Sometimes it’s important to shut your fucking mouth, like in public places where your faces are busy misplacing the pastries you’ve paid for while the air escapes your veiny throat and what’s more heinous is the fact that you’re draped with the same shit that killed your uncle James, kid, and you don’t even savor it, you favor it gone in a second like you came with a mission to slay shit, to eat more food than a buffet filled with different stages of diabetic patients, my patience is thin and the more you linger the more anxious I am to flip the one finger on my hand capable of distinguishing me as foe or friend, you annoy me to no end, you’ve destroyed my trail of thoughts and that is my last strand of straw, you’ve ended all my plans to stay calm, I’m erupting from the skull like my cranium’s gone, you pathetic scu – oh, he’s leaving. Ah, back to writing.
An hour at the gym and I’m 5 pages deep into notes for a new novel. I’ve finally synched my brain and body, fuck. The ultimate productivity. I feel like Bradley Cooper in Limitless. Nobody saw that movie but it’s an adequate reference.
Now back to a cafe somewhere where I can get fat from white mocha syrups and chocolate croissants and actually write it.
Starbucks. A cyst of network marketers, aspiring authors, and old men falling asleep reading the newspaper on the cushy chairs. This is my office. I spend hours curled over rustic tables under the yellow mood lighting and get paid roughly four to twelve likes a week. These likes afford me no food, no shelter – but they give me more pride than any job I’ve ever held.
Next to me there’s a guy yelling at a member of his down-line for not recruiting the right people. To my left there’s a guy watching a movie on his laptop, and a guy who’d recognized him and started talking to him. I hate it when people interrupt me so I sympathize. His words, not mine: “If I buy you a drink, will you look up something on your computer for me?” This is the first line to a future episode of True Crime. I don’t trust anybody who doesn’t have their own functioning computer.
I want to move. I need to move. My laptop is at three percent till K.O. and I need an outlet but the only one in this Starbucks is clogged with the excess flaps of fat hanging from two people talking over coffee. Don’t they know that’s the outlet table? Don’t they know you can’t sit there if you’re not typing? I want to go over there and tell them they fucked up. They parked in the handicap spot. Tow their clogged arteries to the doughnut shop next-door. The people next to me are now talking directly to me and I’m ignoring them. Typing their words and pretending I’m too in-zone to hear them. “He’s got a real laptop. He’s just typing away, he don’t care. That’s cause he’s got all the money. That’s a good laptop.”
If they try to steal my laptop I will break their fingers.
Two percent and I feel panic. I need that table but they’re still talking. Still not drinking. Finish your drink. Finish your conversation. You’re too old to be on a date but too ethnically different to be related. If you guys are friends then I hope you’re having an affair, but if you’re having an affair I hope it’s just holding hands because sex with those bodies is an insult to the art. I hate these two people. I hate them, but not as much as the men talking about my laptop next to me.
The network marketer is trying to recruit a different network marketer who is not suave and not confident like him. She’s trying to recruit a different guy but now he’s lost interest. She’s flustered. This guy’s still confident. He’s the walmart of the network marketing world. He will run your small insurance scheme out of business. And I STILL DON’T HAVE AN OUTLET.
One percent. Should I go home? I should’ve spent these last three percent writing my post for Sunday. I look for another outlet. The guys next to me can’t figure out how to access a website. Like cavemen trying to start a fire. Their knobby, clumsy fingers looking for keys like a newly blind man trying to learn brail. They ask me “Hey, can I see your
Your Choice Romance Vol. 2
WordPress user Samkolch selected the following nouns to fall in love in one of Starbucks’ RTD&E cases. Sam is my wife-to-be and obviously takes my writing very seriously.
A sandwich made with Italian bread, usually toasted.
A Deli Sandwich
An item of food consisting of two pieces of bread with meat, cheese, or other filling between them, eaten as a light meal.
If you have any requests, please leave 2 nouns and a location in the comments and a personalized love story will be posted with a link back to your blog in the next 7 days.
