It was a year ago today. A warm September day; sun beating down on me through the expansive windows of the Dallas-Fort Worth airport tram. Warmth covering my body like a blanket fresh from the dryer.
I was overdressed for a typical day of travel, in my royal blue maxi dress and black as coal sweater. BNA ➡️ DFW ➡️ SEA; I knew the weather in my destination would welcome my covered shoulders and long sleeves.
I leisurely rode the figure-eight shaped track, earlier stress of the day abated as I realized my tight connection earned itself a little wiggle room due to a short delay in the incoming flight before mine.
Grumble, grumble, grumble…
What’s that? Oh yes, after a rushed morning and anxiety filled first leg of the trip, my body let me know that it could only sustain itself for so long on overpriced (and underwhelming) airplane Chardonnay and small packs of artificially-flavored and preservative-packed snack mix. I was hungry, famished, my body quite literally vocalized its need for sustenance.
A serendipitous realization swept over me as I made my way towards my gate; roller bag dragging behind me…
thud, thud, thud
on every crease in the tiled floor. Because of my fortunate turn of events, I had plenty of time to locate a desirable meal to ease my cravings.
It wasn’t long before I found it. I found THE quesadilla.
Crisp tortilla, speckled with the perfect amount of toastiness. Fresh veggies; mushrooms, onions, perhaps peppers if my memory serves me right, swimming along in a thick swamp of cheddar and colby-jack; molten cheese oozing between the edges of the tortilla like lava between volcanic rock. The perfect little cup of fire-roasted salsa. Chunky, just how I like it. It didn’t take a genius to also notice their salsa:dilla radio was on. Spot on. They did their job and they did it damn well.
I happily paid my $4.99, grinning at the menu splattered with prices that were double and triple; and gave my inner-self a high five at the reminder of my vegetarianism being not only environmentally kind but fiscally beneficial.
It was time.
They were calling my flight.
Before making my way in the direction of the crowd, I quickly took a bite. Then another. It was everything; everything I imagined and more. Summoning all the willpower I could muster, I resolved to put it away, at least for the moment, knowing we would meet again soon.
With the quesadilla secured in its styrofoam vault in my left hand and suitcase dragging behind in my right, I made my way towards the crowd by my gate. I patiently wait for my turn to board. What’s there to be worried about? I have my quesadilla.
I settled into my seat.
Ugh, middle again.
That’s what happens when you’re forced to book late. I knew that wouldn’t matter. I had big plans that would easily occupy the four hour trip:
- Order a drink
In that order, because the quesadilla was distracting me from any other coherent thought.
Down the runway. Wheels up. It was safe to move about the cabin. It was safe to say I was about to make that quesadilla my b….
Excuse me ma’am, I’m going to have to ask you not to eat that by me. I’m terribly sensitive to food odors. I will get sick to my stomach if you open that up.
Panic set in. Sweat beaded at my temples as flashes of this woman projectile vomiting all over herself, all over me, all over the …. no, I couldn’t bear to think it.
I gently placed the cheesy goodness under my seat, like a new parent would place their sleeping baby down in their crib for the very first time. I knew that the right thing to do was to respect her wishes.
Finally, after four agonizing hours, stomach rumbling with relief just inches away the entire time, we landed.
Like Usain Bolt at the crack of the starter gun, as soon as the captain gave us the all clear, I was off. I didn’t care if it was cold, the cheese congealed and veggies ever so slightly less fresh. This was still my quesadilla.
By this point I had reached a level of famished that was unfamiliar to me, made worse only by images in my mind of the string of cheese stretching from the bite in my mouth to the savory little triangle in my hand. A little tightrope to heaven.
I knew it wasn’t ideal, but in my car, on my hour long commute home would be when and where my feast would take place.
Minutes seemed like hours as I wove in and out of what had to be the slowest airport patrons to ever exist. I impatiently waited for the shuttle that would deliver me to my car. My oasis.
One might have thought I was up to no good as I ran, no sprinted, to the third leave of Wally Park, eyes peeled for the telltale sign of my Pepper White Mini Cooper. A car easily spotted among the sea of grey and black. Thank you Mini.
Furiously, I threw my luggage, purse, sweater (I was perspiring at this point), into the car and hopped in like I was about to race in the Indy 500. Tires screeched and echoed loudly as they took tight turns through the well-lit parking garage. I paid quickly, not even taking a look at the amount I just authorized on my debit card, and drove away. Minuscule details; they could wait. It was time. The time was now. I reached over…
What the hell?
There was no quesadilla.
Instinctively, like when a mother knows immediately the their child is injured, I peek in my rear-view mirror.
There it is. Growing smaller and smaller in my view, lying in the middle of the hectic intersection from which I pulled out.
Hastily replaying events in my mind, I knew almost immediately that I left, no… I abandoned that delicious morsel of bliss on the top of my car in my rush to, ironically, finally get to devour it.
When the quesadilla was just a little speck in my mirror, I witness the final seconds of its existence, before being pummeled by a large Chrysler Town and Country.
The quesadilla was no more.
Props to having a blast writing lengthy blog posts on the most random (but true) moments from your life — thanks Timehop! 😂