The name assigned to me when I entered this wretched place called human consciousness, whether it was bequeathed by fate, karma, accident, or my parents, is Rust Cohle. I am formerly a detective with the Louisiana State Police Criminal Investigations Division, but I have been requested, most unexpectedly, to review a local Taco Bell for this website.
I’ve spent a lot of my life both strung out on dope and in East Texas, and as such, I consider myself an expert on cheap, soulless Tex-Mex fast food.
For a six-pack of Lone Star and a pack of non-menthol cancer sticks, I have acquiesced. Man’s journey is pointless anyway, even when it leads to burritos, so I saw no clear reason to say no.
The opinions herein are my own; my truth may not be the truth you perceive. Each man has his own biases, and I am no exception. I am a pessimist by nature. I see the glass as half empty, and why the fuck do we blow glass from sand to hold liquid anyway; is it a way to trap time as we do sand in an hourglass? A way to ease the crushing realization that nothing at all matters? I am not certain.
In spite of or because of this pessimism that seethes through me, I’ve spent a lot of my life both strung out on dope and in East Texas, and as such, I consider myself an expert on cheap, soulless Tex-Mex fast food.
As I drive up to the combination Pizza Hut/Taco Bell on O’Neal Lane in Baton Rouge, the confusing aromas of suburban desolation overtake the usual rotten green onion smell one associates with the grilling of USDA Grade D beef. It’s just my faithful red truck idling in the drive-thru on this quiet night – it seems the popularity of this location lies in direct proportion to when the movie theater a block away lets out.
They, pitiful humans they are, watch movies rather than honorably walk hand in hand into the extinction they rightly deserve. They escape a few hours just to feel they’re alive. Also, it’s 3:15 a.m., and the theater’s closed, which is fine by me. I don’t care to mix with the masses.
I wait so long to hear a voice speak to me through the drive-thru speaker box that I am able to fully sketch in my ledger book a portrait of a young girl, whose perfect round eyes accurately portray the burden of laboring under illusions of self. I cannot help but see this drive-thru as a flat circle, like time, repeating itself over, again and again, as bad men and evildoers pass through, seeking subpar sustenance.
Like all that I have ever tried to hold on to, my hope of a double-decker taco and Mexican pizza is dashed and stolen from me far too soon.
Still no voice speaks to me from the fast-food wilderness inside. My hunger is beginning to form a spiral. A spiral of frustration and impatience that has darkened my psychosphere to the point where I blow my truck’s horn. Still, no answer.
Like all that I have ever tried to hold on to, my hope of a double-decker taco and Mexican pizza is dashed and stolen from me far too soon. It’s then that I notice that they have turned the restaurant’s lights out. Like even the deepest wound sometimes does, this place has all closed up.
But alas, this trip has not been a failure: Actually being hungry really helps a guy when he wants to look “haunted” and “really kinda fucking weird.” My one lonesome thought as I drive away into the humid Louisiana night is, “Damn it, man. I really wanted some cinnamon twists.”