When I was a sophomore at Lanier High School in 1985 I was what you might call an outsider… or a dork, nerd, freak, geek, or any number of pejoratives I can’t write in a family friendly blog. I wanted to be liked, but I didn’t have the tools to be accepted. I had moved around my whole life and this stunted my ability to maintain relationships with people, or at least that’s what I tell myself. At some point I said ‘screw this.’ If I couldn’t join ‘em, I’d beat ‘em. From that point on I held the popular kids and cliques in contempt. I argued with people constantly – leveraging my advantage (a voracious appetite for information and love of language) against anyone who wasn’t as informed about politics, current events, music, and trivia. I got heavily involved in school activities, working on the school newspaper, the yearbook, the literary magazine. I rebooted the chess club, which had been dormant probably since about the time Bobby Fischer disappeared. I wore ridiculous clothes, and ridiculous hair. I hung out only with people who I thought were fellow outcasts, or intellectually superior to me. I had a crush on any girl that looked like Siouxsie Sioux, Annabella Lwin, or Elizabeth Fraser. I wrote pointed editorials in the school paper about the administration, the students, the teachers and the world.
And then a funny thing happened. People started to respect me, or in some cases hate me. Instead of mild distaste, goons would be moved to kick my ass – but others were moved to stand up for me. Teachers would play chess with me. People tried to save my soul and in the process ended up with their own faith diminished.
Once I left high school my whole outlook changed. I couldn’t keep disliking people like I had after realizing how challenging everyone’s lives were regardless of their intellect or politics. In the real world what you know doesn’t matter nearly as much as what you can do. The little territory I’d staked out for myself in my societal construct became irrelevant as I struggled to survive and make a living.
Every once in a while, though, I like to think back on those times – when I knew everything and I was master of my domain no matter how small or imaginary it was. Occasionally, here, we also like to revisit taquerias we’ve been to before. This week it’s Taqueria El Mexicano on Leopard. We reviewed it once before, but I have reasons for going back there. They’ve got great flour tortillas. Their mollejas are about perfect. Their carne guisada is some of the best in town. The chorizo & egg leaves a little to be desired. The hand-painted signage is some of the best in town. It’s on Leopard but it’s close enough to a major highway that you’re not too likely to get stabbed in the parking lot unless you’re asking for it. The interior is old and a little funky, but with an air of respectability. The drive-through window is peppered with hundreds of stickers people have left as they’ve picked up tacos on the way to work, mostly oilfield services companies and their ilk. The building has seen better days but looking at it you can almost take yourself back to a time when it was master of its domain.
Our free taco winner for this week is:
Paz is a hot mess. I don’t know what her issue with temperature and cameras is, but she must have one or why else would she be taking her clothes off every time someone takes a picture of her. And a mess she is, getting sloppy drunk at premieres and literally ‘hanging out’ with Courtney Love (NSFW). She’s even picked up the beating-people-up habit from Courtney, pleading out of a harassment case with some other less talented bimbo from reality tv. I can say what I want about her, but I can’t say she’s not beautiful, or that she isn’t aptly cast as one of the most interesting characters in the new, improved season 2 of Boardwalk Empire. Here’s to her and those like her, crazy chicks are a lot of fun if you can stay out of the blast radius.
Offer includes 2 tacos, an audience with the ‘tacoteurs,’ and a free tacotopia t-shirt. Please redeem this offer at Whetstone Graphics on a Friday morning of your choice. Offer subject to cancellation by order of the wives of the tacoteurs. Enter to win by emailing your name in on the back of issue 117 of Flaunt magazine to email@example.com.