Coffee: Sumatra Medium Dark, Trader Joe’s Brand
What’s the smallest thing I could talk about? I’m out of energy for the big things. For fifteen minutes tonight, my life was in orbit around a Burger King.
Work let out late and it was dark and raining. I’d been planning to get gas on the way home. Confronted with a seven o’clock storm, those plans seemed like they could wait. Instead, I decided to get dinner. I had this dilemma – my tank was almost empty, I couldn’t go very far. Across the road from work is a Burger King. I’d never been there. Tonight it was my north star.
Every time I end up at the intercom to one of these joints I ask the same question: “Do you still have the veggie burger?” So far, every time I’ve asked that (which, admittedly, I could count on one hand) the answer’s been ‘yes.’ So I placed the order and pulled around and kept the window down while I waited to give my card. The drive-thru was empty except for me. The window was bright and white and green inside. I looked inside.
There was a young girl at the window, an older guy in the back. They were laughing apart from each other. They seemed to be having two separate conversations with the same third person, someone I couldn’t see. They’d take turns throwing up their arms or clutching their chests. But they’d be doing it so out of sync it was like they were in different rooms.
Eventually the food came. I checked the bag. It was small and full of fries. Somewhere in there must be a burger but I had to take it on faith. I thanked the girl and rolled up my window. The rain had gotten thicker and the night had gotten darker. My car started to smell like grease.
There’s my small thing: the only fifteen minutes that felt calm today. My stomach’s full and I’m crashing off the added sugars. Work again tomorrow. Then a long weekend. Who knows where the next calm minutes might find me?
Novel Count: 29,897
Currently Reading: Killing Commendatore, Haruki Murakami; FINISHED!
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He settles back with a small handful of cashews; dry-roasted, they have a little acid sting to them, the tang of poison that he likes.John Updike, Rabbit at Rest