Abraxas Weaver

Large Chocolate Chip Cookie 200 calories

You always walk the same path when you’re dragged to the French Quarter to help sell art. Tree roots and cracks litter the sidewalks, potholes dotting the road. Oaks shed their leaves, slowly revealing their thin branches as November comes and goes. The streets get busier and louder as you step into the real city. Flashy shops and old buildings keep you from starting to daydream out of boredom. As you pass Community Coffee, the warmth from whatever must’ve been baking inside takes you. You can smell the familiar sweetness already.

“Can we go in?” you ask your mother, rubbing your fingers together in your pockets. She turns to your father and then back at you, smiling. You start taking in everything through the glass. The cookie is larger than any normal person’s hands, warm to the touch but not painful. It has square and circle chips scattered within it, the gooey chocolate stretching from either part when you break a piece off. Soft piano and smooth horns create the backdrop for everyone’s time here. There’s a long table with a lot of plugins and high seats, and you choose to sit there, feeling a little taller. There is no time to contemplate the cookies anymore because you have to catch up with your father, who’s trying to snag a good spot on the fence. Common sense dictates it’s already too late because the coffee shop’s open, and artists are always getting there earlier and earlier. The fence is probably full, meaning we’ll have to set up in Pirate’s Alley instead. In terms of visibility, that’s not ideal.

Baked Chicken 266 calories

They come inside of clear lids with black bottoms, lined up on the top metal rack beneath the heat lamp. Through the fogged-up plastic you can make out bumpy skin, and you can’t see the bottom of it through the pool of grease. It doesn’t look like it has too much white meat, so you quickly grab it before you take too long, because you just like dark meat better. Napkins are obviously not optional. The cold grocery store is a short relief from the hot air outside, but if the prints got stolen again we’d be out of rent, so you stuff the warm container into the bag. The liquid sloshes around the cooked meat all the way to your sitting spot just across the street. Somehow you manage to get the end of the fence and not the alley. Carefully, you set it down on the tarp that separates you from the ground, and keep the bag as extra cover. The lid pops off at each corner and you can have your six ninety-nine worth. You tear the wing off easily enough and bite around the little bones. It’s salty and the chewy-crunchy skin slides off, all of it almost disgustingly glistening. But you don’t care. It’s warm and you can’t finish more than the wings and a leg, so you push it off for someone else to eat, knowing he’ll probably get hungry later on and it’ll save cash. 

The sun is beating down from right above everyone’s head as the church bells toll three times. You watch your father sell art, his black hair growing streaks of gray and white and his tan skin dripping with sweat. He talks through his missing teeth and uses the red, soaked bandana around his neck to wipe his forehead off mid-sentence. You close up the chicken and tie up the bag, wiping your fingers off on the napkins and just sitting, waiting for there to be someplace else to go.

Beignet 188 calories

You shake the bag around and a little hole rips in it, a cloud of white dust falling on all your clothes and the ground, the powdered sugar so bright it glows in the darkness.You put a napkin under it and finally reach inside the bag, pinching the hot treat between your fingers to pull it out. It’s very soft, unlike the cement ledge you sit against while eating it. When you bite into it you’re met with perfectly sweet, doughy insides. It nearly burns your tongue but it’s the best thing you’ve ever tasted. This is special, because Cafe Du Monde is known for price gouging due to the tourists – so you cherish it. You cherish all four or five that night, and walk the entire mile back home listening to the clattering of dishes and busy feet in your head.

Leftover Pumpkin Pie 300 calories

Your mother got it at the store for Thanksgiving. It’s only beaten by putting whipped cream on top. It’s perfect at one in the morning when everyone is still awake after the walk home. You step around the bucket catching water from the ceiling and open the freezer, taking out the box and stopping to rub your shoulder. The print bag strap broke and you tied the remaining part to the other earlier, the knot digging into you. The crust is still nice and there’s no freezer burn when you finally bite into it, the pie almost melting in your mouth. The coldness feels like it’ll counteract how much you’re sweated earlier. As you look up past the little trail of cigarette smoke, you see the dim light and notice how the cover is also orange, just a lighter shade. It makes the house look warmer and cozier, like it’s mimicking the fall leaves. Some man is ranting about politics on the radio and music is blasting down the street, “Keeping the entire block up,” your disturbed father says. The noise doesn’t bother you when a breeze just as cold as your pie blows in. The smell of burnt leaves and autumn wind fill the house for just a moment, giving you a moment of relief from the humidity trapped inside — you’re a year closer to your retirement now. Sitting inside on feet that don’t ache and withering the day away to anything. That government paycheck.