I grew up in the slums of the backroom fridge, all the way in the bottom box. I don’t remember everything, but ma says the Green Gods put me together. She’d say, “Havarti, when you was born the good Green Gods put the bes’ turkey in ya there ever was. Ain’t nobody gonna tell my baby wha’ you gon’ grow up to be, but one thing’s certain: one ‘dese days the Green Gods will take you from this world the same way you came in it.” I wasn’t sure if I believed in the Green Gods, I’d never seen them. Not until one day, when a bright white light illuminated the world and I was taken from everything I knew. Ma always believed in the laws of FIFO, but that day those laws didn’t apply. I was taken before anyone, and I was scared. They placed me in the RTD&E case, mingled in with things I had never even known existed before. I met crackers and grapes and organic juices and milks – even quinoa salads. One day, as some indie pop-artist strummed away over the loud ambience of moving shapes, I met the one thing that made me truly believe in the Green Gods. A Panini named Swiss, with golden brown crust and tender ham of the softest pink. Something so perfect couldn’t have been an accident – the Green Gods were just. We were placed beside each other, and slowly I learned about her. Swiss grew up in high town, the highest box in the fridge. She talked all proper-like, and it wasn’t long before I realized there would never be a future for us. A Panini like her could never fall for a deli sandwich like me. I had gotten quite close to one of the organic juices, Apple, who grew up on the shelf just above mine, and because Swiss was a lost cause, I began spending time with Apple. She was nice – decent. If I ever saw my ma again she’d approve, I’d imagine. But no matter what, I couldn’t get Swiss out of my head. One day, realizing that I loved Swiss too much, I went to confess my feelings and accept whatever fate it would leave me with. But when I got to the Panini section, a new Panini had taken her place. I looked through every Panini in the case: Mozzarella, Turkey, even another Ham… but Swiss was gone.
“Where is she!?” I grabbed a Protein Bistro Box by the plastic.
“She’s gone, Varti.” He responded uncomfortably.
I couldn’t believe it. Swiss.
“Taken by the Green Gods.” Protein continued. “They’d ordered a Deli sandwich too, but the Green Gods thought they were out.”
Guilt rippled through me and I could feel my meat spoil. We could’ve been taken together. Burned in the ovens’ fires of rebirth. But I ruined it.
The next day, the Green Gods came for me. They weren’t bright and beautiful like the stories my ma told me. It was dark, and I wasn’t burned in the fires of rebirth. Instead, I was tossed in a dirty pit full of butchered coffee beans and broken lemon loaves. I lived out the rest of my day(s) there, lonely, regretful, miserable. This was hell, buried in the corpses of dead pastries.
Months later, as my body struggled to fight decomposition, laying amongst more trash than you’d know existed, l was surprised to find Swiss, broken at the waist, underneath a crinkled up Pepsi can.
“Swiss?” I managed.
“Varti…” She responded, barely conscious.
Apparently she was never properly burned in the oven, and her purchasers tossed her in the trash. Somehow, she ended up next to me. We died together in each other’s crust that day, untouched by the Green Gods.
Picture this – it’s deep winter and snow is packed on the forest floors like dandruff on a homeless man’s shoulders. The moon is full but not visible: the empty branches stretch overhead and block out any potential light. All you have is a torch in your right hand. The heat is intense but you prefer it to the alternative, and so your face sweats while your toes freeze. You have one goal and one goal only: write an interesting blog post.
You tremble and struggle through the forest until finally you see it. Your inspiration, tucked away beneath the talons of a large, golden eagle that sits atop the tip of a mountain festered with werebears and grufflemuffins. You twist your fingers around the hilt of your pen and draw it with the intention of spilling ink. You leap forward, penning through drafts like your wrists are made of seismographs. But as you get through crumpling you latest draft, you look up and notice you are nowhere nearer your inspiration.
Your frustration is crippling. You roar into the sky with mad determination. In an effort to reach your inspiration, you circle around the mountain in a previously trailed path, full of drafts already bleeding with red ink. But these drafts, as polished as they are, only hold you back more. You are reminded of how many drafts you’ve had to scrap already – how many wrong turns you’ve taken in the past. Maybe your inspiration is gone now and forever in the claws of a golden eagle and its posse of werebears and grufflemuffins.
Tsing. That’s the sound of your pen sheathing into the ground. You kneel beside it, sweat dripping from your forehead. What now?
Low and behold, next to you a young man in a black polo and a green cape waving in the wind. His face hasn’t met the challenge of shaving yet – I don’t even know if his balls have dropped. It doesn’t matter. For all his youth, he is already an expert at his craft. He wraps his cape around him, into an apron, and with swift determination creates 32oz of magic in a cup with a single green straw. He hands it to you, and you see your name mangled in sharpie. You smile – the effort counts.
You retrieve your pen. Tsing. The battle has only just begun.
Cue ominous Latin church chant.
Anybody that knows me knows that I’m horrible with multitasking. Want me to text and walk? I hope there’s no walls around. Want me to talk and navigate heavy traffic? I’ll have my insurance card ready. Want me to maintain a blog and develop a new story? I’ll just develop a new story.
That’s exactly what I’ve been working on, along with moving and starting a new job.
Despite my lifelong rebellion against timelines, lists and organization, I have buckled down and written a 10 page broad summary of a cycle of books. I will start writing this after my next two page love story.
Also, for my birthday, my girl edited the book I already finished, so soon I’ll be posting an excerpt and title for that.
I don’t have internet so I’m forced to visit Starbucks for these posts, therefore the scarcity of posting.
I think that’s it.