Breakfast Tacos by Vincent Cooper

So I woke up Sunday morning
dragged my ass out of bed and went to take my morning piss
made some coffee with the intent of making the best cup in the world
not just for myself but for my angel who is still asleep
I remember the euphoria of waking up to the smell of coffee in the morning
and was hoping to capture that feeling for her today
and while I am in the mood I thought I’d surprise her with breakfast tacos from Piknik

"Breakfast Tacos" (photo by Flickr users Steve and Sara Emry)

I tip-toed out the front door hoping the alarm wouldn’t wake her up
nor the sound of starting the car… and I’m off
I drove down a few blocks to the Piknik stand we prefer
I can already taste the carne guisada and chicharron tacos
currently steaming and an older lady that resembles my mother waiting to prepare them
When I arrived I realized that I did not comb my hair
I only put gel and ran my hand through
then I quickly dismissed my appearance arrogantly
I place my order in my best broken-up Spanglish
there’s no way they can tell I’m originally from LA right?
I’m wearing shades from Van’s, and rock band shirt with cargo shorts
A blue collar walks in and places his order after me
much too early to be working on a weekend, I thought
then I realized how much I had it made
and how I would be sinking into my sofa for the rest of the day in about thirty minutes
kids are lazy these days
I’m lazy
she’s flipping the tortillas over
and I start to scan lottery tickets like Charlie boy in Willy Wonka
as if this lotto ticket will make dreams come true
then it happened…
… he walked in and changed the course of the morning
A teenager walked in with his shaved head
tattooed and wife-beater shirt
he was pavement tough
like the pavement of a street nearby
that can withstand stray dogs, hood rat chanclas and some of the most awful human
beings ever
broken beer bottles and mocosos chasing the ice cream van
He had the Jesus eye
You know… the eye of the Jesus that was beaten to a pulp
and is now manufactured into some sort of product that you can buy to protect your home
from evil
that eye

"Holy Smokes Jesus" (photo by Flickr user Zlatko Unger)

He walks in and grabs a lighter from the lighter display and commences to light a joint in
the middle of this convenience store
The cashier who is probably the owner begins to warn this kid and starts to yell
The kid tells him,”Hey, I just needed a light,”
And then throws the lighter directly into the
chest of our
flustered owner/cashier and he leaves
Blue collar turns over to me and tells me, “Kids don’t respect shit these days.”
I remember becoming instantly angry
This blue collar son of a bitch just lumped me into a status
I didn’t feel quite comfortable in
I am 30 years old and I just saw Jesus Christ walk in and light a joint in front of my face,
blue collar’s face, Mr. Owner and tortilla flipper.
We didn’t do a fucking thing about it. We couldn’t. We witnessed it and sulked.
I pay the man and leave. I walked to the car looking around for him
I should have paid for that lighter and should have asked him for a hit
to wash away my sins.

Vincent Cooper is a writer of poetry and short stories. He has also co-written a screenplay, I’m only sleeping, a fictional story of John Lennon’s life having survived his death. Cooper was born in Los Angeles, CA but raised in South Texas primarily. His tumultuous childhood and struggle to maintain family connections create the recipe for his honest unabashed style of writing. Some of his influences include Bukowski, Ginsberg and Lennon. Cooper’s work was most recently featured on Austin’s Haggard & Halloo. He has participated in several poetry readings including Puro slam. He currently resides in San Antonio, Texas and can be found on Twitter @vinnycoop.