It wasn’t because we were skateboarding in their parking lot, it was because we kept going back with the same cup well past the unspoken limit of free refills and we could get away with that shit when the girl who wore the Operation Ivy pin on her apron was working the counter but Carl was working that day and Carl was one of those sad assholes who bought into the Taco bell corporate structure and he truly thought he would move from the counter to becoming an owner one day even though he would have to work 200 hours a week for a thousand years to afford the franchise fee so when we took advantage of the free refill policy he took it as a personal affront and chased us out of the parking lot but he didn’t see us drive my Grandma’s minivan around the block, nor did he see the sliding door open up so John could jump out, steal a chair from the dining room and get back in faster than Carl could say Chilito which used to be on the menu before they changed it to a Chili Cheese Burrito before they took it off the menu entirely and we drove off with our turquoise trophy which I held onto for 20 years until I put in my kid’s room for him to sit on while he makes sick drawings of monsters and sharks and shit.
Tim Stafford is a poet and educator from Lyons, IL. He is the editor of the Learn Then Burn anthology series on Write Bloody Publishing. He performs regularly at poetry festivals throughout Europe including the International Spoken Word Festival (Germany) and the WOERDZ Festival (Switzerland). His debut collection “The Patron Saint of Making Curfew” will be published in November 2021 by Haymarket Books.