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Jan 2012
There are literally dozens of them in the valley.
Mexican food places
that end in 'betos' or 'bertos'
but for me
there was never any other
besides 'Losbetos'.
It sat at the crossroads of
Greenfield and University
a few hundred feet from my Dad's house.
Growing up through my teen years
it was always apart of my routine.
it was always there.
I took great pride in that place
always pledging my love
for their immaculate burros.
Bean & cheese
beans, lettuce, rice, and cheese
a Country burro, with eggs, potatoes, and cheese
and of course the churros.
That's all I would order from that place.
I'd walk in
and the owner
who was always working
in his jeans and Losbeto's shirt
with the fancy leather belt and shiny Mexican buckle
I'd walk in and he'd always say
'Bean & Cheese or Country?'
From my days with Ian as ***** punkers
carrying back our brown bags of burros
to eat them while watching Jason Lives.
Then being married, living at my Dad's
my walks to Losbeto's
afforded much needed breaks
from my pregnant and moody new bride
or years later
when I was down & out
3 bucks to my name
I'd spend it there and it was always worth it.
The cheese was melted
the beans tasted like my Nana's
the tortillas were fluffy and soft
it put Filiberto's to shame.
Every woman
that has ever danced with me
and then exited my life
went through there.
One time, over a four day period,
I went in there with three different girls
a new woman everyday
and on the fourth I went in alone.
The owner's round face lit up
and he laughed loudly
as I approached the counter in my boots & leather jacket
"No girls today, my fren?"
"Ha ha ha! No, no, not today."
It was like going home
every time I walked in.
Made friends with the owner's son
and we'd always *******
about our Dad's and how nothing pleased them
he even hooked me up with a few Losbeto's hats
for preferred customers only.
I had it made.
Until last week
life falling apart
woman left me
job fired me
no money for the bus to job hunt
I was stuck.
But that night I was with a friend
and he said, he'd buy us burritos.
So we pulled up from the back
and I instantly sensed something was wrong.
The family's SUV was parked in the drive-thru
the sign shut off and darkened
a big orange U-Haul parked next to the side door.
It felt like pulling up to your house
with yellow tape surrounding it.
Without saying a word
I jumped from the truck and ran
straight for the backdoor.
When I saw the inside
my worst fears came to life
my heart sank into my gut.
The room was empty
everything moved out
lines on the walls from where
the prep table used to be.
The owner and his son
were sweeping up
while the little ninos ran around
with smiles on their faces
but none of the adults were smiling
not one.
"Wha? What's going on? Everything okay?"
I asked, hoping they were
just moving out old equipment
or something.
"No bro. We're closing down, homes."
The son said to me, with a glum look.
"What? No. Why?"
"They raised the rent on us, can't pay it, we're not making as much as we used to."
I felt guilty
I hadn't eaten there in nearly two weeks.
"So that's it? You guys are done?" I asked
The son looked to his Dad and asked him in Spanish.
He told him and then he told me,
"We're gonna try and find another location with cheaper rent, but I don't know. We'll see."
Then he gave me his number
and I said goodbye
walked back out to the truck
where my friend was waiting.
"*******, dude. You look like a family member just died."
"Yeah, that's what happened. Basically."
I'm gonna starve now.
Danny Valdez
Written by
Danny Valdez
   --- and Odi
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