Temporal Divergence: D – Pure Entropy.

A Time Warp Series.

Written in mid-July 2022

Our twin babies didn’t wake up until 5pm before our trek to Michigan. Admittedly, as I write this, we have a rough time on most fronts. Even with the simplest of tasks. Look, we were already packed and still couldn’t get out the door until 6pm.

Our goal was to stop at Haymarket in Bridgman for full pours of translucent gold West Coast India Pale Ale and pizza with goat cheese, honey, and jardinière. The funk, sweetness, and spice were calling my name.

Realizing during the commute that Haymarket selfishly closes at 8pm Central, we established due to the time zone change, crossing that invisible line…we wouldn’t make it.

We couldn’t agree in time on Greenbush because they got rid of the pizza on their menu… pizza being the only thing we agreed on with Greenbush. Transient doesn’t have food, and Tapestry…well, we just couldn’t seem to settle on before crossing the exit ramp. The point of no return.

Anything we slowly began to agree on, was crossed off the list for one reason or another. Staymaker at Journeyman ended up being too far east from the highway for our timeline. As did River Saint Joe.

Well engulfed into the gauntlet, passed Michigan City and Valpo, and so far in to Pure Michigan that most tasting rooms don’t have kitchens, my wife and I both knew we would have to end up getting fast food. Or just not eat.

Neither were ready to concede.

Our last shot was New Buffalo. Beer Church stated a 45-minute wait, which was impossible for us with twin two-year-olds. A 45-minute wait, we might as well drive to Journeyman in Three Oaks. Ghost Isle was considered, but ultimately felt wrong after our initial a visit. In hindside we should have just gone there.

With ideas dwindling and stomach rumblings increasing, our goals inevitably devolved to fast food. Lowering the bar, we gave in to desperation and hunger. Considering Culver’s and Jimmy Johns we both just…didn’t want to. Look we’ve gone to all of these places. I’m not trying to insinuate we haven’t. For the sake of the essay, I’m implying that we don’t know. But we do. They’re always just as filthy as a box of onion rings and as depressing as a Butterburger. I don’t think anyone will argue or question.

We settled on Subway in New Buffalo. Subway, with its bread that tastes like cardboard and its chicken with a consistency of thick water. It’s familiar. At least we weren’t going to end up eating Combos, Doritos, and donuts from a gas station.

Subway in New Buffalo we found, actually is ironically located in a gas station. We pulled up only to learn it was closed. McDonald’s, across the grey, bleak hope-killing parking lot, was open.

We swallowed pride and hit the drive thru. We parked behind a local motel and found a picnic table. Still daylight, we changed diapers, and we broke out the diaper bag snack sack.

Raisins, cheese puffs, and apple sauce pouches for the babies’ dinner. They had their first McDonalds French fries that day. Greasy, salty, and regrettable.

It’s funny how life sometimes channels you directly to where you despise, funneled toward displeasure. All you want is small batch locally crafted beer, artisan pizza, Buggy Whip wheat whiskey, house bitters, orange syrup and luxardo cherries. Cheese curds, and house made pub pretzels. Try as you will, sometimes you get pinged about in a jarring ricochet, left with the most capitalistic, least healthful, highly processed, lowest common denominator garbage by reality’s default.

The very product this backward nation has presented it’s Populus has been made the most accessible and least expensive. Even the people actively attempting to avoid it get lodged in the pattern. It’s been downhill since the Reagan administration deemed ketchup a member of the four food groups.

Sitting on a shitty picnic table surrounded by cigarette butts and syringes, we ate our cheeseburgers and drank our paper cups of coke, pondering the perfect storm of where it went south.

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