The Secret Lives of Tortillas, Part 4.

This is an update regarding the Bellingham Mystery Tortilla Appreciation Society and the tortillas that they appreciate.  If you want to read the rest of the story, check out Part 1,  Part 2, and Part 3.

I woke up this morning, and was still lying in bed, warm and relaxed and still waking up, when I saw that new tortillas had come in.

Not one or two tortillas.  Several tortillas.

This was a cause for some excitement, because as of our one year anniversary last month, we had one hundred and eighty two tortillas.  This meant that a substantial drop could put us over two hundred.

Why is two hundred an important number?  Well, you may remember this from our first tortilla get-together:

Some Will Be Revealed at 200 Tortillas Found

It was a wet day today, and a cold day, and I tried to avoid the places that I knew had already been scoured by members of the Bellingham Mystery Tortilla Appreciation Society on my way downtown.  There had been six or more found at that time, so my hopes weren’t high for finding new ones, but I wasn’t a mile away from my apartment when I found this:

Smell if you dare!

Now it’s worth mentioning that recent tortilla drops haven’t been huge.  We’d find one or five or ten.  But by the time I had gotten to the coffee shop, I’d found six; by the time I got to work, I’d found nine.  And this wasn’t including the ones that had been spotted earlier in the day. By around noon, the tally came in.  We had collectively found twenty additional tortillas.

This put us just over two hundred.

We didn’t have to wait long for “some” to be revealed.

Around a half hour later, a link to this was found on Reddit.  It was posted by someone using the username “mistertortilla.”

This was our revelation.  I thought that I expected something different.  Maybe an answer to who, or maybe to why.  But what we found was so wonderful, and so amazing, that I couldn’t be disappointed.  It was a photographic record of a hundred and fifty-six of the tortillas that were hung from February 2013 through June 2013.  Laid out, side by side, on tables and counter tops, prior to them having been released into the world.

I should note that this doesn’t appear to be a complete record of all of the tortillas hung within those four months.  There are chunks missing that appear in our database and seem to be genuine.  Out of the tortillas pictured in the album, we had only found fifty-two.  One third of the tortillas.

I think back on the times that I was wandering through rainy streets looking for the tortillas, knowing that they were being thrown away, and that we would never get to see them, or save photos of them for the rest of the downtown Bellingham community.  I was distraught at some points, knowing that these little gems would go in the garbage without being appreciated.  But this, over a hundred tortillas that we had missed but that had not been lost forever…

It was so much fun to read those missed tortillas, finally, and to see that some of the ones that we had heard rumors about had really existed.  When I first looked at it, it was overwhelming… I felt maybe a little light-headed even.  After it started to sink in, I felt that small, warm, gladness like a child in bed on christmas eve, unable to sleep, but lying in bed, smiling, with the blankets pulled up around her chin, just imagining.

It’s strange to think that I’ve been the person in charge of this ragtag group, that just started with myself and a few friends and now has over five hundred and fifty members.  It’s strange to think that I’ve kept at this for over a year.  It’s doubly strange to think that the Tortilla Bomber had maintained an interest in it for that long, and the “Some Is Revealed” album shows just how much of it he’d been doing.  The scale of the thing is a little startling.  If this sample is representative of the project as a whole, that means that our two hundred tortillas could represent a total of six hundred tortillas hung… maybe more.

I don’t know what the next reveal will be.  It might be a more complete documentation of the rest of the tortillas.  I don’t know.  After this, I’m not sure that I care to speculate.  We’re almost there.  And then we’ll have finished the game.  It’s a little sad to think about that, but I’d rather the thing come to a proper end rather than just have it fizzle out.  All things end.  It’s the quality of the ending that matters.

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Author: adrennan

An artist and writer in Bellingham, Washington.

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