my hope was handed back to me tonight by the tamale guy and it only cost $1.75. in the pool room, i sat and i watched the seconds become minutes become hours and wanted a tamale so badly. he always comes sometime after 1, and he always has enough cheese tamales for the gang, and he always smiles when i speak to him in my broken spanish.
but it was getting late and i was getting hungry and he was nowhere to be found.
i thought, if he doesn’t come, then that’s it. i don’t know anything anymore.
i sank further into the black vinyl and sipped hard on my glass of water and fought back yawns. that’s when lars appeared, around the corner, waving at us. “look what i have.”
my heart leapt, and i followed it, over to the tamale guy, standing with his blue cooler and plastic baggies and still-warm tamales. i handed him a couple of crumpled dollars, he handed me a chicken tamale, and i sank my teeth into my hope.
“gracias,” i said.
“de nada,” he said, and all i could do was smile.