I cut into them and raise my fork to take another bite. I perch my utensil there for a moment, regarding this, this … glorious mess, all gooey, a meltdown of yellow-brown. For that moment, this little dive is the Louvre and these enchiladas its Mona Lisa. I slip the fork into my anticipating mouth. Ohhh. It tastes of what-used-to-be.

These days, the town is crummy with fancy-shmancy. These enchiladas are a throwback. No froufrou filling, like spinach or wild mushrooms. No hoity-toity sauce of raspberry chipotle. No new-fangled cilantro-pasilla tortillas.

They are the past. The way we were, as it were.

Eating them is my way of saying goodbye. Which is good that something is saying it, because I don't have the words.

Never can say goodbye.

Never can say goodbye.

It's funny what happens when you're about to move. You start feeling sentimental not only for those things you did, but also for those you didn't.

We have a lake just outside of town, takes maybe 15 or 20 minutes to get there from my house. I never go. 'Course, that's partly because there is no place to go to. There used to be all sorts of little hideaways and secret swimming holes. They're all privately run amusement parks or publicly operated "park facilities" now, even the nude beach.

Still, these are an old-timer's laments. Even if the drive through the hills to the lake is no longer ruggedly beautiful with craggy tree-covered limestone cliffs but an eyesore of post-boomtown development (mostly ostentatious houses), even if the traffic weren't snarled all the way out there, even if they left everything like it was, I probably wouldn't go to the lake often. Family man, now. Too much to do around the house, like ignoring the garden and thinking hard about painting the spare bedroom one of these days.