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Previous Challenge Entry
Topic: Paths (05/17/04)

TITLE: Headlong into Hunger
By Gary Sims
05/20/04

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“These roads! Oh, how these curvy, winding roads can frustrate.”

I was not only struggling with the convoluted pathways in New England called highways, but my blood-sugar levels were getting out of control. I needed to eat and the sooner the better. I was already past mere hunger. The day-long flight from Phoenix with nothing more than coffee, fruit juice, and pretzels had my system on edge. I would be suffering the roller-coaster ride of insulin imbalance for the next 24 hours. But I could not find a restaurant.

“Doesn’t anyone eat in New England? Why is it so difficult to find s simple place to eat?”

I had lived my entire life in the west, the land of the grid-pattern-street systems. Find a busy street, drive for a mile or two until it intersects with another busy street and you are certain to find at least a restaurant, convenience store, and two gas stations. You know where you’re headed out west. North is north. No surprises. Perhaps there will be an occasional curve as a road confronts a mountain or a developer’s nightmarish cul-de-sac jigsaw puzzle, but most of the time, if you want to go north, north you go.

The rental car sped around another promising curve. There were indications, certainly hope, that a commercial neighborhood lay ahead. One business, a tire repair shop, and a tavern… Maybe the next curve… No! No luck! More curves, trees, and homes. “Ah hah! An intersection. This road appears busier. Maybe if I turn here it will lead to the meal of my dreams.” A New England meal…chowder, cod. Something, anything, with protein and carbs; something that will ease the tension building within.

The odometer clicks off the miles and still nothing. “How far have I strayed from the hotel? Will I be able to find my way back? Should I have gone into that bar a few minutes ago? It must have had food of some kind. Maybe I should have asked for directions at the hotel. It always seems lame to ask. I wonder how many times they have to answer the question: ‘Do you know where to find a good restaurant?’ What made them experts in New England cuisine? How hard could it be to find food on my own? People need to eat. We all need sustenance. Certainly I am capable of finding food without any help.”

Thirty minutes and twenty-miles later, I’m still looking. Frustration has turned into desperation. The chemical imbalance in my body is approaching dangerous levels. Another curve, another hope, and another disappointment. “I really should have asked for directions. What’s this ahead? Isn’t that my hotel? How did I end up back here?”


Member Comments
Member Date
WENDY DECKER05/24/04
Good unique story.
Lynne Gaunt05/24/04
I can feel the frustration expressed throughout your story. Did this really happen to you? I'm hungry now! lol!
Mary Elder-Criss05/25/04
Ha ha, I liked your surprise ending. I felt like I was in the car with my husband...lost and him not wanting to stop and ask for directions. We also do that a lot as Christians, don't we? Nice take on the subject. Blessings! Mary
Naomi Deutekom05/25/04
Good read. To bad men don't have purses. Mine always has some kind of emergency supplies!
Leticia Caroccio05/26/04
Your article took an interesting direction. I was drawn by the title and it maintained the level of interest. I live in Upstate NY and the street system sounds similar so I can identify. As a mother of two middle school kids who are always hungry I always keep something in my purse, for those emergency hunger pangs. Good story and nicely done.
L.M. Lee05/26/04
interesting story...can relate to the hunger drive in a strange place!
Dave Wagner05/26/04
Well, at least you got to order room service, right?

Right?

I like the style. It seems incomplete, though.
Deborah Porter 05/27/04
Terrific ending Gary. You could feel the pace and growing sense of desperation from the start, so that last line really brought a smile (of relief) to my face. Good contribution to the Challenge. With love, Deb
Gary Sims05/27/04
Dave - it may be incomplete. In my creative writing pieces I strive to let the reader draw the conclusions and insights themselves instead of telling them what it means. In a broader sense I would use this piece as an illustration to a specific Bible verse or to stimulate discussion in a study group. More could have been said but it is a fine line between saying too little and too much. Thanks for the input.