The Pancake House

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Mom hides it so well. Too much to do, time restrained. My anxiety mounts. I need to vanish, expire, and wane from fault. The closest thing I have to tranquility is an almost-out-of-business pancake house at midnight. Pathetic, I know.
I slink out of my window, skim down the tar of the roof, and stroke the wet grass, feet-first. I made sure to land on some of those peeving crickets that keep me awake, but slipped. Chirrrp—they mock me. As I lay, fallen, I noticed the old crime-scene tape bandaged around the abandoned electric towers. I noticed the razor wire humbly protecting houses. I noticed the grass isn’t green. I noticed graffiti murals on every brick factory. I noticed the place I actually called home. Perfect time to get away.
As I sat, the dust on the booth swirled up and danced around the rim of the light, giving the place an antique feel. I was in my zone, spying. The drunk people stuttering, ordering s-s-sausages are paying in pennies and quarters. There, in the far corner booth, there’s the couple who always fight. It’s like drinking orange juice after brushing your teeth in the morning, they’re bitter and incompatible. Then the business lady barges through the revolving doors. Her heels like glass, click on the wood. Polished like the diamonds cemented in her blood, she holds it off. Slumping onto the button stool, squared in front of an employee, she lets her makeup drip down a shield of perfection. Trapped like an egg done over-easy waiting to crack; she reminds me of someone. I poke at the peppered yolk on my plate.
Mom said it’s bad-mannered to compare people with my food. I know she thinks it’s funny, but she’s challenged to be the adult. I never see her anymore. She works late. But I know she’s cracking; something more common than I expected.





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