Team Taco™! Hello! It is Friday! Which, historically, is not Tuesday.
What happened? Great question. Thank you for asking.
I spent last weekend in Texas hanging out with my best friend and our daughter, drinking and getting boosted and feeling like shit and cleaning up my past mistakes. It was wonderful.
On Monday, I flew home.
Tuesday? Our immigration appointment to renew our residence permits. It was, in a word, bad. Everything worked out! Hopefully! But our brains ceased functioning and have just now started to return. Just kidding, I have to drive back Friday morning because they screwed something up. (Hey, that’s today!)
Wednesday — a hellscape date of work and broken brains from the anxiety and stress of immigration appointments. It’s a unique type of awful to ask permission to live where you feel best. Being an immigrant is one of best things about me and it’s so tiring to need permission to be myself. Oh, that’s the theme of this newsletter? Shit.
(A quick aside, but fuck the term expat.)
We all know what happened Thursday.
And now it’s Friday. I woke up. At 3AM. Because I was having anxiety dreams about sleeping through my alarm (and Pancho) and getting kicked out of Mexico. Love that for me. So I woke up. I worked. I made bad art. I played a video game. I took Pancho for his morning walk. I drove an hour to the immigration office to pick up my visa. I waited an hour. I was told they had not fixed my problem and that I’d have to come back next Wednesday. I argued. I fought. I sighed. I wanted to punch a wall. I left my number. I ran errands. I got stuck in traffic. I had a couple of tacos for lunch. I had a beer.
On a whim, I ordered one more taco. It sounded nice. I was grumpy. A gringa al pastor — flour tortilla, griddled queso Oaxaca, al pastor, onions, cilantro. I topped it with three spoons of habanero salsa, one of avocado salsa. A squeeze of lime. My second beer is delivered. Heineken. The first day I came back to this taqueria after we moved here, my guy asked if I wanted a Heineken. I laughed — I was escaping the Dutch by moving to Mexico and here I was, thousands of miles away, being offered the national beer of The Netherlands. I accepted. I made a deal with myself. If he ever asks if I want a Heineken, I say yes.
Today? He asked. And when he set it down, it hit me. Shit. I got my count wrong this week. Fuck.
This is it. Taco 2,021.
Sometimes, things don’t end the way we think they will. And sometimes, things just are what they are. Done. Finished.
A needed reprieve from a bullshit week, month, year, life. Sometimes, what is in front of us is our life and we talk of trying to fit it into our already packed schedule and this and that and fuck.
Be here now.
The sun is out.
The beer from Holland is cold and dripping with sweat.
Your lips are burning from the salsa but you go back for more. Breathe in through your nose right before you take a bite and get lost in the smell. This? This right here is perfection and ordinary and boring and wonderful.
And you fucking earned it.
TACO TOTAL — 2021/2021
This Week’s Taco Total — 20
November Taco Total — 112
Oh christ, FINALLY. No more counting. The counting was the worst part of this project by far. Sharing personal trauma and failures and growth? Super easy. Writing ~100k words? Barely an inconvenience. Counting? Fuck that.
Also. Do you know how hard it was to not eat 20 tacos in Texas? We went to Buffalo Wild Wings. On purpose.
Going to write more next week about wrapping up and what's next. I have a few more big ol' bummers of reports that I'm finishing wrting that'll be released in December. Taco Report is staying in 2021, but will still have something next year where I send you sad notes every week. Because this has been wonderful and why would I stop that?