So on my flight to Pennsylvania, my stomach contents managed to flip upside down, along with my shaving cream (packed separately). I’m not sure if it was the cabin pressure, or some airborne disease in the never-aired-out-since-the-goddamn-thing-was-built plane, but the resulting pain has managed to follow me around every day since, like an angry ghost in my lower torso.
So, instead of drawing I have been stomach clenching, and being in Pennsylvania I have made some observations that I’m pretty sure are going to stay consistent on my long drive back home to California.
1. Outside of the west and east coasts, nobody eats vegetables. I love vegetables, especially when I don’t feel well. What is more comforting to an upset stomach than cold crisp vegetables? Apparently, hot dogs, milk, fried chicken, and steaks. Those are pretty much the only foods available at every restaurant here in PA, and if you order a salad, they will cover it in hot dogs and cheese first. If a vegetable accidentally makes it onto a plate, it will be sure to be boiled until it iresembles a helpless, but alien life form. When I went to a grocery store to pick up some carrot sticks to tide me over as I ran some errands, it turned out that they had been on the shelf so long they pickled. I didn’t even know it was possible for carrots to go bad. Yet, out the window, there is nothing but farmland as far as the eye can see. What is up, Pennsylvania?
2. Staying with family means eating terrible food, all the time. Nothing against my family. I love you guys. But when I checked with my cousin to make sure it was okay to spend the night, he happily informed me that Thursdays were either Taco Bell or King Chili night. Now, I am already going to the bathroom every twenty minutes, so these choices are not the most comforting thing to hear, but it’s nothing new. My entire extended family enjoys nothing more than the cheapest buffet in town, the kind of place that looks exactly like the restaurants that Gordon Ramsey walks into and discovers maggots everywhere and that the line cooks take turns melting rolly-pollies in the cheese whiz (as seen on TV). There is no real recourse to this, as I am the only one that sees the problem, so I eat my wilty strange vegetables and bites of meat slabs, and tomorrow night, King Chili, and I will smile while doing so.
3. Everyone is SO nice. This is maybe the worst one, because it makes it really hard to complain about stuff. This is the food that everyone else is eating and has no problem with after all, so if I don’t like something and send it back, I’m guarunteed to receive the exact same thing only cooked more anxiously. So I don’t. Yes I will eat your pasta with canned sauce poured on it, because that is what Italian food is here. But no, my stomach will not become less angry from it. Or my wallet.
All in all, I am not looking forward to my drive back home at this point, unless I can quickly convert my car seat into a toilet somehow (as in MacGuyver). I worry a bit that the only thing to eat between here and there is barbequed pork, so I’ve stocked up on vegetables while I still can, but it may not be enough. Wish me luck, and isn’t this what you wanted to read when you checked in on my art blog?