A Delaware Rest Stop – Auntie Anne’s and Starbucks
Open City, 2331 Calvert St NW, Washington, D.C.
Written on a notebook on a hammock next to a man I call ‘hey, you’.
‘I thought it was said that you can tell a lot about a person when you travel with them. I then realized that I was probably thinking this and coming up with it in my head, because I had simultaneously realized that it sucks to travel with me.
Bolt bus in the front of a Sbarro. The Pennsylvania Hotel is in the front of me and behind; murals of clean-shaven chins and plumped-up lips smacking down and opening wide for a bite of Authentic Oiled down pasta. Yorkers like a gaggle lined up on 33rd street- and I’m missing my 2nd cup of coffee.
The bus pulls in about 20 minutes late and a frumpy, hotter-than-the-remix mess of a man (the driver), steps out and starts hollering at us- speaking and wailing, maybe both at the same time, it was hard to tell. He’s rushing us.
The boyf and I chase down a row of seats that shift and buckle with every toe you clench. Behind us, a sagging testicle of a man with an embroidered leather belt of a soaring eagle shuns everybody looking for him to scoot in; a young couple asks him politely if he could move back but he tells them to piss off- I’m guessing he was thinking they’d be sharing a blanket over their legs.
Wanting to punch the bus driver for giving us a 40 minute tour of tenth avenue, eventually blasting up to an astounding 35 MPH on the New Jersey Turnpike, at first I was concerned that he couldn’t reach the bottom of the petal to push it down, but then I just laid down the law and assumed he was just another schmuck who enjoyed the glacial pace of taking some sweet fucking time.
The seats are still shaking, wiggling, nearly, back and forth, back and forth. I wish it was the man in the soaring eagle belt behind me but it isn’t- it’s higher than my control and my insults, it’s the damned bus- the boyf next to me keep laughing hysterically at it all and eventually comes around and suggests a couple rounds of MASH (I end up having the superpower of farting when I speak); but for now, I’m still pissed.
I wake up an hour later, swearing at the driver and the chair and the soaring eagle and my neck. Lucky for us though, we’ve ended up at our pit stop: Delaware. There’s a pit stop there too.
I need a shot of butter and carbo-snackage, and caffeine.
First things first, a shot of espresso from Starbucks that’s remarkably commendable, nearly as good as a double shot of Jaegermeister. Muddy, thick, still seeping in itself.
But then. Lord.
I lock down on my very first Auntie Anne’s Pretzel.
Look. Should Mary have had pumped out a glossy knot of butter and salt instead of the baby boy wonder- it would have encompassed every pretzel that belongs to Auntie Anne’s.
I’m thinking now that maybe Auntie Anne was Mary’s sister. Shit.
It’s goodness reeks of warm, chewy dough with an epicenter buttery enough to make your arteries start a choir; the bottom flip side of the pretzel is crusted over and tightly with a crispy cast of butter and grease and whatever the hell was spewing out of the tree of life. Salt coasts the top of the twist like an extra tease we never needed but should’ve always wanted.
Yes, Auntie Anne’s. Yes.
Back on the road.
Hit the Metro.
Then the Zoo.
Picked up a subpar cortado from the Open City, (Lukewarm breast milk comes to mind- though I was never breastfed as a child), as well as a chocolate chip cookie that redefines all vulnerabilities towards the simplicities of comfort. I can’t imagine another time a cookie has been so soft and so warm- I swear to you, the salt is in the brown chunks of the cookie dough instead of being sprinkled on top threatening us on planning to spill all over the place.
The guy and I invade a rehearsal wedding to get to a couples’ hammock in the back of a hotel where we lay down and eat chunks of serendipitous cookie goodness.
The whole day feels that way. At least here and now.
Cookie in our stomachs. Cortados still insulting our tongues. A great lawn surrounded by trees of a temperate forest just chilling down with us.
Birds are chirping their beaks off and still swaying next to him. The parts where our bodies are touching are hotter than others- sweat on the verge of forming into beads but the skies are cooling us down at the same time before either of us feels the need to itch.
This is right. To think about it further would deny everything that’s become of right now.
He’s just fallen asleep. All is well.’