Matt's Bar - Jucy Lucy
I don’t know who I was before this. Who am I trying to fool?
I’ve had many lovers in my life, and by lovers I mean cheeseburgers. I thought I was happy, not only that — but satisfied with every other burger that came my way. My standards were low from the beginning. At a very young age, I fell in love with Big Mac. I accepted the love I thought I deserved. It was us against the world, until it wasn’t. I serial dated burgers to mend my broken heart. I thought I could handle more mature relationships. I had a month or two with Ruby, a fling with Apple, and serious affairs with Five different Guys. I was determined to find something serious in Minneapolis. Annie’s Parlor and I were together for four years. I believed it was the height of luxury.
I. Was. Wrong.
There’s a new lover in my life and her name is Lucy. Jucy Lucy.
I came to Matt’s Bar when I was in a bad place. I was on a road that shouldn’t be traveled. There were many thorns and overgrown shrubbery. This road is called starvation. My feet were tired and my stomach was grumbly. The only items in my belly were Wallaby Licorice and little bunny teddy grahams. Alas, I arrived at Matt’s Bar with the full intention for it to turn my life around for I knew I couldn't keep burning the candle at both ends.
The space is dark, a place to eat a 600 calorie burger in peace. If the bar was well lit, the burger oozing your inner most desires may reveal itself to be repulsive. It’s like when you make out with someone on the dance floor of a club thinking they’re a Gosling, but you discover in the bright light of coat check, he’s actually a Buscemi (no hate, he's an incredible character actor). Both good kissers, but one you can’t bare to look at in the natural light of day. I guarantee you don’t want to see this sweaty hamburger meat under a spotlight.
Matt’s Bar is crowded. A sign, “Please wait to be seated,” is the Gandolf between you and your beef fest. You shall not pass! It says, with the asterisk you'll pass plenty of bowel movements later. A sign or warning, it's brave enough to ask the question, “Do you really want to do this?” The weak customers, who have a little more self-respect, leave during their five minute wait and steam kale and cauliflower at home. The champions, who believe in living life to the fullest and extracting every moment of joy, stay even if the wait is 30 minutes.
There’s no music in Matt’s Bar. The stale silence is peppered with the sound of people slurping the cheese out of their burgers. A stranger plays a 90’s hit on the juke box in the corner, and the sexual tension between the customer and their Jucy Lucy subsides. It’s 3 minutes 44 seconds of “How Bizarre,” by OMC then another 21 to 26 minutes of silence and slurping, followed by “Big Yellow Taxi,” covered by Counting Crows featuring Vanessa Carlton (the Mozart of our generation).
It takes a long ass time to cook a Jucy Lucy, just under ten minutes each side. I waited until the next burger flipped was mine. As a squirter, I’m aware it can take someone by surprise, both positively and negatively, when warm liquid shoots out of something and onto your face. It can be alarming, but it can also be a delightful gift. When I bit into those three pounds of steamy beef, hot cheese splashed me in the face, a temporary first degree burn. Only the words “utter” and “joy” appeared behind the lids of my closed eyes.
I groaned, paralyzed with pleasure, as the juices melted down my wrists all the way to my elbows. Suddenly, I was covered in grease and cheese, an experience a germaphobe would despise, yet the orgy in my mouth was appropriate for persons with any level of OCD. I could never let the burger go. One, it was like meeting your soulmate for the first time. Two, it would’ve fallen apart if I set it down. I did it all in one take each bite more explosive than the last until it was gone.
I didn’t expect it to leave me so soon. I looked like I belonged in a crime scene. My chin covered in a shiny glistening coat of juice. My hands covered in blood. Not really, instead of blood it was liquid saturated fat. I looked lost, maybe even confused to the strangers around me. But inside, I was beaming.
I left Matt’s Bar walking on air. In my car, I spoke to myself overcome with glee.
“What was that?”
“What have I been doing?”
Who needs drugs when you can get high off a burger stuffed with cheese? I felt I solved poverty, hunger, unemployment, women's reproductive rights, and terrorism. I felt the energy of the trees, the wind, the rain, the birds, and the tiny woodland animals. The sun and moon aligned in my own personal eclipse, and for a brief pause, all was right in the world. The great universe in complete balance.
When you go to Matt’s Bar, wait in that line and don’t give up. Hear the 90’s one hit wonders. Embrace the smell of the fat which is about to enter your body. Be bad and embrace the nastiness that will bring you nothing short of enlightenment.
One more thing.
Live your truth.
Get it with sautéed onions.