“Your partner was late, and he was high. You can never trust a drug addict.” – Gustavo Fring
My sister came to visit me from New Jersey this past Friday and she left Albuquerque early this morning. Last night, I was trying to think of a nice, upscale restaurant where we could have our final meal together before I had an epiphany: both of us being big fans of the show Breaking Bad, we drove down toward the South Valley to the Twisters burrito joint on Isleta Boulevard. This location was transformed for the series into Los Pollos Hermanos, Gustavo Fring’s semi-legitimate business concern and occasional methamphetamine distribution cover. As such, it was the setting for many a tense exchange between Walt and Gus; Walt and Jesse; and the creepy, nearly mute Salamanca cousins.
As soon as we stepped out of my car into the parking lot and gazed at the building, a feeling that we were in a sort of sacred space washed over me. Linda simply intoned, “Wow”. We were the only customers in the place since it was almost 8:00 p.m. and New Mexicans are famously averse to cold, rainy weather. After ordering our food, I pointed to what I initially thought was “the” table…the one where all of the aforementioned conversations occurred. However, before my ass hit the seat, Linda noticed that a booth in the corner by the front windows was conveniently labeled “Walt’s Booth” so of course, we relocated to that one for our dinner.
I can’t justify why I felt that we were engaging in something far more significant than chowing down on a burrito and a burger. I can only say that I felt as though I was dining in another dimension. A place that carries not just the memory of Bryan Cranston, Aaron Paul and Giancarlo Esposito, but the ghosts of the characters they played. The intensity still felt pervasive throughout every square inch of the establishment. Good actors know how to live the roles they play; the emotions they display while in character are genuine. Emotions carry an energy and the stronger they are, the longer it takes for such energy to dissipate. In the case of Twisters, I think the energy left behind by those actors and the characters they played might be eternal.
If you find yourself in Albuquerque, NM and develop a hankering for a burrito, I suggest you visit this particular Twisters restaurant. But if you do…tread lightly. Heisenberg’s spirit probably won’t take kindly to his booth being disrespected.