Fast Food

October 22, 2009
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Only one place resembles the movies, T.V. Good movies resemble life but anything on T.V. is fiction. This rings true for commercials more then anything else that shows up in pixels. I worked in one of those so called family restaurants, that provided nutritious meals on budget. The screens showed freshly brewed ice tea being enjoyed by the slim and healthy. While in reality it came pre-made and soaked in a sickly looking vat for true flavor. Put in the taps by Mike, our fat co-worker who gets stuck with the s*** jobs. The commercials say we're like a family if that's so we're a f***ed up one. We have our single parent, Will the manager. He found he could over compensate for his miserable life by taking out of his problems on us. Mike vaguely resembled people that picked on him, only in size, and sadly it was the wrong kind of body mass. He put me and Mike through hell to get that job.
Cleaning the grills and emptying the grease and standing for hours in the pick-up lane. Where the grueling and draining voices of the graveyard shift would eat at your barely conscious mind. Their meals always the same combination of low grade meat and vegetables. I developed a distaste for the food and those who lived off it. On both ends the under-culture that thrived off it's grease and those sick twisted people who thrived off their money. I avoided the conversations with Mike all he did was complain about the unpaid overtime that Will would force him into. He never did that to me He liked me. He knew I needed that job, we both knew that, but he knew that i didn't care if i lost it. Mike got put on s*** jobs and i was left alone. I worked the cash register still taking orders. And the meth heads and the junkies all knew my name and i knew the glaze in their eyes. The skin creeping dependence on manufactured life. Order after order as the plastic god on the wall counted down till the end of my sentence. I would play the greats in my head, melodic symphonies only found in the middle of the dial on the radio in the early mourns.
The last order would come up and sound it's alarm. And the voice would hurt like the sound of ripping flesh. Like the last note of the radio still echoing in my head. Then i could go home, to Hannah.
She worshiped models even practiced poses in the mirror. She'd bring up the name of new models and speak of them as i did writers and all the people who had escaped the crap that I was condemned to. She sat staring at the magazines every night in complete ignorance of the world. I would ocitionaly catch her posing naked in the mirror critiquing herself.
"How am i suppose to be anything like this." She said using her head to point to the table where a magazine laid with the centerfold bleeding out it's gloss covered vitals.
"Don't let those people get to you, they're weak. Your the most beautiful women I've ever seen."
"You don't mean that you just say nice things so I won't cry, you never mean them."
"Where the hell did you get that." I said as i walked to the kitchen.
"I just got off of work, I'm relaxing, i obviously can't help you." I grabbed a beer and sat down facing her.
"Are we still going to that art show tomorrow?" She asked making eye contact through the reflection in the mirror.
"Why would I?"
"Don't you want to see Picasso."
"I can see them on postcards."
"They're fakes though."
"But the people aren't"
"I'm going to be a painter one day."
"You are one now, you just don't paint."
"What's that suppose to mean?"
"People never change, they just find out more about themselves. Then get a new title."
"So you were always a waiter."
"No, I was never one."
"Then what are you."
"Bidding my time."
The phone rang.
"Don't answer that."
"Why not, it could be our friends."
"Hannah it's not."
I picked the phone up and slammed it back down on its cracked plastic.
"I'm going to bed."
The phone rang again.
"Hello… yeah he's right here."
"Yeah… yeah… yeah" I hung up.
"What did he want."
"I'm going into work tomorrow."
Sarah disappeared no one knew where she was. The last i saw of her she was doing lines next to the friar. I thought she would catch flame before she had her breakdown.
I went to my room with the poster on the wall. A sketching someone was gave me that i got enlarged on the wall. The penciled in edges bleeding through an image of me. Me talking to myself behind the register. Sarah gave it to me when i first started to work. I got up and took a sharpie to it.
I've always been where I am right now.
"Where are you then?" She asked from the doorway.
"Somewhere else." I grabbed a change of clothes and left.

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