The First Steak in 15 Years

One Tuesday morning you realize sitting in a public health clinic counseling others on safe sex practices isn’t quite what you had in mind when you told your friends you’d be living the “good life” after college. Ah well.

So one Tuesday afternoon you post an add in three cities (Albuquerque, Tucson, Butte) you’ve never visited stating:

Young traveler looking for friends, new experiences, and beautiful places to catch a sunset and/or sunrise. I’ve never been to your city, but I’d love to check it out. Whadda ya say?

And you get a great response from a seemingly decent couple in Tucson, and although your mother would kill you knowing you accepted an airline ticket, and space on the couch of strangers you’ve never even spoken with on the phone, you go.

“We’ve been marinating this steak for 3 days, waiting for you to get hear to grill out,” Joe said. Bernie, his wife, or girlfriend (i never asked or looked at fingers), only smiled and licked her lips, tasting what was coming.

See, I gave up steak when I was nine because I choked and my mother had to do the Heimlich. But three days is a great investment and I didn’t want to seem uncultured. I tore into that delicious steak and regretted the many nights I passed mine on to whoever was sitting close.

And on that trip I learned two things:

1. Never not eat food just because it attempted to fuck you up. Create better reasons for not trying it.

2. This was the first time I took a completely random, possibly dangerous (in hindsight only) trip. I made sure it happened often because it’s when you learn more about your limits, joys, ability to build relationships and so forth.


Darnell Lamont Walker, a self-professed traveling foodie, has been found sitting at tables eating baby goat sweetbreads, drinking tequila, and laughing loudly with strangers. The writer, filmmaker, artist, and sometimes photographer puts happiness above all.


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