Saturday, March 28, 2015
“Well Ain’t It, ya still got that slick tongue of yours I see.” Clay picked at this taco with a white plastic fork. “Yah, sweet talked old Hawk Legs ya did.”
“Good grief, you going down that road? I said. “I’m being sociable. Try it sometime instead and maybe folks would treat you as friendly rather than strange.”
Clay, giving me some stink eye, shook his head and refused to answer. I crossed the line a little with the remark about being strange. Native people once believed being mentally off or “touched” was sacred. The elders still did but younger generations were less likely to treat the trait with honor.
“Sorry brother, that was a bit mean spirited. How ya liking the taco?”
“Oh, it’s okay, yah, the taco too. Thanks for buying. But…”
Clay went back to probing what remained of his food.
“But what?” I asked.
“Look at this taco. Here’s this deep fried disc of bread with toppin’s on it. We got refried beans, lettuce, seasoned burger, onions, tomato, and grated cheese. To make it fancy, we also add some good hot salsa to it all. Tell me Ain’t It, is the toppin’s the taco or the bread?”
“The combination is the taco Clay. The bread alone is just bread and without the toppings it isn’t a taco.”
Clay shot me a big smile. His chin was shiny from grease and a dab of salsa remained at the corners of his mouth.
“We all got toppin’s Ain’t It, some more than others, even you. The you that was yackin’ at Hawk Legs wasn’t the you that is the bread, follow? But like the taco, it was still you sorta. Just cause it isn’t how you are all the time doesn’t make it any less you.”
“What you trying to say Clay?”
My old buddy finished the last few bites of his taco and wiped his mouth with the back of his hand.
“Hey, how’s about a cola to wash this bad boy down then, I’ll tell ya.”
Going back to the gaggin’ wagon, I returned with some off brand cans of pop.
“Them people inside me, well, they are flat out different from me, the bread me. Yours, yours are subtle but they are there for sure but you ain’t takin’ no drugs for it. How come? Never mind. Don’t answer, I know. Just brew on it for yourself. Hey look, some guys need help settin’ up the arbor. Let’s go do that.”
Clay jumped up and started over so I followed, disturbed, but willing. Our help was appreciated and we kept at it until grand entry time. My heart percolated the whole time and the water of my friend’s words washed over my spirit. The beverage it made was on the bitter side.
Copyright © 2015 Migizi M. New Song. All Rights Reserved.