Gasoline for Burritos

March 9, 2006

Today at the office where I am working there was a going-away party for an employee who took a job at another law firm. There was tons of catered quesadillas, chimichangas, chili poppers, and cheesecake. There were even margaritas, but I avoided those.

While scarfing a couple of wedges of quesadilla with sour cream and guacamole, one of my coworkers asked if I had ever had burritos from El Burrito Loco on North Portland Boulevard. I told him how I had been addicted to that place for about a year, until I found La Sirenita on NE Alberta.

All of a sudden, my mind was filled with images of all the times I glanced at my watch to see if there was still time for a machaca or chorizo burrito at La Sirenita before they closed at 10pm. This is when I was living in NW Portland, meaning I had a 20-minute drive to get there. That’s how good those burritos were. And they only cost $3 at the time.

Later, on the way home from work on TriMet, it struck me that every time I made that journey in my vehicle, I also dumped a couple of pounds of toxic gas and chemicals into the air. I am beginning to think that dumping my car was a really good idea. I can think of at least six ways to get to La Sirenita using my TriMet pass and my feet.

[Coda: I remember the time I barely made it to the taqueria one warm summer night as they were closing the door. I had worked all day and was planning on doing some video production while watching the house of a friend who lives three blocks away from the restaurant. I carried the food inside and put it on the coffee table while I unloaded the car. After getting all my gear into the house, I turned on the television and sat down to eat. But the food had disappeared! I looked all over for it, thinking I had just imagined putting it on the table. Then I noticed the guilty expression on the dog’s face. I found the shredded wrapper in the backyard. I was crestfallen. And super-pissed at the dog.]

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