novel excerpt (no edits…)

“No, I’m good with these,” the first option, “thanks.” I went to the first isle open, the only one open actually, and I was behind a women with probably fifty items, most food, cheap sweet and rich, high in everything bad and unhealthy for a Human, with her kids, much of it for them, “poison” I thought.  Another employee, older lady, probably early 50s, saw me behind the woman with an inventory of her own, decided to open register 1.  I flew, checked out, total $1.09, left, walking with clothespins in their original plastic wrapping, no company bag, to Los Tres.  I walked in, placed order with the man, ordered beer, then a younger girl came to ring it in, completely confused, asking me to repeat, asking me if I ordered the combo, and if I was sure I ordered carne asada for both Alice’s tacos and my burrito.  Once that was settled, I enjoyed my beer, 24oz, Lagunitas IPA as they were out of Racer 5, for the first time.  I watched the three men at the bar watch the football game.. Tampa at ATL.  Can’t remember who won or who was winning but one of the men had a Raider’s jersey on.  I sipped, took my notes, watched people come in, ask to be seated, arrive late looking for their party, the employees scramble, orders taken, calls, the ‘ready bell’ ringing at that high counter marking the border of kitchen and floor.  Interesting place, Los Tres, and it makes me want to travel to Mexico, any part, like Dean and Sal.

Today there was a loud man in the TR from New Orleans, with his wife and son and daughter-in-law.  He was loud, cocky and eager to let everyone know he was there and what he thought of the wine he was sipping and that he had some expensive shirt on.  I laughed.  He saw.  Said, “Hey there, Bob, why don’t you come join the party?” Bob? I though.  What?  How did he think I had that name, Bob?  “Well I can’t see what your name tag says but I see it’s a short name…” he said.  I was still confused.  Bob?  Do I look like a Bob, I thought.  I just watched him, a show, a loud flabby display of contaminated circulation and filter void.  I still laughed and was still amused.

Then there was another guy with his girlfriend, from some part of NY, that just had to have the remainder of the tab, and even $100, put on some AMEX giftcard.  IT wouldn;t go through, for some reason.  He called, we tried again, nothing.  He insisted.  He waited.  Again and again, and repeat the whole…  Finally connection, coherence, agreement, he smiles, and leaves.  Then we smile.  That’s what we needed.  Him gone!  And I was more than relieved.  It was coming to a place where I couldn’t even look at him.  Why the giftcard?  Just use your bloody credit card, a real credit card, one that won’t struggle with low limits and drive us crazy.. just leave!