Spicy chicken biscuits steal our hearts in Colorado. It’s five days after we packed everything we owned into Adam’s tiny car and left L.A. His family convinced us to pause (mid cross-country move) for a week in Vail, and it’s an early morning in the family van that brings us to our love. “Spicy Chicken Biscuit” has become Adam’s mantra. Every time he’s seen a sign, he’s told me how badly he wants to try it. His dad asks for orders, and Adam salivates as he says “two spicy chicken biscuits, two hash browns for us.”
We’re in the very back seat, and by the time our bag is passed along, Adam is bouncing. A whimper escapes his lips. The unwrapping springs crumbs. He doesn’t pause. Biscuit meets mouth, and his eyes roll back. A little moan escapes. I bite my lip and watch as he takes a moment to compose himself. He wipes the corners of his mouth with his thumb and middle finger.
“It’s so good,” he says, “like, so good.” He moves on to his next bite then stares at me with waiting eyes. He watches as I unwrap. I linger for a moment, and his eyes beg me to stop teasing. When I bite, he lurches forward. He’s half in the middle seat, legs brushing against mine. I imagine him panting, begging.
“This is good,” I say, mouth still full. I give him a thumbs up. “Good pick.”
Biscuit flakes and chicken grease smear my wrapper. I break off a piece of my hash brown and open my biscuit and fell Adam’s gaze on me. His eyes pop. They follow along as I place the hash brown on the chicken and reassemble my biscuit.
“That’s genius,” he says. “A spicy chicken, hash brown biscuit? Oh my god.”
The hash brown is a desperate move—the biscuit is dry. There’s nothing there but chicken patty and bread. I wish I had sauce. We don’t even have ketchup. The biscuit clogs in my throat.
Our first couple’s trip to McDonald’s was before we knew we were leaving Los Angeles. It was a particularly bad evening in a “nearing the end of a domino train” kind of way. We ordered on the app, excited to find out our sauce requests were free and unlimited. We picked them in a frenzy. Started with one sauce each. Two sauces each. What if we got one of each sauce? Or one of each—for each of us?
We started the two block walk, heads down and hands crammed into pockets. It was to-go, of course, and Adam hugged the bag to his stomach as we made our way to his apartment. We spread our wrappers on the coffee table and made piles of nuggets and fries. We made a mountain out of ranch and buffalo ranch and BBQ and sweet and sour packets. Our mountain could have collapsed and left us crushed to the ground.
I want those unused packets now. We shoved them deep in a cabinet at Adam’s old apartment, (we couldn’t bring ourselves to throw them away) but I know Adam’s eyes would really bulge if I could drizzle sweet and sour sauce onto the hash brown on top of my spicy chicken biscuit. He’d watch the sticky goodness pour. He’d lick his lips and stick his fingers out. I’d give him a bite, and he’d want more. He’d lean over with an open mouth, drool starting to pool.
But we’re in his mom’s van, and our sauces are long gone. His ex-roommate has probably tossed them by now. Our old lives sit in Los Angeles landfills. I don’t tell Adam I prefer the sausage and cheese McMuffin. This isn’t the time. He needs this, and frankly, so do I. We can’t leave this behind. The spicy chicken biscuit still lingers on our tongues. The simplicity comes in a time of change, and we cling. We cling to anything.
Sam Frost is a writer who spends too much time and money drinking kombucha and is always craving fast food breakfast. Find more work at The Hellebore, Kissing Dynamite Poetry, Floodlight Poetry, and elsewhere. Find her on Twitter @sammfrostt.