Monday, July 25, 2022

A Simple Order

    The brightly lit glow of purple summons us in our post-liquored-up state of physical exhaustion from grinding and random make-outs with shadowy strangers on a packed dance floor. After piling into some girl’s beat-up van, in which there was no A/C and the driver’s side window is unable to roll down, we finally arrive at our craving’s terminus. Only to find a long, winding line of other weary passengers awaiting the finale to their taco-tastic night.

    Inching, slowly, torturous moments of impatience, complete with growls from our famished tummies, until finally, we’ve arrived at the pearly bright intercom to make our pleas. One by one, we each crawl over our designated driver. Shouting requests like “one Crunch Wrap Supreme” or “three Dorito’s Locos Tacos.”

    All simple orders. Such amateurs.

    Climbing across the median console, hovering over my friend, my long hair smacks her in the face, as my shouts reach the small opening of the driver’s side door.

    “I’d like three soft tacos. No lettuce. Extra cheese. Oh, and make sure the tortilla is warmed up, but not too hot. Two mild and one hot sauce packets. Extra napkins.”

    As I flop back down onto the seat, I’m confronted with three annoyed, silent faces.


    I look behind at the winding line of other eager drunks, stuck in park until their turn to place a humble request is granted. Sweaty-boob-money is conjured up between us. We pay our toll and proceed to second window, holding our breath until the glass doors open towards us and the orgasmic whiff of spiced meats and melty gooey cheese infiltrates our nostrils. “Have a Baja Blast rest of your night,” the dealer says while passing over our bag of fried goodies.

    Our driver hands out each girl’s meal, except mine, which she leaves in the bag and throws it into my open hands. When I unwrap my delicious presents, I discover a not so “burrito-full” sight. All three of my perfectly crafted tacos contain not only lettuce but lack any cheese whatsoever. The tortilla itself is as hard as a plate, in which I contemplate throwing it like a frisbee back into the window. Upon inspection of the bag, there’s no sign of sauce packets with witty phrases. I stare ahead, dumbfounded, as the girls munch away.

    They quickly fill their stomachs with soft tortillas, which soak up any remaining alcohol in preparation for the sobering drive back home. Jessica, with brown oil dripping down her chin that matches her runny mascara, turns to me. After one last push of the taco into her gaping mouth, she mutters, “whust wheat bit.” I nod, as I too know the language of stuffing one’s mouth with food then speaking. But I can’t bring myself to dive into this pitiful excuse for a taco. After wiping her greasy mouth onto the glittery sleeve of her dress, our driver resumes our journey. All while I sit in the backseat, nauseous from not eating and the disappointment of expecting a delicious late-night meal.

Bethany Bruno is a born and raised South Florida author. She holds a BA in English from Flagler College and an MA from The University of North Florida. Her work has been previously published in numerous publications, such as The MacGuffin, Ruminate, Lunch Ticket Magazine, Litro Magazine, and DASH. She recently earned a 2021 Best of the Net nomination. She’s working on her first novel and seeking representation.