Read time: 4 minutes. Let me provide you with the most picturesque 70 minutes of my life in an oil-city, boomtown. I arrive for work at a place that looks like life post-apocalypse: some bulidings date back to the youth of the Brady Brunch while others beam with newness. There are fields of untamed, thirsty grass that complemented the unique horizon of absolutely nothing. The roads have dust dancing around new tires from Cadillac and Ford trucks. You want to rely on retail and fast food franchises but can’t because even they have been suckered into the Got-No-Where-To-Be mentality. Don't lose sleep over this but even the Chipotle here made me question the existence of real chicken. I decided the only thing I could rely on was Cow. No way can you mess up Cow in West Texas. The hunt for good BBQ became very serious.
So I’m in a Ford with my co-workers, Texas country music is blaring (which not to be confused with Nashville country, I learned). We were headed to the best BBQ in Texas – claimed by people who’ve “had it all”. We arrive at a barn. Intuitively, I start prancing around because I know something important is about to happen. Inside, the walls bled with patriotism. The décor was so intensely American that a cynic would wonder if the establishment was trying to compensate for something. Somehow, I found the longhorns and sassy pro-NRA bumper stickers soothing, like appetizers. As we near the pit while in line, I’m welcomed by the aroma of an assortment of smoked meats and sausages.
I grab a tray and a white piece of butcher paper. For sure I wanted the brisket, both sliced and chopped and maybe slice of Turkey because I still kind of care about my health. The man obliged as he unraveled brisket from a sexy foil robe with full on seduction, revealing a beautiful hot gust of smoke and a crusty burnt skin. It’s sliced with what seems like a mini chain-saw and I’m mildly turned on. I grab the hottest sauces and jalapeños, my ethnic background dictates this need-for-spice protocol. In line to get my tray weighed and pay, I pass on the warm trays of peach and cherry cobbler. It barely noon and I still had a regular life to lead after this indulgence.
Meanwhile, I realize I haven’t seen a black person in 4 days. I’ve actually seen residential Indian people though. You know a city is twisted if you see Indians from India before you see black people. Does this city not know how history works? I’m the only female, minority, under 150lbs person here – tripple whammy. I get a mountain pile of baked beans with my meats and suddenly feel a silent applaud of approval from the other restaurant inhabitants. There were probably gobs of lard in the beans but I was in no situation to ask questions; my heart was about to explode.
Throughout this whole shabanza, I barely spoke to my two coworkers who did not exist for 20 minutes as I savored each bite of cattle. (Side note: yes, the Turkey was totally irrelevant. I suggest always sticking to real meat.) I momentarily emerge from my coma to get up for more bbq sauce and peppers. Near the end of my lunch, I was confused. You never get used to something being everything you imagined and hoped for it to be. Growing up, you believe in the idea of soulmates but when it happens to you, you're still in awe.
I’ve lived in Dallas for 13 years now but today, I felt true Texan pride. Being supremely Texan is fun but it is also tiring and grossly caloric. I’m still holding on to the country music though, mainly because I can’t get tired singing about hot girls and catfish.