The Tuscan Chicken: A Narrative

It is a Tuesday like any other. Except that it isn’t.

Hundreds upon hundreds of Boston College students, like myself, have just moments ago conquered their 10:30am classes, somehow surviving those extra 25 minutes of tedium. It’s actually quite incredible how much longer an hour and fifteen minutes feels in contrast to the 50 minute quickie we know, love, and even crave…

I quicken my pace to a brisk walk, but nonetheless find myself enveloped in the dead middle of the daunting migration of academics towards the Nest. Each powerful stride, propelling me past one or two of my competitors, is an internal victory equivalent in merit to remembering the name of that one girl from Econ discussion section last semester and dropping it in the quad in passing. I smugly imagine those that I am able to surpass inevitably standing behind me in the very near future. In this moment, I am content.

I finally hit Mac and begin to ascend yet another set of stairs, something that we as BC Eagles have collectively and thankfully agreed upon as a sufficient leg-day substitute. Not that I would ever do leg-day anyways, so I guess *supplement? Hmm… Anyways, I catch a glimpse of the Tuscan line and honest to God my heart drops all the way down through my sick joggers and to my fresh a$s kicks. Thanks JackThreads. But seriously, I mean I hadn’t seen a line of this caliber since my childhood memories of Disneyland’s Space Mountain and chicken drumsticks the size of my roommate’s biceps. (Confession: His biceps are not that big. Which is unfortunate because 1. Everyone needs a jacked sidekick and 2. I love my chicken.)

Showing up to the Nest at 11:54 on a Tuesday morning. That was my first mistake.

As I walk purposefully across the vast room, past the lowly Turkey Club/Eggplant Parm consumers/peasants who already have their food, I earnestly contemplate the worthwhileness of waiting in this line. After all, there is that eight minute nap -exactly 1 minute and 43.2 seconds away in my Roncalli bed- that I have been fantasizing about since I opened my eyes this morning. Just as I feel myself slipping into reluctance, I steal a fleeting glance of Maria’s magical aura and dazzling smile far off in the distance, and imagine Heraldo’s dependable ~Ayyyyyy my brotha~ waiting for me at the register, and I’m sold. I step into line, and buckle down the hatches.

I start out strong, resilient in my decision to stick this one out. But then I get lonely. I’m a people person, what can I say. I tap the kid ahead of me on the shoulder and ask him about his plans upon reaching the ordering stage of the process. Barely acknowledging my existence, he shoots back the dreaded response: “West Coast Chicken.”

K??

Bruuuuuuuuuh. I can’t believe my ears. He might as well be MySpace famous in 2015. He might as well watch marathons of Wizards of Waverly Place instead of football on Sundays. Hell, he might as well be wearing Etnies skate shoes and an Ecko Unlimited tee. Same idea. Irrelevance.

I totally respect his right to have unique preferences, but not really. These are the kinds of people making this line stretch longer than the 2:03am walk back to Newton after missing the last bus of the night? Down right preposterous.

By now I’m at the halfway point, the little ice cream sandwich cooler directly to my left. I’m losing hope man I really am. As a proud resident of College Road, I’m not accustomed to nor am I experienced in this sort of heartbreak and despair. LOL right. However, just as all hope seems to be lost, the unthinkable happens: what plays on shuffle in my mental music library but Tuscan Leather by the one, the only, the 6 God. Fire jam. Drizzy yo. I take this as a sign. Everything happens for a reason and this mental phenomenon is no exception. “Degenerates, but even Ellen loves our sh*t.” The heat of this line alone coaxes me down from the ledge. When has Drake ever been wrong before? (Other than that one time when I Draked and drove a little too hard and ended up at her doorstep with petunias. Yikes.) So, I do the only logical thing a man in my situation can do- keep pushing onward.

I near the ordering stage. I realize that my calculated every-other methodology is going to pay off. Haven’t taken a math class since high school but damn I’m nice. Next thing I know, I’m right in front of Maria. She’s asking me whether I’d like wheat or white. Wheat. She’s asking me if I’d like tomatoes. Yes. She’s asking me if I’d like extra cheese. Maria, I would take 8 doses of that drug from Limitless and streak through the Vatican with nothing on but my mother’s pink boa from the 80’s if you even hinted at asking me to. Next question homegirl. She casually says a couple of the nicest things anyone has ever said to me and with that, I’m on my way, Tuscan Chicken extraordinaire in hand. I am happy. So so happy. Eating alone in the back of Eags doesn’t seem so bad today.

Not to be that dude but like I genuinely think coming out of those door frames with Maria’s special in one hand and a strawberry banana Odwalla in the other is almost flawlessly symbolic of emerging from Plato’s Cave of ignorance. yaaaa I went there, that one’s on me.

Next time you’re in that line and there is no light to be seen at the end of the tunnel (/cave lol), know that you are not alone in the grind. You’re a champion.

Tuscanites and Mariaites, unite.

Keep it Tuscan. Keep it Trill.

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