Blog, Essays & Art

Chips. 06/14/05

I don’t really like kids, but they are often drawn to me, for some reason.

Today I thought, “What I really want to do after work is to go over to Chili’s and have some chips and salsa. And a margarita.”

So I walk over there, just about 4 minutes from work, take a booth near the bar (at the front of the restaurant, looking out over the main entrance to the mall) and order a Chambord margarita. Waitress comes by, brings drink, I ask for chips. She brings me a heaping mound of salty warm tortilla chips and a nice spicy salsa.…. Ahhh, yes. One of my very favorite foods, chips.

I read my book, munch chips, drink margarita. I look up from my drink and my book. A small girl, maybe five years old, is hanging on the railing which separates the bar from the mall walkway. “Are those nachos?” she asks me.

“Just chips,” I reply. “Chips are my favorite food,” she says, staring at me and smiling. I hand her a big chip. She giggles and runs off, exit stage right…

A minute later, a smaller girl (maybe three?) comes up to the railing. I hand her a chip, she smiles and wanders off. Then the bigger girl comes back and asks, “Can I have two more chips for my brudders?” I hand her two more nice big chips. She runs off.

Five minutes later, two girls, standing at the railing of the bar at Chili’s at the mall, and me behind the railing at my booth, sipping a margarita, all staring at each other and smiling... I show them my Hello Kitty bag and coin purse. The older one shows me the glitter-paint-tattoo flower on the side of her face and explains where she got it… I pay my bill and leave the table, heading out to the bus stop before an indignant mother might come by to accuse me of feeding junk food to her little girls.

I think it’s just that some children realize I’m a big kid myself, pretending (sometimes) to be a grownup.




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