Down past 4 streets, lined rows of brownstones some close curbside, some set back, all lit with little white lights because this area was filled with spirit in late December. I reached the light blue building, met by my brother and the tiny smiling face of my main man Milo whose 1 year-old wide-eyed curiosity was drifting to sleep.
I kissed my brother on the cheek and Milo all over his baby face, pushed through two sets of doors, one that was sturdy as if it could withstand my incessant knocking. The other purely for aesthetic purposes, glass and aged wood, perfect for my nephew's little hands to leave frosty imprints on as he watched his silly aunt Megan play peek-a-boo with him as her brother opened the lock. We trekked up the winding staircase and into the apartment, the smell of our dinner drawing me closer and closer to the table.
"Have you ever had Calexico?" was the casual question that began the addiction, as he walked away to put Milo down to sleep.
"No", but I knew that smell couldn't disappoint, spice, roasted meat, and something acidic, vinegar.
The carne asada burrito and the pork tacos with pickled red onion, each smothered respectively with the specialty pumpkin arbol salsa, did not last long, but still teased me with lasting taste long after devoured.
It was after that night of watching Milo, typing up my 13 page paper on 20th Century American Poetry, and making breakfast the next morning for my tired brother and sister in law, that I knew I had to find a way to have that Calexico without the necessity of the hour and a half journey.
I spent that hour and a half on my way home, concocting.