Every Latino family has their man of mystery. If they don’t, they should. Perhaps you know the uncle I am talking about. He is the one who shows up on some holidays, never Christmas, but usually major weddings and every Quincenera. He politely refuses the invitation to stay with relatives. Often replying to the invite with, “Thank you. That is so kind but I have made arrangements.” Usually, he shows up alone. However, there was one wedding of some niece around the snowy New Year of 2004 where he arrived in the company of a very elegant blonde woman whose name was Alisha.
She spoke very little but you could tell she had attended charm school at some time in the past. To each other they spoke some foreign language. When they danced it looked to everyone as if they were under the spell of a corporeal choreographer - their moves as delicate as they were provocative - the kind of dance you only see in far away ports-o-call. Women swooned, men were envious. It happened so long ago and most of the relatives who were at that wedding are either old, dead or about to be. Therefore, this story of the elegant Alisha, arm in arm with Tio Catrin has been relegated to the family lore rumor bin.
Ever since most family members can remember, he has always gone by the name of Tio Catrin. No one is quite sure where the name came from. Many suspect that the name came from the character or caricature from the Loteria Mexicana, the dapper, well dressed handsome man of high cheekbones, pencil thin mustache, olive skin and a slight furrow on his graying brow - as if he has something or someone on his mind. The monocle is never out of place as he takes a puff from an unfiltered Delicado cigarette. But for those in the know, the character on the board game was inspired by Tio Catrin himself. This information comes from the cousin who knows all of the family history.
All we do know is that he left home years ago after an argument with his father. His father told him, "Being an artist is not a real job." Tio Catrin left his parents house in the middle of the night shortly thereafter. Like any Hero Wirth his salt, he decided to follow his own path.
This is what he looks like now.