I was staring out the window at the cars passing on the street outside of Taco Bell when I sensed someone was watching. I looked down and saw Clara smiling at me curiously.
“What were you thinking about?” she asked softly.
“Oh,” I frowned and glanced around the restaurant tiredly. “I was thinking about how much I still have to get done at work, and how I can’t possibly do it all in time.”
She nodded, as if she already knew what I was going to say.
“You know,” I said after a moment or two. “I often think it would be better for all of us if I just quit my job and came to work at a place like this. No more studies. No reports. No deadlines. Just me and a uniform, making tacos.”
I took a deep breath and looked back at the window. In the reflection I could see myself sitting at the table, a little girl still sitting beside me, looking up at me with sad knowing eyes. Eyes wise beyond their years. And behind those wise young eyes, a tiny machine was working its way into a thought.
“Dad,” she said finally.
She placed a hand on my arm and grimaced. “Dad, tacos have deadlines too.”
“Tacos have deadlines,” She pointed over her shoulder into the kitchen where three young men were frantically tossing beans into taco shells and handing them out the window to waiting cars. “Everything has deadlines really.” She shrugged and went back to poking at the plastic buttons on the lid of her water glass.
“Huh… Yeah…” I turned to look back out the window. I guess she’s right.