TEXARKANA, AR - When I get home, I am going to eat a big pile of avocados on top of a bed of organic spinach, and wash it down with shade-grown coffee made in a French press. Then I'm going to go to my favorite taqueria and eat a big, messy, spicier than hell burrito. Then I'm going to find the hottest vegetable curry and bathe in it.
Truck stop food loses its kitsch value when you eat it every day. Here's a tip, kids: don't try the buffet. It may be cheap, and you may be very hungry, and you may have the best and most research-centered intentions, but you will not be happy after you eat it. I'm almost to the point where I feel no more need to experiment with things I haven't tried, which is saying a lot. From now on, I plan to only eat breakfast food (because it takes a lot of skill to mess up pancakes and eggs) and pie.
Earlier today I passed a tanker truck hauling liquid chicken. LIQUID CHICKEN. I don't even want to know.
Last week, on a quick jaunt through SoCal, I found some pears in the usually meager selection of dumpy fruit at a truck stop. I picked the least beaten-looking one out of the bunch, washed it, and wrapped it in napkins like it was a small treasure. I waited to eat it until I was in the privacy of the truck, biting off little pieces at a time, sucking out the pulp and juice until I got to the core. It was the most erotic experience I've had since I've been on the road.
Being the spoiled California foodie that I am, I knew food would be a sacrifice for me. But I didn't expect it to be rubbed in my face. My trainer hauls refrigerated trailers, and half the time they are filled with produce. When we pick up in SoCal, it's all fresh lettuce and avocados and oranges in another step to get them on grocery store shelves. It feels so cruel to haul all this delicious produce for other people to eat while I have to make do with truck stop salad bars stocked with wilted iceberg lettuce and canned tomatoes.
On a completely different note, my good friend Cindy is now writing for the Huntington Beach Independent, and the first issue of her new column mentions some girl who quit a news reporter job to become a trucker.
If you've arrived at this blog via Cindy's column: welcome! I assure you that when I'm done with training and get my own truck, the updates will be much more frequent.