I smell it.
I’m passing through. My windows are open, and the scent invades my senses. I lid my eyes and groan. Somewhere nearby, a deep-fryer is bubbling and popping and crackling. Somewhere close, a kitchen fan is blowing the aroma into the cross-currents. I shake my head in a kind of primal lust. No, I can’t.
The chimichanga can maim. It’s greasy and fatty and juicy, and it can fester at the bottom of your stomach like rotting weasel meat that just won’t digest right. My system isn’t trained for that kind of shock and awe. It will render me useless, leaving me splayed out on the sofa — moaning in regret, eyes rolling to the back of my skull, grease oozing from my pores, face smashed against a cushion, mouth open, body larded into paralysis.
But I do have designs for the chimichanga. I’d like to use it as a private victory meal, something to celebrate the achievement of a major creative goal – publishing a novel.
I tell stories. It’s how I’ve supported myself for neary 20 years, my family for the past six. And I guess I can’t help but chase that ultimate dream — to share a story, my story, a story I’ve nurtured and developed and pulled my hair over for years. And if my literary number is called, I plan to get in the car at the end of the day, head over the hill and find my favorite spot on the beach, that place no one else knows. I’ll have a few perspiring bottles of Sierra Nevada in my backpack, and maybe a chimichanga. The sun will be setting as I recline in my chair, take a pull off my first Ale and stare at the vast, percussive beauty before me. Hell, maybe I won’t even touch the chimi. Maybe I’ll bring something more primal like a stick of meat, and I can just sit there staring at the waves, gnawing on it, my book on my lap, unopened. I’m pretty sure the food wouldn’t really matter.
What will you do? What will you do if your grandest career dreams come true? Will you partake in some kind of solitary victory ritual? If it’s already happened, what did you do?