Today, a glorious thing happened. I got off the weird highway (I-86, the one that goes east-west and has significantly fewer points of entry than I-15, the obviously superior and much more accessible north-south highway) in Chubbuck. Hungover and craving Taco Bell, I turned right.
It was in that instant that a glint of a sun beam off a buzzing hunk of shining metal leaped into my retina, AND LO! Serendipitous to my craving for Mexican cuisine, there she was: The El Herradero Taco Truck.
From the depths of the belly of the beast that is Idaho winter, she had triumphantly returned. A beautiful thing I learned to love upon moving to Idaho, the taco truck — much like many other creatures — goes into hibernation for the unforgiving winter months. It is unfortunate, but all the more splendid once they reemerge in the near-spring.
With a firm grip on the wheel, I cut across three lanes of Yellowstone Avenue traffic (so, nothing, but) to slide into the Walgreen’s parking lot. Though my car was still covered in slushy snow crud, the sun was shining and it felt like maybe, just maybe, winter’s brown frown wouldn’t last forever.
I was ushered to the truck by the songs of beautiful, beautiful Mexican angels that must live in the speaker system of that metallic goddess. I ordered my $5 three taco meal, complete with rice, beans, pickled jalapenos and a Diet Coke. I had to get cash from the Walgreens to pay for it, so incidentally I also walked away with a bottle of wine, but that’s more for your entertainment and less of an integral part of the story.
I took my Styrofoam treasure chest, sunk into my car, pushed the seat the whole way back and ate alone. But this was no sad occasion mis amigos, oh no. For when I looked to my right, there they were, another car of folks, seats back, bellies expanding with the delicious magical gas created by re-fried beans. And on down the line! Car after car, belly after belly, indulging together. Sure, we were separated by our roll cages, but it didn’t matter, because with the love of an El Herradero taco truck lunch, we ate as one.
I looked on to the side-head of the sunglassed man in the Durango next to me — who was he? Where had he come from? Where would he go? It didn’t matter, for all we really knew is that we had that moment. Maybe that was all we needed.
My eyes fell back out to the vast expanse of the Wal-Mart parking lot in front of me and I wondered how anyone could ever feel alone in America.
Where will the El Herradero truck go? I don’t know, but I intend to follow it.
[Disclaimer: I know “The El Herradero” reads “The The Herradero” but it sounds better that way and get outta my face.]