Monday, September 04, 2006

The Drive Thru

So I have a new boyfriend.

It's only fair, seeing as how, for several years now, my husband's had a girlfriend:

No, not Julie Andrews. Anne Hathaway! And can you blame him?
You can't, can you? I mean, have you seen The Princess Diaries?
She's adorable!

Anyway, back to my boyfriend. One Friday evening a few months ago, I had a hankering for a Del Taco Ultimate Taco with no tomatoes. When I handed my money up to the drive thru window, a smiling man looked down at me and said:

"Hi, I'm Juan."

I gave Juan my $1.53, and turned to adjust the radio volume. When I looked back up at the window, Juan was still standing there, smiling at me. Then he disappeared, and returned with my bag. It felt a little too heavy for one taco (even an Ultimate Taco), so before I drove away, I checked inside. Resting next to my taco was an order of fries.

"Juan? I've got fries in here, and I didn't order them."

Juan's smile got even wider.

"I know. For you, they're free!"

Still smiling, he closed the window, and I drove away with 500 more delicious calories than I'd signed up for.

Before I go any further, I feel that I should mention two things. First, Juan couldn't have been more than 18. Second, if we'd been standing next to each other, I could probably stare down at the top of Juan's head.

About a week later, I drove through Del Taco again, and whose smiling face should appear at the window?

"My friend!" He said. "How are you?"

"Hi, Juan! I'm great!"

When he handed me my bag, it felt even heavier than before. Sure enough, I opened it to discover the largest order of fries that Del Taco offers. The largest order of fries that I had ever seen. More fries than I could shake a stick at.

"Juan. You can't just give me all these fries for free!"

"But I want to!"

"Juan, this is a lot of fries."

"I know!"

When I got back to my apartment, the french fry smell was so powerful that I knew I had to come clean to Steve about Juan. I confessed everything, and showed him the fries.

"Wow, Em. That is a lot of fries."

"I know!"

A few days later, Steve expressed a hankering for Del Taco. Let's go, I said.

"Well, maybe you should go by yourself."


"Well, because maybe your boyfriend will be there."


"Well, because maybe he won't give you free stuff if I'm with you."

A good point. But I was starting to feel a little uncomfortable about young Juan's french fry overtures. I mean, what exactly did he expect in return for the french fries? Where exactly was our relationship going? So Steve came with me. And Juan wasn't there.

A few weeks later, I drove through Del Taco for lunch. Surely Juan won't be there, I thought. I've only seen him at night.

I drove up to a familiar smile.

"Hello, my friend!"

"Hi, Juan! Are you working days now?"

"Nah, I'm just covering for someone."


There was an awkward pause. This was unfamiliar territory. We'd never seen each other in the daylight! I wondered what would happen.

When he handed me my bag, it didn't feel too heavy. There was a breathless moment of anticipation as I opened it. The smell of french fries filled my car.

"Juan, you really shouldn't keep doing this."

"I know!"

And, smiling, he closed the window.


Azúcar said...

I want to make some sort of "hot" and "fry" pun, but I will resist.

That Juan! I wonder if he's cousins with the guy who keeps asking me out to "teach him english" at Bajios.

Emmie said...

Have I told you how much I love your profile picture?

sis of skanky chris said...

You should write a novel some day and start it with this line:

"I was starting to feel a little uncomfortable about young Juan's french fry overtures."

I have come back to read this blog multiple times just to read that perfect sentence. It's a gem.

Azúcar said...

Am I reading the beginning of a Bulwer-Lytton entry?

Geo said...

Keep eating those fries, and soon you'll be Juan's little ¡gordita!

Kiki said... have a novio! Mmm...french fries...