Epiphany at Wingstop

I looked at the mango habanero boneless wings in front of me and knew I had to do the right thing. The “right thing” was actually two things: a) go with the celery & carrot sticks instead of the seasoned fries, and b) go back to journalism full-time after taking a detour in my career.

There are times when I wish I was a normal 29-year old or what society defines as normal: married or in a long-term relationship, maybe have kids already, and find a one true niche in life. I know my mom wants grandchildren and I told her a long time ago not to expect any from me.

“Kriss-Anne will get married and have kids before I ever entertain the idea of it,” I told her when the subject came up.

The celery sticks were fresh and the carrots were crisp.

My friend once asked me how I would react when [name redacted] gets married and then goes on to have kids. I told her that I would probably feel numb. In truth, the thought of being left in the dust again would make me even more stone-hearted and cynical. At least two ex-girlfriends found their lifelong partners directly after they split with me. I once joked that they were so traumatized from dealing with me that the next guy automatically seemed 100x better in comparison.

Now it doesn’t sound like a punchline, but truth that punched me in the gut.

The wings were extra spicy and I felt a trail of fire from the tip of my tongue to my stomach.

Being a roving reporter-at-large used to be my excuse to not stay in steady relationships. Last week, my mom asked why I could never keep a relationship intact. I replied that I was too busy. That was only half-true. I was busy only because I try to fill in the void with work.

When my friend and I left Wingstop, we lingered in the parking lot for a bit and I smoked a cigarette. Usually, I would be cracking jokes nonstop but I just stood there under the lights and stared at the freeway, wondering where everyone else was going.