Staring red-eyed and perplexed into the gigantic black board, I realized of all the places in the world right now, this was where I wanted to be. It didn’t matter that it was 2 a.m. or that I had just waited for what seemed like an eternity in a line dwarfed only by those at Disneyland. Screw the fact that the dude behind me was coughing up his lungs all over the back of my neck. I had to ignore it; otherwise my hunger would be left for my stomach to handle on its own, and that sorry excuse for tissue would never let me hear the end of it.
It was my turn at last.
Quesadilla, rice, black beans, chicken, cheese, a little guacamole, medium salsa, pico de gallo, onions, lettuce, and wrap it like a burrito. I spouted out my order like a veteran actor, yet the saliva from my mouth made me look more like one of Ivan Pavlov’s famous drooling dogs.
The lady wrapping my burrito was a pro – hands flashed before my eyes, expertly maneuvering the flour tortilla and its delicious contents into the epitome of perfection. I grabbed for my wallet. Three bucks. Fuck.
Buying that eighth earlier had devastated my cash supply, but not my spirits. I had almost forgotten Freebirds accepted debit cards now. I couldn’t help but do a little dance right there by the cash register. The future cancer victim behind me paused during his order to stare at my pathetic attempts, but I stopped and pulled out the only piece of plastic currently in my wallet and handed it over.
Seconds went by. I hoped the recent tangle with buying overpriced text books had not fucked me over again. I stared intently at the cash register, waiting for it to pass as my pathetic excuse for payment.
No dice. The cashier handed me back my card. I didn’t know what to do. My delicious quesadilla-wrapped burrito lay on the counter, and it was laughing. That couldn’t be the weed’s work, I thought. Never had I experienced the munchies to the point where my food actually produced intelligible actions. Maybe on shrooms, most likely on acid, but not because of what I had been toking.
Everyone in the room looked at me – they all could hear it, too. The burrito was actually fucking laughing at me. Low self-esteem is one thing, but when a burrito thinks you are the punch line then you know you’re doing something wrong.
Just then though, I heard the most glorious words uttered from the most unlikely of sources.
“Hey, bro. Don’t worry about it, I gotcha covered.”
My jaw dropped open. No fucking way, I thought. As much I wanted that sadistic burrito, I couldn’t let this guy pay for me. Could I? Ah, fuck it.
The dude behind me shoved the cashier a wad of bills, covering both of our meals, then handed me my burrito. I was speechless. The guy whose now-dried saliva coated the back of my neck had more than pulled through in the clutch. I barely even managed to mumble out a thank you, but I wanted to yell out to all the drunken, stoned and sleep-deprived Freebirds junkies that this man was a hero.
He didn’t need superpowers and he sure as hell beat the shit out of Batman. This man gave freedom and salvation to a fellow stoner during his time of ultimate need. He should have been carried down the streets of Isla Vista on a thousand shoulders. No, he should be given the Nobel Prize for his contribution. Yes, the smoker, the mistakenly evil and wretched nemesis of all those pure, and the bro you thought would be the dirtball in this story, performed an act that not many of you healthy-lunged Gauchos would have even thought about.
No one helps a stranger in need anymore. All right, you might give that incredibly banging girl lined up at the bar a shot or snap a bowl with that hottie next door, but what about when there aren’t any altruistic intentions involved? Next time you find yourself blazed out of your mind, don’t forget to help out your fellow man or woman, and secondly, don’t forget to hit up that ATM before you decide to wet your whistle.