I ordered something to eat at the rolling Mexican food place-a taqueria?-outside the wine place I like out in West Little Rock.
As the kid-maybe 10-was writing down my order he asked me a question.
"Senor, have you ever seen an Anaconda?"
"In person? No."
"They can eat big rats and small dogs even."
" Do I remind you of an Anaconda?" Could be. I still hold a license to practice law.
"No Senor," the kid said. "I'm just studying them and I think it's interesting. I get bored taking down orders for Mama and I like to talk to customers."
I told him that was OK and that I would see him in a minute after I had bought my groceries at the liquor store.
When I returned to the rolling restaurant there was a lady standing there looking at the menu on the side of the van. She is wearing a smock as would a worker in a nursing home or some other useful profession.
"Excuse me, " she said. " Have you eaten here before?"
"Yeah," I said. "It's great."
"Well, I live in Southwest Little Rock. These kind of places are all over there. They are all good. "
"Mabelvale. Over by the ball park."
" Little Oaks? Played Little League and Babe Ruth there. Was baptized at Mabelvale United Methodist."
" You're kidding! "
I extend my hand.
"My name is Paul, ma'am"
"My name is Carla," she says." Your shirt says Hendrix. You went to Hendrix? And you're from Mabelvale?"
"Yes ma'am," I said. " And my law degree also says I'm from Mablevale, Arkansas."
"Why would I lie about that?"
"Well I guess you wouldn't," she said turning back to the menu. " How are the burritos?"
"Don't know. Good luck. I bet they're good. I have to go now."
"Nobody's from Mabelvale," she said.
"Nobody but you and me," was my reply. And I walked away.
I swear to God this happened tonight.