Wednesday, April 6, 2011

One Table Over: Mexican Restaurant

La Fiesta. In Spanish, it means "party," but there is no party here today. The restaurant is empty of patrons save for the few of us, each sitting solo in the bar area.
Pardon me.
La Cantina.
I tried to call my daughter before I came, but she didn't answer her phone, so here I am, all alone, dining on a deep-fried avocado stuffed with spicy shredded chicken. This is the only place I know that gets it perfect every time I have it. I'm hardly interested in the rice and black beans on the side. For me, it's all about crunching into the creamy green pulp of the fruit and savoring the flavor of the chicken/avocado blend.
I read on my Kindle (by the way, I love my Kindle, and I could go on for hours and hours about how much I love it, and how you should get one, too.) and listen to the music floating through the dining area. The tune is a popular one, though the vocalist is singing in Spanish instead of English. The colors here are bold. Orange and blue tiles on the table. Purple frames on the arched windows and doorways. Bits of Mexico decorate the walls. Corona is heavily advertised. La Cerveza Mas Fina. The Better Beer.
I haven't decided if my waitor is gay. He is decidedly effeminite, but I don't want to make assumptions. He has that particular lilt in his voice, and he talks to one of the other guests about his autistic niece. He's very charming and friendly. If he's gay, I wonder if he's single, and if he is, then next time I come here, I know who to bring with me. (I am not normally a matchmaker, but if there's a possibility, then what harm is there in arranging a circumstancial meeting?)
The next time he comes to my table, I look and see that he's wearing a wedding band.
Darn the luck.
One person pays his tab and leaves. Shortly after, a woman is seated at the empty table.
She is across from me, so I can observe her without having to adjust my position. I'm interested in her particularly because I feel as if I'm looking into a mirror- a magic mirror that would turn me hispanic.
She is, after all, a hispanic version of me. She has long black hair that trails down her back in layers. Mine is brown. She is short, like me, and has a couple of extra pounds, like me, and she is wearing glasses under a nice sprig of bangs, like me.
The similarities don't stop there. She wears the same style skirt as me. Hers is black. Mine is brown. Her sweater is grey. Mine is tan. Her shoes are the slip-on kind you get at Walmart, just like mine. Guess what color hers are? Black. Mine are...right...brown.
I try not to smile when she pulls out her e-reader and places it on the table. She sees me, and I smile politely at her, trying not to seem nosy. I wonder what she's reading.
I'm reading The Year She Fell by Alicia Rasley.
Our waitor saunters over to her table and asks her casually about her e-reader. He wants to get one for his niece.
She lights up, obviously overjoyed that she gets to brag about her....Nook.


I can't believe I thought I would have anything in common with her!


  1. I love these One Table Over posts, Nessa! It's the sort of thing I'm always doing at restaurants -- looking around to check out all the characters, making mental notes, taking it all in. You never know what you'll find--colorful characters, and sometimes an excellent first sentence! ;)

  2. Thanks, Jayne. I'm enjoying writing these kind of posts. I've always been a quiet observer.