Friday, February 26, 2010

The Whole Enchilada

Had a week of February blues with a drizzly topping of ohcrap and this sucks and a few chunks of crunchy poor me. I think, in fact, that I've been a Class A Bitch for the last three weeks. Nothing and everything is wrong.

Then yesterday we went for a long walk with the dog and stopped off at our neighborhood Mexican place. A place that has always spoken to us of the reality of some sort of god, in that it is a REAL Mexican place, not a Tex-Mex, not a nachos and corona place. We go there and we feel blessed: real, fresh horchada in our leafy Calgary suburb. We feel warmer just knowing it's there, tucked between the auto repair shop and the pet groomer's.

We were the only people in the place, with the exception of a middle-aged couple in the process of ending their marriage. His idea. You could tell because his tones were modulated and his face didn't look like it had been vacuumed of all air and youth and life. I think he'd found someone else--he seemed lit up, barely able to contain his excitement, like he was going on an amazing adventure in the morning and couldn't wait to get home and start packing. This time, however, he was taking the couch with him. Also his grandmother's vanity, which yes she loves but he'll have to take, he hopes she understands.

I wonder, when they got married, as she was getting her hair done and putting on her blue eyeshadow--did she could sense the shadow of Mi Tiera stretching out across the years? Was there something in the prime rib redolent of roasting chiles and simmering pibil, something that felt both hot and very very cold all at once? Some people have presentiments of their own deaths; perhaps some marriages arrive holding hands with the divorce. If I get a divorce ever, I imagine it will begin with not getting a martini. I don't really even like them, but the thought of someone else having a martini and me having a predictable old Rhone always makes me feel an odd mixture of comfortable and very very sad.

The saddest thing for me about the strangers breaking up over enchiladas: Mi Tiera is ruined for her now. Instead of being that unexpected Mexican delight with the amazing salsa verde, it's now that place where Tom spoke in modulated tones about how much his hotel would cost a week and how they would have to communicate through a third party from here on in because they were going to have to be direct and unemotional when dividing their possessions.

Of course I can't make sense of any of this--perhaps she's a horror, he's better off with out her, she's better off without him, perhaps his mother made their marriage a living hell. Maybe neither of them could stand even one more day of the drudgery. All I know is this: next time we're at Mi Tiera, I'm going to order the hottest thing on the menu, do something a little less safe and predictable, and blink back the tears until my husband looks like there are diamonds all over him.

1 comment:

  1. You made my stomach flip.

    Word Verification: joke!