Now I won’t be back
till later on
If I do come back at all
But you know me,
and I miss you now
— the prophet neil young
I’m at the McDonald’s in Brady. It’s notable as being the place during the run across Texas that I couldn’t get to from my motel room because it was about 50 feet away, and, well, that’s FIFTY FEET. Many memories.
But there’s no time for that. I’m in a hurry to get to San Angelo. This is just a quick pit stop to take on some gas and get right-side tires. I roar into the parking lot and jump out, just ahead of two twentysomething couples who are also going in. I have them by two steps. I’ll get to order first. I win.
I open the door and instinctively hold it open for them. They look like nice people, in that good country folk kind of way. The guys are wearing gimme baseball caps; one of the women is wearing cowboy boots. They all thank me as they go in. I’m not sure why I let them go. I guess that’s just the way we do things here.
Figuring they’ll be ordering forever, I go to the facilities first. By the time I come back, they’ve already ordered. I get a sandwich and a large cup for soda.
When I arrive at the soda fountain, the two guys are there. Four big cups. They’re just getting started. I’m screwed.
Then one of them looks up. “Let this man through!” he tells the other guy. As I fill my cup, he hands me a lid. By the time I get my lid on, he is handing me my straw. Dale Jr. should have a crew like this.
I thank him as they go back to talking about Saturday’s fishing trip and just how sweet is McDonald’s sweet tea.
I’m not sure why they let me go. I guess that’s just the way we do things here.
God bless Texas.
There was a lot of talk lately about whether folks prefer trail running or roads. I guess I was thinking trails. But then as I was driving between Fredericksburg and Mason today, I stopped for a moment to look at the phone (don’t text and drive, kids!)
When I looked up, it was calling me. The intersection where I pulled over was a small farm-to-market road. It’s one of those long, lonely stretches of pavement that is seldom used except by the folks who live down yonder. Cows and cactus and mesquite and barbed wire. It looked like it went on forever. It’s Texas. It probably does. I’m pretty sure you could get to heaven on this road. Or at least Austin.
Maybe it’s not that we don’t like roads.
Maybe we just haven’t found the right one yet.
Tonight’s run was just a shorty on the loop around Dad’s joint to get in my obligatory miles. No sleep and six-hour drive makes for an uninspiring outing. But with the java jive jump underway, I had to get out. I guess that’s the point, huh, King?
A pleasant run in the dark through the neighborhood in a navy shirt and black shorts. Good thinking. Time to drift back to a road in Brady and a McDonald’s so far away and a quote by Eleanor Roosevelt that still stays with me all these years later …