The sun was setting, a perfect golden hue enveloping the shore as Helios dragged his fiery mares through the final leg of their agonizing daily paces. Each miniscule grain upon the beach shone with an impermeable brilliance, illuminated with the fading light of what had been an absolutely effervescent Tuesday. “Ahem,” interrupted a small voice. I ignored the veiled summons.
The vocal intrusion gently echoed once more. There it was again! It couldn’t possibly be my imagination, I thought, though it must be a petulant spirit that would willingly interject themselves upon such a graceful marriage of sky and sea.
“AH. HEM.” Finally provoked, I rotated my torso, tearing my vision from the last few fading breaths of twilight. There, under the thatched dome of the cabana, solidly perched atop my porcelain dish, stood a lobster. He was a curious shellfish, to be sure, an odd aura of implied impudence stretched over the kingly stature of a regal crustacean.
“You,” I firmly informed the unwelcome intruder, “are supposed to be a taco.” The insufferable nemesis of my evening slowly examined himself with unsure composure, the sun finally settling beneath the horizon as he ran curious pincers down his shielded frame and returned his gaze to my frustrated visage.
“Am I not?” the cognizant entree asked, surprised.
“Certainly not!” I frowned, anguish at the loss of my transcendent sunset visual quickly overtaking the calm of the moment. “Do you not know what a taco IS?”
“I must admit, good sir,” the arthopod arthro-paused. “I do not. That is to say, I haven’t the faintest clue of what I DO happen to be, which can be taken to mean that if this particular state of being had corresponded with an existence similar to that which you typically define as being a ‘taco,’ then I thought perhaps I may in fact have been one, prior to your curt debriefing mere moments ago.”
I was inconsolable.
“What are you, then?”
The stately member of the malacostraca paused for a moment. “You know, I haven’t a clue,” it mused, placing a single pensive claw where his chin would be, if this particular strand of homo americanus actually possessed a chin. “I will say though,” he perked up, “I do remember what I used to be prior to this particular existential form.”
“And that was…?” I asked impatiently.