Okay, I’ll admit that I was starting to lose my faith. I had thought perhaps the Tortilla Bomber had gotten bored, or that he had imposed some kind of arbitrary time frame that we had failed to meet. Either way, I was resigned to the fact that the game had been ended before we’d reached the end, and that we would languish without any closure. I mean, it had been the longest time that we’d been without tortillas since this whole thing started. I think our last substantial find was in October. What were we supposed to think?
But then, this morning, as Bellingham woke up and blinked her eyes in the unusual glare of sunlight, I fired up my laptop and saw this on the tortilla group:
It was on the window of a local business called the Leaf and Ladle… they have been tortilla bombed several times before. But could you imagine my excitement? It wasn’t over; we hadn’t failed. I was thrilled… I wanted to find the Tortilla Bomber that moment and hug him. I walked to work with a spring in my step and a watchful eye. I didn’t really expect there to be other tortillas once I had seen the photo of this one… I had thought that it was just a sign that things would be getting back to normal. Well, as normal as things get with tortillas, I suppose. But it wasn’t long into my workday before I received a message from one of my operatives, and the message included this:
My informant had snapped this picture the night before, but claims that he was “too drunk” to want to post it… a state of drunkenness that I don’t believe that I have ever reached. I was surprised to see it; and pleased. The Bellingham Mystery Tortilla Appreciation Society’s anniversary is coming up next month, and I had worried that it would seem more like a funeral than anything celebratory. These new tortillas would inject a new vitality to our pursuit.
And then, just earlier this evening, this appeared:
Was it a clue as to the recent whereabouts of the Tortilla Bomber? The Society hasn’t reached any conclusions yet. Our bomber is a wily one, and has proven himself to have a brilliant sense of humor.
In all seriousness, today’s tortillas injected a little absurd joy into a life that, while I don’t want to say that it’s been bad because that wouldn’t be accurate, has certainly had some challenges of late. It gives me something to direct a little of my energy at that isn’t a constant source of stress to me, and it provides a small reminder of why I love this town, as I was even today, in the wake of some really unreasonable shitty behavior toward a local business, questioning why I had put so much effort into staying here. And this is it… the sheen of weirdness, of absurdity. People doing things without consensus or without a grant, or without it being an assignment for a college course. Despite things being shitty sometimes, and people acting like giant entitled turds, as long as that sheen is there, as long as that independence and fierceness persists, I’ll keep finding reasons to hang my hat in Bellingham.
It’s hard to believe that it’s been nearly a year since all of this started, back in February of 2013. The first tortillas, the beginning of the Society… it’s hard to believe how far the Society has come in such a short time. From the original two members, it has grown to almost five hundred. We made stickers, business cards, even buttons, often donated by members and distributed for as close to free as we could. We’ve gotten together and had drinks, and we’ve even had the occasion to find tortillas together. Has it gotten us anywhere productive? Probably not. But why does everything have to be productive? Why can’t things in the modern day just be joyful? Why do we chastise ourselves for sloth when we want to play a video game or read or watch a few hours of television? Why can’t things, like the tortillas, just be? These things I know about my involvement; I’ve had a lot of fun, and made some new friends, and experienced some wonder, in that childlike way that we all seem to forget once we’re adults. What else can you ask for from a tortilla?