"Where is everybody?" Ramona said, getting up without helping Felipe get up. He seemed to prefer the prone position as before and again with one elbow propping him up, he carried on the conversation from there.
"We had to close when Claudio left."
"Why?" Ramona said, more alarm in her voice than intended.
"Because he knew everything about taco stuff and we don't."
"You jackass. I'm asking you why Claudio left, not about tacos?"
"He went to a monastery," Felipe said as effortlessly as if he had just relayed that Claudio had fallen off a log.
"Why?" she said in distress, watching The Good Life puff away.
"You asked that already."
"Where?" she said, ready to pounce at him like an agitated wolverine.
"And you asked that too, already."
"This is awful."
"That's what your friend said."
"The gal you were with when one of you tripped me in the dining area the other day."
"You mean Glenda?"
"Don't know since I didn't catch her name, and she was dressed in some kinda white frumpy dress and wobbled about in those black high heels."
"Glenda, if you insist."
"She was here? Today?"
"No, two days ago."
"Why that flirt. She never told me."
"She was just as messed up about it as you are. I think she almost cried."
"Glenda never cries and will never cry. You need a heart to do that. And no one will cry at her funeral, not even her."
"Maybe she is not your friend."
"Best one I ever had. Did he say when he was coming back to make more money?"
"I think when you go to one of those places, it's, like, forever."
"He'll die there?"
"With full honors."
Ramona wanted to kick Felipe in the head but decided the pastilla didn't know he was a pastilla so her kicking him on any part of his body would be wasted effort and energy.
"So, he just walked away from making money to maybe begging with a tin cup on the streets."
"I don't know."
"Of course not. You don't know anything."
"I know Claudio is gone out of your life, for good. And I don't think he was ever in it, if somebody would ask me."
Ramona felt she could have squeezed Felipe's head to half its size then pull his lips over his eyes and then drag him through the kitchen, across the dining area, and out the front door. He quickly moved out of her reach. Her eyes must have ratted on her.
She left the European Grill for good. She went online looking for a pestoso.
She found an ideal website, Chicanos For Love. They helped you match up with your personal idea of a dream. The categories were endless:
Lowrider Hynas Girls Connecting With Lowrider Batos
Taco Eating Chicanos Looking For Taco Eating Chicanas Y Visa Versa
Committed Cholos Looking For Committing Cholas
Rejected Chicanos Looking For Accepting Chicanas And Visa Versa
Workout Type Chicanas Looking For Workout Type Chicanos
Professional Types Looking For Somewhat Professional Types
Tejana Music Lovers Wanting Tejano Music Lovers. Oldies Fans Will Do.
The list went on for pages, so she, Ramona, felt she would find someone.
Glenda took the philosophical approach. "Qué se vaya donde quera. I found somebody else anyway," she told Ramona over a coffee latte at a downtown coffee latte place.