Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Another Week, Another Drive-Thru . . .

We were three cars from the window. The cherry-red Celica in front of us turned out from the row and stationed at a spot. We pulled forward.

"Now we're going to get their order," I sighed.

Family entertainment would be great, if it wasn't for those damn kids.

The Girlfriend and I were coming back from a screening of Muppets Take Manhattan on the lake front. It was a pretty good time. The movie was projected onto an inflatable screen, the likes of which one can purchase via Skymall, if price and taste aren't a consideration.

Along with The Girlfriend's friends, we put back a few bottles of wine. I hadn't seen this movie since I was eight. And back then, it aired on constant rotation. So I remembered certain images, and seeing those images expanded and with context felt like remembering where you recognize someone from. At the same time, I can see myself as a child watching this, in a t-shirt one size to small with baggy pants handed down from my brother. Kids this age ran across the grounds, seemingly oblivious to the thirty-foot frog crooning for them.

For as comforting as nostalgia can be, it's also something of a burden. A song, book, or movie from your youth can flood the memories like a box of photos tucked away under the bed. Something about being in the presence of that thing you valued so much. Not only do you remember how it made you laugh, cry, etc., you remember where you were and what was happening. Be it good or bad, it's behind you. And no matter what you do, it will always stay there.

We needed something to soak up the wine. We're back in the drive-thru.

The car that pulled into the spot stopped the engine. A guy in the backseat gets out and goes into the restaurant.

"Back when I first got my license, I'd pull up to a drive-thru, put in an order than go park in the lot and wait to see all the chaos that would ensue. Once, I had a friend in the car so I brought him along to see what it is I do to entertain myself. We put in a pretty big order. I waited at a spot right across from the window. When the car behind me pulled up I started rubbing my hands in delight. Then I see the lady in the car refuse the bag and point to me. I yelped like a little girl, then slammed the car into drive, going over an embankment as I sped off."

The Girlfriend stared at me. While she was dabbling in drugs, paganism, and group sex - her boyfriend was several states over, shaking with joy at someone saying, "No, that's not my food."

"By the way," I say to break the silence, "your fries came out to two-dollars."

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