The Chipotle on Larchmont Boulevard. No, Not That One, the One That’s Only There Once a Year.

There is a Chipotle fast casual restaurant that appears once a year on Larchmont Boulevard, almost at the intersection with W 1st Street. It will not appear if you enter Larchmont from the east, and it will not appear if you drive up Larchmont from 3rd St (or 2nd, I suppose, although I have never tried that). If you drive east on Beverly and turn right onto Larchmont, it will appear on your right (the west side of the street), close to the Chase Bank. When you see it, you will think it’s odd that the Chipotle company has decided to place two restaurants in such close proximity, as the Chipotle which is always there is on the northwest corner of Larchmont and Beverly, and you’ll surely look in your rear view mirror at the intersection where you just made your turn, but the restaurant there will seem dim and distant, while the one in front of you will seem bright and vital.


You will only encounter it at night.


You will find a convenient parking space directly in front of the Chipotle, between a gold colored 2010 Lexus LX and a green 2006 BMW 650i. Both cars will have California plates. You will not notice the year on the registration tags. Maybe next time.


When you enter the Chipotle which only appears once a year, you will find that there are five people behind the counter, three on the serving line and two in the kitchen. Two of the people are women, two are men, and the fifth person is in the kitchen and obscured by equipment, so that you can not determine if that person is a man or a woman.


The chicken and carnitas will appear dry and old, he barbacoa will seem oddly oily, but the steak will appear fresh and appetizing. The woman who takes the first part of your order, and you will order something, probably a bowl with brown rice, steak, fajita vegetables, medium salsa, corn, and shredded cheese, is tall and large. The man who takes the second part of your order is tall and thin. He has a thin, dark moustache and long fingers. The woman who takes your drink order and rings you up is short and of medium build.


If you pay with cash, you will, within the next two days, find, tucked into a pocket of a coat you haven’t worn in months, or in the center console of your card, a few small bills, a five and some ones, that is equal to what you paid, rounded up. If you pay by credit card, the charge will not appear on your statement or be deducted from your debit account.


It is unclear why or how this Chipotle restaurant appears once a year, or why it appears at all. If you were to drive past its location again in two or three days (you will never drive past the following day), you will find the place covered with temporary walls, with a construction permit stapled to the wood. You will drive by. You will not pass by on foot. You will think, the first time at least, that you must have been one of the last people to eat at that particular location before it closed. You might think, the first time at least, that the Chipotle company must not have wanted to not have a presence in this charming neighborhood, and thus opened one location while closing another.


A few minutes later, you will realize you remember driving by the location at the intersection of Larchmont and Beverly since at least 2015.




This is the most spectacular instance of a temporarily extant thing that I have yet discovered.


A less remarkable temporarily extant thing is an LP of the Blue Oyster Cult album <i>Cultosaurus Erectus</i>, still in its plastic wrap, with a yellow Caldor price tag ($6.99), you can occasionally find behind the Home Depot on Route 20 in Westfield, Massachusetts. If you pick up this record, and there is no reason not to, as it seems at once pristine and unowned, you will place it in the trunk of your car. You will not remember to take it out of the trunk when you get home, and in fact, you will not remember that you picked it up from the frozen, muddy verge of a Home Depot parking lot until the summer, when you are loading a pair of folding chaise lounges into your trunk, and you will, for just a moment, wonder what happened to that record. That thought will be displaced by a call from your spouse or partner, asking if you had already put the beach towels in the car.


You will not have. By the time you reach the door of your home, you will no longer remember the LP record you found.



Perhaps the least interesting temporarily extant thing you might encounter is a wrapper from a Roy Rogers hamburger you find in a grassy field that had once been the location of a Roy Rogers fast food restaurant. You will think this bit of trash is a blight in what is now a pleasant, grassy lot, and you will crumple it and, making sure you do not inadvertently smear ketchup or mustard on your clothing, tuck it into your right jacket pocket, with the intention of tossing it away. When you come across a garbage can, you will find that the crumpled wrapper is no longer in your pocket, and realizing that it would be a considerable expenditure of time to retrace your steps looking for the errant bit of paper, you will decide to continue on, and will have forgotten your attempted good deed within moments.