lusty abandon.

Pedro turned his dark-skinned form to face me and uttered those words I will never forget: "Evil One, shall we dance the forbidden tango? The one of which you spoke in those letters from oh, so long ago?"

Pedro and I had met as cabana boys in Puerto Vallarta back during the dark days of la Revolución. As young muchachos, we could only look and not touch, thinking that our desires were as natural as learning our left hand from our right. It was only experimental. But, oh, how we did look. Our eyes danced upon each other like laser pointing devices, leaving memory markers which could be filled in with connect-the-dots as adults.

And here we were: Adults. After years of corresponding since my move to the sinful shores of el Norte, Pedro had finally crossed the border and come to me, in my California. My desires could only be overshadowed by my feelings of inadequacy. Pedro had remained the bronze god of our childhood, only mucho más grande. I had fallen prey to the soft life of el Norte. Too many sweet drinks and crispy treats. I was a mess of West Coast flabulance. How could I offer to let my Pedro gaze upon the mess which had become the Evil One he remembered with youthful desire? I sulked in the darkness.

"My friend, mi corazón, can we turn down the lights and come together in the dark; symbolizing the dark days of la Revolución and the forbidden nature of our love?"

"No, Evil One! The lights must remain as bright as our desires. Now stand up and kiss me like you aren't sorry I came."

I hoisted my corpulent carcass from the futon and stood before the object of my desire. I threw off the pink, chiffon, monogrammed bathrobe with the poodle embroidery (on which I'd spent hours, with nothing but my tears and several Fuzzy Navels to keep me company). I exposed my inadequate, apolitical, American obesidad to the man from Mexico.

"Ai, caramba, mi corderito . We've got some work to do, eh? But come and let me hold you before I begin to mold you," Pedro said in that silky voice which melted me. My mariquita flashed that childhood grin I'd held in my mind all these years.

The bejeweled stars shone in the California sky as I readied myself for the future of our newfound NAFTA arrangement.