"Can I have the hot dog, please?" I asked the woman inside the bright green Tacos D.F. truck on Long Point at Witte.
Photos by Katharine Shilcutt
"You're ordering a hot dog?" teased my friend Ryan with a chuckle. He'd already placed his order for a pastor taco and a can of Coke at the window. "I thought we were doing a taco truck crawl."
"I'm getting a taco, too!" I grinned sheepishly, before placing an additional order for a taco de cabeza.
"Is that what I think it is?" asked Ryan as he eyed the cabeza. Shreds of fine beef from a cow's head a la barbacoa filled the double corn tortilla that the woman handed through the window, topped with a handful of raw white onions and cilantro leaves. Despite his initial misgivings over its provenance, he ate his half of the taco with relish -- pronouncing it "great" when he was finished -- and I remembered why I'd missed him so much.
Ryan was my best friend in college, where we fancied ourselves a couple of misfits at a highly conservative university that made both of us itchy and desperate with discomfort. We met on the first day of school our freshman year, both of us shunted into an off-campus apartment complex because the dorms were overflowing in the late '90s and, somehow, releasing 17-year-olds into the wild seemed like a good idea at the time.
Ryan couldn't cook. I had roommates that I hated. We bonded over shared meals in his apartment and nights spent commiserating with each other about the limited kinds of politics and religious dogma that teenagers understand while the other kids rushed sororities or went to Bible study. Until last week, I hadn't seen him in ten years.More »