At Last

And it’s one of those nights where the journey is long and your stomach is just begging and pleading for some action, when from out of nowhere your bus driver announces it’s time for a meal break.

You step off the bus and see the gas station, and it’s the greatest landmark you’ve ever laid eyes on; a gift from generations of hungry souls before yours.

You walk in, pour yourself a cup of coffee, and find immediate comfort in the warmth of the brew as it fills the small cup palmed by your hand. After topping if off with some creamer, you take a sip, cherish it, and look around for a treat to complete your late night snack family. The options are endless, as cookies, croissants, and sandwiches make up just a few of the possibilities for delight.

Your appetite longs to meet all of them, but tonight, there can only be one. Finally, you go with a coffee cake and a pair of bananas for good measure and nutrition.

Walking up to the register, you realize that the woman behind the counter is an angel, who happily greets you as you slide your debit card to officially make the meal yours. You thank her, and even wish her a good night as you head outside to perform your ritual.

Outside, you eat mechanically, as bit by bit coffee and cake caress your hunger into submission. A moment later, the bananas finish the job, at last quelling the chance of hearing any more from your belly for the evening.

You can only feel love in this moment: love for your bus driver, love for the gas station, and love for your country.

Somewhere, a part of you wants to join the air force just so you can show how much love you feel. But before you can finish that thought, your bus driver announces that it’s time to get back on the road. You immediately follow his instructions, nearly marching to the bus in a show of honor, knowing it is the only thing you can do to acknowledge the incredible value of his existence to your life at this juncture.

Aboard the bus, you take your seat, lean your head back, and fall into place for the last stretch of your journey. You’ve made it, and now nothing can stop you from reaching your promise-land. From the bus driver to the last bite of your banana, it is all on your side.

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