An Open Love Letter to Kimchee Fries
There are very few reasons why someone should brave downtown on a Saturday night without alcohol, especially at midnight. Two in the morning is acceptable. Everyone basically has the same need for evacuation after all the bars are closed. Often times when I close the store on a Saturday I will inevitably have a couple of drinks before biking myself back home through the empty streets. I do my best to avoid dealing with the shit show that is Friday and Saturday nights in Austin. This town’ s feeble attempt to turn 6th Street into Bourbon Street has really only dug up the worst type of weekend warrior: the ones who don’t live here.
I am not without my trespasses. I too am a transplant. Any given night I would be just another drunk. But not tonight. There comes a time in every young (cough) woman’s life where love takes priority over fun. Even love that isn’t good for her. Even love that isn’t fully formed and is just lust in disguise.
I’ve talked about them for weeks. I’ve let them occupy my thoughts without reciprocation. I’ve built them up to a somewhat mythic proportions in my mind. I’ve talked about them incessantly to any poor soul who would listen. However my ability to acquire the object of my desire is built into a small timeframe. Five Chi’Lantro trucks occupy Austin. They do not run every day. They do not run every hour. The only window of opportunity I have is for about 15 minutes on Friday before I work or on a rare Saturday when I’m not out being everything I hate (and love). After the disappointment of never getting a chance to eat at the now defunct woodfire sandwich truck, I knew my time had to come. Tonight was night.
It was the only thought that got me through today, sadly. Like fat kindergarten Cheryl getting her hands on that last chocolate milk, I would claim my prize. Thus, I went out into the hot and sticky night air. I biked through the hordes of morons who can’t understand the concept of one-way streets. I dodged Pubcrawlers, the overweight bumpkins in tube-tops, and an entire line of Mystikal fans, a fleet of party buses and the desperate bridal parties that tumble out of them, all the Guidos and all the Stellas in the dance district just to have at a paper tray filled with fries, kimchee, mayonnaise, bulgogi, and Sriracha. Just to pay $2 for a Diet Dr. Pepper and do my second to last least favorite thing behind walking and smoking: standing and eating. There on Fifth and Colorado, the only breeze in the air coming from bypassing traffic, the sound of assholes haggling taco prices while their vacant girlfriends adjust their tits, I stood next to my bike delicately tasting every morsel of spicy awesome and drinking every aspartame drop of brown liquid. And in that moment I knew what it was like to be a free goddamn American.
Was it worth biking home at the height of human stupidity? Was it worth risking life and limb on Congress and having to slam my hand against the hood of some faggot’s Toyota? Or get stuck on the narrowest patch of bike lane between a man in a wheelchair and an overzealous Track bicyclist? Wishing to get out of downtown so hard because at least the patches of drunks on the Eastside are far more endearing? Wondering which motorist would end my life tonight crossing the I-35 southbound onramp? Finally making it to my house knowing full well that the drunk (but well-meaning) neighbors I effectively duck at three in the morning are still awake and at it? Or the inaudible sigh I let out when they cease to not surprise me by creeping up on me in the dark when I’m trying to juggle my keys, mail, and bicycle to make a quick escape into the safety of my own home by asking me a bunch of weirdo questions about my roommates and the going ons in my house and why they don’t see me much when I’m powerless to be rude and perhaps say, “Dude, you guys need a better hobby than getting spun and watching over my house. But I certainly appreciate that you do in a weird way.”?
Yes. It was worth it.