It’s about 11:30pm. I am always tired but I have insomnia, so I have at least three hours before my eyes start getting heavy. My daughter, Ava, just went to bed. It’s Friday so I let her stay up to watch “Elmo’s Adventure to Grouchland” for the thirteenth time today. Now, it’s “me time.” The only problem is that I am bored. There is nothing on TV, I don’t feel like studying, my computer is broken, and the only food in the kitchen is baby food and milk.
My brother, Erik, lives with me and mentions he is hungry. There is a Carl’s Jr. about two-hundred-fifty yards away, so I offer to grab a couple cheeseburgers as an excuse to get out of the house. Since it was late, and cold, I decided to drive instead of take my usual stroll. As I order two cheeseburgers I notice the new ice cream shake advertised. It was a “Chocolate Malted Crunch” for about four dollars. I always test the new shakes when they come out so I had to try this one. I wasn’t too excited though, because the pervious special shakes I have tried haven’t been anything to die for or even buy a second time.
I order my food, pay for it, get back to the apartment, and park my car. After all, I don’t think it’s too safe to be driving around at this late hour. The heater is blowing at maximum force and temperature. The radio is on, playing Rihanna’s new hit. I push the straw out of its wrapper, put it in the shake, and take the first chug of my malt. It was unlike any of the shakes Carl’s Jr. has ever offered.
The ice cream was so rich in chocolate flavoring. It was cold enough to eat fast, but not give me one of those “brain freeze” headaches. There are tiny pieces of crunchy malt balls mixed in, making it fun to eat. They weren’t frozen to the point of being rock hard like when you mix M&M’s or gummy bears into ice cream. In my entire twenty-seven years of eating the same foods over and over, the world seems to have paused and I am now in a state of food euphoria.
Erik is upstairs waiting for his cheeseburger but I don’t want to leave this moment. Having a child always leaves me anxious and feeling rushed to get things done as quickly as possible. But wait, Ava is inside sleeping. I have been gone for only about ten minutes. What is the rush? Erik can wait. He is not starving. So I take this moment to relax.
I have found peace. No screaming child, no school books calling me, no bills to stress about, and no mess to look at. I love my brother, but I have got to admit, he is a lazy couch potato and seeing him day in and day out annoys me to the point I hide in my room for days at a time.
With my car still running, I drink my shake. Tasting every bit of crunch I slurp up. I am so comfortable in my little car. The heater has made the perfect temperature. Its dark outside and no one is around making any noise or staring at me. I feel like I almost don’t exist. There is not a thought in my mind except how godly this shake is. I probably drank the whole shake in about five minutes. I have never eaten anything this fast in my life but I just couldn’t put it down.
Finally, I am finished. I sigh knowing the moment is over. The car gets turned off; I grab the cheeseburgers, and walk inside the apartment. Life proceeds. I only hope next time is just as epic.