I’ve only eaten at a Chick-fil-A once, and that was before they became tied to the issue of same-sex marriage.
I don’t think the subject of marriage, or even sex, entered my mind when I ventured into a Chick-fil-A near Youngstown, Ohio. It was last May, in the middle of the evening after a long day’s drive from New York.
My mind turned first to sketching. I was trying to figure out how to paint the view of the sunset over the BP filling station across the street. Seeing the gas station made me think about the oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico. I wondered whether people would forget about that disaster or whether the image of oily seabirds would be forever associated with the BP brand.
Eventually my thoughts turned toward food. I went to the counter and asked for a Chargrilled Chicken Sandwich. A young woman informed me that they didn’t have one.
I asked if they could make me one, and she said they had put away the ingredients. She was a nice girl, and seemed to be uncomfortable delivering the unwelcome news.
But wait, she said, there might be a Chicken Caesar Cool Wrap in the cold case in the back. She disappeared for a while and came back with a small packet wrapped in paper inside a clear plastic clamshell container.
Back at my table near the window, I peeled the wrapper and took a few bites between watercolor washes. I was as distracted as an iPhone junkie. Watercolor has a way of blotting all other thoughts from my mind. I stopped painting only to shake off the cheese shreds that had dropped onto my sketchbook.
The sunlight was dimming and the lights in the gas station were brightening, bouncing off the puddles left from a passing shower. I hurried to capture the fleeting light effect before the sun disappeared entirely.