Nov/Dec 2015 • Vol. XXXVII No. 6 Fiction |

The Five-Pound Burrito

The Five-Pound Burrito He lived in a world of grease, and no matter how often he bathed, which was once a day, rigorously—and no shower but a drawn bath—he smelled of carnitas, machaca, and the chopped white onion and soapy cilantro he folded each morning into his pico de gallo. The grease itself was worked up under his nails and into the folds of his skin, folds that hung looser and penetrated deeper now that he was no longer young. This was a condition of his life and his livelihood, and if it had its drawbacks—he was sixty-two and never married because what woman would want a man who smelled so inveterately of fried pork?—it had its rewards, too. For one thing, he was his own boss, the little hole-in-the-wall café hed opened back in the sixties still doing business when so many showier places had come and gone. For another, he was content, his world restricted to what he knew, the sink, the dishwasher, the griddle, and the grill, and he saw his customers, the regulars an

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Photo of T.C. Boyle
T. C. Boyle is the author of twenty-seven books of fiction, including, After the Plague (2001), Drop City (2003), The Inner Circle (2004), Tooth and Claw (2005), The Human Fly (2005), Talk Talk (2006), The Women (2009), Wild Child (2010), When the Killing’s Done (2011), San Miguel (2012), T. C. Boyle Stories II (2013), The Harder They Come (2015), The Terranauts (2016), as well as The Relive Box and Other Stories, due in October 2019 and featuring two new Kenyon Review stories: "Surtsey" and "The Five-Pound Burrito." Boyle currently lives near Santa Barbara with his wife and three children.

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