It’s late and her Jeep is making funny noises, but the only thing she can think about is a meaty plate of carne asada nachos and a fish taco. Two long months have come and gone and the memory of her last experience echoes inside her. Thoughts of the deliciously pink shrimp, warm tortilla, and mixture of salsa and crema are persistent. She’s in a day dream until the harsh blare of a car horn takes her away from her reverie and brings her back to reality. Lost in a world of shrimp burritos, she’s veered slightly into the next lane, almost causing an accident. “For fucks sake, pay attention,” our heroine chides herself. The low grumble of protest emanates from her midsection. “Damn it, fine! You win, we’ll stop and get something before we get home.” she mutters to herself.
The drive thru taco shop down the street from her house is like an old, familiar friend at this point. She can go a few months without a visit, but she always knows what to expect when she pulls up next to the menu. “Somethings never change,” she thinks aloud, punctuating the thought with a smile. “Hello. May I take your order?” The accent is thick as it crackles out of the speaker. “One shrimp taco, please. And an order of the carne asada nachos.” Tonight is not a night to try new things, to unleash pent up passions and find herself breathless at the very thought of the experience. No, tonight is a night for pajamas, television, and a plate of nachos that remind you of an old friend. The voice on the other side provides her with what she is sure would be her total if she could decipher what he was saying, but pulls forward to the window regardless.
The man on the other side of the pane isn’t graceful like the last woman who helped her. No, he clumsily shoves the napkins the bag with little regard to neatness. Every move he makes seems inefficient and she gets the distinct impression that he doesn’t want to be there. She hands him her card, the magic happens with ones and zeros, and now her bank account has $13 fewer dollars in it. The card is thrust back into her hands along with her receipt with little to no grace. She is starting to get annoyed that this is taking so long cause, at this point, it just feels like her very presence is bothering the cashier. She almost feels let down. She has kept coming back because this never happens. She just wants to take her food and go at this point.
After what felt like an eternity, the beautiful white bag of goodness is handed to her and she makes her way home. She makes herself a glass of Dr. Pepper, puts on her most unattractive, comfortable pajamas pants, and plants herself in front of a show she is pretty sure she is culturally appropriating. Her cat, smelling the fish taco, seats herself on the arm rest next to her. “Drink, tv, cat, and food…let’s do this.” The first thing she pulls from the bag a styrofoam rectangle covered in tinfoil. Fish tacos are her favorite, so her the excitement on her face at eating chowing down on her favorite food is slowly replaced with annoyance. Underneath the tinfoil wrapping sits a mountain of shredded cabbage. She parts the sea of cheap filler food in search for the main event. She takes off half of the cabbage and the fish is STILL buried underneath. With a disgruntled sigh, she gives up. She ordered out so she wouldn’t have to do anything but put some salsa on her food and escort the food into her mouth. She takes a large bite and swallows. Picking a piece of cabbage out of her teeth, she swears from now on she is going to order her tacos without it. The amount of useless, tasteless vegetable was so overwhelming, she could barely taste the fish, the reason she ordered it in the first place. And what little fish she got was so below par. Has she been eating shitty Mexican food from this place the whole time and only just now realized it?
Giving up on the taco, she turns her attention to the black take out box. She places one hand in the bag to pick it up but quickly realizes she needs both to handle this beast. Her expectations, lowered considerably by the experience of just a few moments ago, are immediately brought back up. With high hopes, she places it in her lap and slowly opens up the top. What awaits her inside is an amalgamation of sad looking carne asada, poorly portioned sour cream, guacamole and shredded cheese atop far too few chips. Closing her eyes in disappointment and sighing in resignation, she picks up one of the few chips that isn’t soggy and still holding shape and uses it to spoon a piece of meat into her mouth. She really wants it to be good; she is willing it to be, but it just isn’t. This is the most mediocre, under seasoned carne asada she has ever had had the misfortune to let slide past her lips. And there is so much! Almost like they knew how terrible it was and overcompensated by just piling as much shitty meat as possible into one container and covering it with sour cream and guac to hide how shitty it was. This experience has literally left a bad taste in her mouth.
Our heroine takes her Mexican food very seriously, so it’s no surprise when she knocks off the blanket placed across her lap to catch any errant piece of nacho that may to ground in a huff. “Fuck this shit,” she says under her breath, closing the take out container holding, what is in her opinion, the worst thing she has ever eaten. “What a waste of thirteen fucking bucks.” She drops the container in the trash can in the garage, she doesn’t even want that filth in her home. She pops open the fridge, grabs a bottle of $4 wine and heads upstairs to take bath. She copes with this terrible experience in a way only the most basic of white girls can: a bottle of cheap white zin, a hot, bubbly soak, and her cat.