The clock on the wall was red. It said 3:37. Tick. Tick. Tick. The paint running dry, the rim cracked and falling to pieces. I went to the bathroom. It said OMBRES which any idiot knows is spelled wrong. Guess no one ever said anything. I tried to pee but nothing came out. My heart was pounding. Eked out some dribbles. Washed my face. Looked at myself. Looked fine. Good enough. Went back out. Journey back to the table was long. Waitress with caked on makeup and a bad tan smiled at me and I nodded back. Why she needed a fake tan in this place was beyond me. Smelled like cheap cigarettes.
And back to the table. There she was. She was there, and she smiled at me and her smile was so familiar and so far away, all the way across the table, all the way past my bad enchiladas with salsa verde, all the way over the dirty cups and her own crappy tacos. Outside in the heat, I thought, a mouse scurries under a car, a cactus grows, and they are impartial.
She looked at me with wonderful blue eyes. They are really something. She didn’t look great, she had a bit of acne, but I still felt it. I had it bad. And we just stared at each other, didn’t say a thing. I couldn’t eat. Neither could she. I remembered all the old jokes. Her lips were gorgeous.
This was some time ago, but I still remember the place, with the red crumbling clock, the OMBRES sign, the waitress with bad makeup, the flavorless food. And I remember her face, the way she looked at me, and how I looked at her, and what her eyes said. They said the most beautiful things I’ve ever seen. I took the enchiladas to go. She paid.
When we left, I said I’d never forget her. She didn’t say anything.
I remember all of these things, and how they came to pass in the desert, in the sands, somewhere in Arizona. She does too. It was bad Mexican food. After I said goodbye, I threw it away.