I take the LRT to Southgate mall on a Friday night. I feel like a real fancy city feller, having come such a long way from growing up on a farm. What would my 5 year old self think? He’d be proud. There’s no doubt about that.
Of course I’m going to eat at the Food Court. How often do I get the chance to eat at a Food Court? Almost never. And of course it’s going to be Taco Time. They’re a rare commodity.
At the till, there’s a lady ordering and beside her is a young man, maybe 9 or 10. I’m not quite sure if he’s in line, waiting for food? Is this his mother? What’s he doing here, waiting in no-man’s land. When his maybe mom leaves and he remains, we look at each other. He motions that I go next even though he was here before I arrived. I look him right in the eye and he insists. “go, go” his hands say.
“I’ll get a Beef Burrito. I’ll get the combo and …. uh. Rootbeer.” I think root beer goes with beef filling and tots. As I’m paying I can feel this kid’s eyes on me. I glance over at him and he turns his head the other way, slurping on a pop, bouncing on the spot.
When I step aside he moves to the till and orders a bottle of ginger ale. He shells out some coins and suddenly he’s two-fisting it. Drinking two pops at once and just bouncin’ like a real buckaroo. He looks to me again. I nod respectfully. But what the fuck is this kid doing here on a friday night drinking two pops? This I can not grasp. Is this what kids do with their free time now? What happened to Magic the Gathering?
I take my tray to a table and swallow that beef burrito whole.