Thursday, June 27, 2013

one burrito

I am sitting in the back of Susan's convertible speeding towards Mexico.  I volunteered to sit in the wind tunnel section because I get to be silent and comfortable and introverted. "If you need to say anything to me, say it now," I cheerfully tell the two women in front of me, "I won't hear you later."

Earlier in the day we volunteered at Father Joe's mission kitchen. "Where's the spoon for this applesauce?" I asked and the lead guy overheard me, a guy who looked like Ice-T on a really bad day. "That's chicken gravy," came his response dripping with well, icicles. Somebody should have stirred the stuff and added some broth or water or something, it was lumpy plus.  "And give everybody just one burrito," he added clearly dissatisfied with my performance.

 And here they come, all 785 of them and I was told this was a slow day.  Hollow-eyed people, vets missing limbs, a range of color black brown yellow white, clean and not so clean, clearly crazy people postulating all kinds of theories and others looking almost professional in their button-down shirts and pressed pants, so many stories but all of them hungry.  Some little hispanic guy, he looked like a withered corn cob doll, kept showing up in my line wanting one of my burritos, four times he showed and four times he got a burrito. I could see Ice-T shaking his head and I ignored him.  We got to wear plastic aprons and hair nets and an orange VOLUNTEER badge, but we couldn't keep any of it.  I would have liked that orange badge.

We finish our task and my girls decide to travel even further south to a casino owned by the Viejas tribe. Their reservation borders another owned by the Ewiiaapaayp and I love these Native American names. Crazily, the shameful US of A did everything to eradicate the peoples from their philosophies and practices and yet we labeled every state, river town and street using their lovely lyrical names.

I do not possess a gambler's personality. I work hard for the money and want to spend it on something tangible like shoes or cheese. But I am with two women who are hungry for the game, the quick take and loose slots that were not that loose. I slip a $20 bill into a Sex and the City machine just to keep them happy and after four minutes I have 35 cents to show for my efforts. I am glad the American Indian nation has gained from my losses and my friends keep trolling for the big money.

1 comment:

Arizaphale said...

I am with you. I do not get slot machines. I usually put $2.00 in and if nothing happens...that's the end of it. As for convertibles, I don't get them. My eyes water and I do not do windblown hair very well. Kudos for volunteering though!