I was sitting in a Mexican food restaurant eating a burrito by myself last night. I was thinking about all the harm that my parents had caused me in my life and my thoughts were turning into a merry-go-round of self-pitying memories. I was sad and forlorn, so I decided to put punish myself by putting extra hot sauce on my burrito and eating as many jalapenos as I could. I watched the crowd of people who seemed much happier than I, all eating their food and caught up in the story of their lives. I felt like an outsider- like someone who had been disinherited.
As I made my way through my burrito (I was so caught up in my thoughts that I no longer tasted the burrito) an attractive teenage girl approached me. She could not have been a day over seventeen and her bleached blonde hair and black eye makeup told me that she was still stuck in that adolescent stage of trying to be someone who she was not ( a stage that I am yet to grow out of). She stood there besides my table, looking at me in the eyes, looming over me like a ghost that had come to deliver some fatal news. “Excuse me sir,” she said in a voice that did not yet seem to suffer the ravages of puberty. “You know you are a really really handsome man, in an older man kind of way.” I was taken aback, somewhat mystified by what was taking place. I did not smile or respond. “I really like the grey streaks in your hair,” she said smiling at me in a slightly seductive kind of way. As quickly as she appeared she walked away. My eyes followed her across the room where she joined three other giggling teenage girls who were watching the whole thing. Together they laughed while looking at me and then left the mexican food restaurant. Before the teenage girl entirely disappeared from my sight, she blew me a kiss and then gave me a wave goodbye.
I sat there with my burrito going limp in my hands. I looked around the room to see if anyone else had just seen what had taken place. The self-pitying thoughts that were spiraling around in my head were now gone. Now I was just trying to make sense of the interruption that had momentarily violated my privacy. “Handsome in an older man kind of way?” I thought. “What is that supposed to mean?” I tried to make sense of this by telling myself that it was probably a teenage prank. The kind of prank that I used to play on other people who had been subjected to the laws of aging. But now I was the butt of the joke and I was uncomfortable with how it felt. I slowly put my burrito down, took a deep breath and made my way out of the restaurant like someone who was trying not to be seen.