Cold, Lonely Work Before a Chilled Lone Star
The stray wind blew the settled rain on the grass off the ground and across my face and through my pants. I stood on the central plaines of Texas pounding metal steaks into the ground. As I swung the mallet, small drops of rain slid off the bill of my cap and onto my gloves. With each connection of hammer to metal, the effects of a rainy day splashed up, into my face. I pounded and pounded through the morning. The earth gave way for the posts. My gloves were soaked by mid-morning.
Once the posts settled into the muddy ground, I wrapped mesh fencing around the posts. To keep the fencing from deserting into the wind, I zip-tied the fencing to the posts. My already wet fingers were nearly numb after hours of repetition.
Thankfully a lunch break came early. My coworkers and I drove up Highway 20 to El Borreho De Oro for a large bowl of chicken tortilla soup and endless refills of black coffee. The Red Rock, TX Mexican restaurant was the shelter we all needed after a cold, rainy morning. I immediately replaced wet gloves and zip ties with a hot mug of coffee; only letting go to taste the hot broth and chewy pieces of chicken in my bowl.
By the time we left El Borreho the mud from our boots cracked off our soles, leaving a pile of dirt behind with our empty mugs and a solid tip. The afternoon carried on like the morning. I moved in through the wet ground and gusty winds to stay warm, and to get one step closer to an honestly earned afterwork brew.
After a hot shower–that prickled my body back to warmth–I joined some coworkers for a drive over to Austin to eat at Lucy’s Fried Chicken. A basket of spicy hot wings with a side of drunken catfish sounded delicious, but all I really cared for was pressing my lips against a cold Lone Star. The dang beer of Texas’ refreshing, crisp lager notes is all I craved after returning back to the rain and mud after lunch. Once our waitress brought over out first round of Lone Stars, I immediately ordered a second. No, not because I’m an alcoholic, but because I knew the first lager wouldn’t last longer than my first cup of coffee at EL Borreho.