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Kincaid’s Hamburgers

So far, it has not been the easiest of trips. Not long after I landed in Dallas a couple of weeks ago, I got sick. Then my computer froze. Wouldn’t even do the beach ball. But the 20-something on other end of the 1-800-helpy Mac desk assured me that it was probably some sort of start-up glitch, so I worried not. The next day, I toted my little MacBook to the closest Apple store, hopped on a bar stool, and Genius Alex told me matter-of-factly that it wasn’t a start-up issue at all — it was my hard drive. It had crashed.

“You back up, right?” he said a bit too smugly, and wearing a blue shirt that was suddenly much too bright.

My eyes stung.

My mom was sitting on the stool next to me. I knew she wanted to give me a hug.

I felt like I was 10.

I was planning to do that — back up everything —  but I needed to buy a new, bigger hard drive, because the other one was full, and had been for some time. It was on my list of things to do while I was here; I mean, I was planning to put it on my list, but the truth is, I really hate going to Fry’s, with the mooing cows on the roof and the miles of teensy computer parts, and the cash register “corral,” where you must wait to be told where you can pay, at the soonest available numbered stall with the blinking red light, as if we couldn’t figure this out for ourselves.

Smartypants Alex said that he’d replace my hard drive and he gave me the name of a data recovery specialist, who would try to recapture all of my un-backed up data. I untied my scarf, which now felt like it was choking me, and walked out of the store and down the street, and ordered a coffee, strong.

“Do you want to get an ice cream?” said Mom, not knowing how to fix it, but trying.

“No,” I said. “Let’s take our coffees and drive home.”

The next day, I took my computer, along with its new and old hard drives to the data recovery guys, who were going to be able to retrieve my data, they told me. I felt better. Poorer, but better.

“Let’s go to Fort Worth and get hamburgers,” I said to Mom. “Now we can celebrate.”

We hopped in the truck and drove to the original Kincaid’s in the Arlington Heights neighborhood, not far from the museum district, TCU, or anything, really. It’s been around since 1946, and was originally a grocery store and meat market; now, Kincaid’s grinds its own Black Angus beef daily for its burgers, and cooks them on a flat-top grill in the back.

We both ordered the “Junior” with bacon and cheese – a mere quarter-pounder, unlike the regular half-pound burgers. Perfect. Juicy. And look at that perfectly melted American cheese, would you?

We ate crinkle-cut fries and onion rings, too. I don’t remember when I’ve last eaten crinkle-cuts, but it was probably at the Dairy Queen on Sherman Drive. Mom doesn’t know this, but I used to ride my bike there just to eat french fries in the afternoons after school.

We loved Kincaid’s, and afterwards, Mom and I took our time driving back home, stopping, of course, for coffees along the way. When the ice melts in the driveway, I’m going to propose we go back to Kincaid’s to celebrate something else. Maybe the dishwasher getting fixed, if the repairman ever comes. Or the pipes unfreezing, if they ever do. Or maybe just us, being together again.

Kincaid’s Hamburgers
4901 Camp Bowie Blvd.
Fort Worth, Texas