check in three moves
There’s a Taco Bell right by our house that we’ll swing into occasionally so I can satisfy my constant craving for a Cheeseretos.
They haven’t been on the menu since the late 1980’s, you can usually talk them into making one for you. I’ve been ordering them so long I’ve memorized the keystrokes the employee has to make to ring it up:
– Minus Meat
– Plus Pizza Sauce
– Plus Green Onion
– Plus Extra Cheese
My Cheesereto pusher at this taco bell is a young Bosnian girl named Basha. (St. Louis is a hotbed for displaced Bosnians, which helps diversify our city’s population and makes getting stuffed cabbage rolls a hell of a lot easier). She’s still new enough to the country that she’s got that genuine sparkle of optimism in her eyes. She’s happy, no… THRILLED, to be working – even if it’s only for minimum wage punching buttons and slinging tacos.
The tray full of cheesy goodness is slid to us with best wishes delivered in broken english and we find a seat.
In the corner of restaurant is an elderly man napping. His table is set with a fabric chess board, (game in-progress), a zip lock bag of candy and a flat pepsi.
His ill fitting clothes, stuffed-full tattered bags and rusty bicycle suggested he was a transient. But why way out here? Is he lost? Did he escape from a home and remembering the timeless lyrics from his youth, he’s set out to get his kicks on Route 66? Is he someone’s eccentric grandfather who lives in a converted basement apartment just around the corner?
Is he lonely?
The man awoke mid dinner, got up, freshened up his Pepsi and walked over to us. He saw my camera sitting on the table and asked if I could make him a drivers license. He smelled of licorice and car exhaust.
I told him we didn’t have the right kind of camera for that, but asked if I could take his photo. He said yes. I tried to reimburse him with a taco, but he wasn’t interested. He just continued on about getting an I.D.
We finished up our meal and left.
If I didn’t have Kevin and Chad in tow, I’d be tempted to play a game of chess with him.
Perhaps I should maintain a blog – these sorts of experiences are worth documenting.