Don’t Drive-Through

The commute is seemingly endless after a grueling day.

I am exhausted.

The fuel tank is empty, and so is my stomach.

I wait impatiently for the driver in front of me to finish fueling her crew cab, long bed, lifted, hot pink, bumper sticker-infested pick-up truck. I sit in my own driver’s seat, waiting and imagining what could be possibly be hiding in the bed of the truck under that hideous drab green cap. I feel my face turning warm as the impatience shifts quickly to irritation on the verge of anger as the driver saunters into the convenience store, seemingly oblivious to my presence in line. After a sweet time passes, she strolls back to her monstrosity on wheels and climbs in the cab. I endure several more moments of her going about her business, clueless that she must share the planet with another living soul. She slowly pulls out of the lane, mumbling a disgruntled “hallelujah” I drive forward to the pump.

I slide my card in the slot and unscrew the gas cap. I begin fueling and make a futile attempt to plan out dinner as the gas fumes hit my nostrils and the quickly increasing dollar total punches me in the gut. I kick around the idea of a Drive-Through meal sack as I wait for the numbers to stop spinning.

Left Drive-Through

Right Home

I speak my order into the crackling voice box.

I reach through the driver’s side window for the oil-soaked brown paper sack. I set the bag on the passenger seat and reach back out of my car for the extended cup and straw. I grasp the cup and am immediately aware of the loose lid and overflowing cup as the contents run down my hand and arm. I quickly secure the cover and place the cup in the holder in the console and reach for my stash of napkins in the glove box. I do my best to wipe the aggravating mess off my hands, car, and cup.

I peek inside to ensure I have what I need to devour what I know to be unhealthy yet delicious at the moment, greasy cheeseburger, fries, and shake from this popular local fast food joint. I pull forward and pay while ripping the wet paper off the straw and placing the straw in the slot in the cup’s lid. I drive out of the parking lot, unwrapping the waxy paper that holds the burger. That decision I know is not the best the minute I start eating it, but continue to take bite after oil-soaked bite and wash it down with a big gulp of the frosty, creamy, thick shake and licking the fry salt from my greasy fingers. In the end, I am full. I am not satisfied. I am not feeling good about my choice.

Left Drive-Through

Right Home

The smoke from the newly lit charcoal follows me at the wind’s ever-changing direction. I do my best to be patient as I wait for the briquets to be cooking ready; I sip a cold beverage and ponder the day. I am physically exhausted and mentally trounced by the last twelve hours. Hurry up, charcoal. Finally, I grab the tongs; I place the garlic and rosemary seasoned chicken breast directly over the coals to crisp the skin. It doesn’t take long. I move the chicken from directly above the coals to finish cooking indirectly. In due time and a few sips into a new beverage, the chicken reaches the proper temperature. Leaving it to rest, I prepare a bed of mixed greens with Sungold tomatoes, red onion, and yellow bell pepper, all picked from my garden before I lit the charcoal. I smile at the beautiful palette of colors against the white plate backdrop. I slice the chicken and place the glistening pieces atop the garden vegetables. I crumble a bit of feta over the top of it and set the plate at my usual spot at the table. I sit down, place a napkin in my lap and savor every bite. In the end, I am full. I am satisfied. I am proud of my choice.

Left Drive-Through

Right Home

My life, at times, has been filled with Drive-Through choices.

I am learning to love myself enough to eat healthily.

3 thoughts on “Don’t Drive-Through

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