Phoenix. Saturday 11/11 … /23. I'd just sat down at Carolina's restaurant after ordering a Oaxaca Special: Chorizo, Potato, Beans with Cheese Burro (That's how it's been listed on the menu since way back when.) Across from me was one David Benavidez. His father, José, would join us shortly after retrieving something from his car parked out front. A matte black '70 Dodge Charger R/T. With costume plates BDAZZ, pressing your site for clarity if you should find yourself rear of it. The place was packed to the shoulders. A typical Saturday. Behind the register, under a mop of flaxen curls, a woman handed me my meal over a proffered palm, and asked, as she peaked beyond my shoulder, once again, among the number of times I’d looked back to ask David what he'd usually get when hitting the place up, "That's David Benavidez?" and he'd: Yeah, man. It's dope. With some crema on the side.
I'd asked earlier this week where he'd like to meet me after we'd negotiated a time slot worthy of meal and spill… I can't eat with you, but the comida is fire. Anyone not familiar with the place would recognize the setting. A patch of august terrain of lower working class citizenry. Gente out front, shirtless in a kitchen chair getting haircuts. Eloteros. Birthday parties spilling out into the streets, piñatas swaying with accordions blaring from an unseen speaker. Perfect shapes of strangers in huaraches strolling with lottery scratchers and tall sodas in their hands. Cars fixed on cinder blocks and Chuck Taylor's on power lines, looping a destiny between the horizon fixed on setting the whole spread into a wide darkness.
José came back to the table and sat down next to his son, his keychain making a ouroboros of the recently defeated Diamonds backs logo. We're gonna win because it's David’s time. He's due. Our Diamondbacks were due and they were there representing the underdogs and overlooked. Things got away from them. Things could get away from David in this fight, that's a very strong possibility.
I bit into the bottle of water I was drinking and tongued the flavor over my teeth clean.
For we loved our comrade, so brave, young and handsome,
We all loved our comrade, although he'd done wrong.
* The rest of this interview can be viewed here: Breakfast with Benavidez