​    It was dead. It was always like this during the week. That’s why I enjoyed working during the week, particularly Tuesday’s, since that was the only day that is was just me and her working.

    ​It felt pathetic to get excited about going to work when I was alone in my room Monday nights, but that’s generally how things went. And I generally tried to suppress that excitement, because then thoughts of how incredibly uneventful my life had become, that I was actually excited to go to my shitty job, would creep up soon after.

     ​We were both lounging in chairs behind the counter, immersed in our own thoughts and distractions. She was playing with a single curl of hair and looking through a book about photography. I was biting my nails and skimming through another one of these How to Live a Self-Sustained Life books. I’d become slightly obsessed with the idea of being self-sustainable, but had put very little of it into practice. While I was reading- and frankly during many other aspects of my life- I would try to think of things to say to her that would simultaneously get under her skin, peak her interest, and eventually make her laugh. “You know,” I said while placing a mark in the crease of the book and folding it over in my lap, “I think it’s about high time I killed a chicken.” She rolled her eyes at me, “why do white people always feel the need to fuck with animals?” I grinned, “what’re you talkin’ about?” “You guys always gotta be doing weird shit with like nature and animals, it’s like, can you just chill.” “I don’t wanna like smack a lion in the face with my cock…” She smiled and interjected mid response, “well that’s very noble of you, not wanting to smack a lion with your cock.” “Thank you, I try… anyway, as I was saying… I’m not tryin’ to do any weird shit. I just feel like if I’m to continue eating meat, I should have to kill an animal that I eat.” “So just don’t eat meat anymore, and be cool, like me.” “But I like eating meat. And I don’t see anything wrong with it if it’s done responsibly. That’s why I need to humanely kill a chicken.” She grinned slightly while rolling her eyes again and shaking her head, “oh gaahhddd, humanely kill a chicken, you’re ridiculous.” She went into the token white guy impression that she broke out from time to time, “so you could feel like a man, bro? You wanna feel like a big strong man, bro?” I laughed a breath through my nose, “yea pretty much. I’m tired of my suburban-slash-city existence dampening my manhood.” “Gotta kill a chicken bro, gotta feel manly.” “Plleeeaaseee with this holier than thou herbivore shit.” “Whatever, I’m not the one trying to murder cute lil chickens.” “If those cute chickens were big enough they’d gouge your eyes out in a second and never give you another thought.” “So, just let a chicken be a chicken…and they wouldn’t do that to me, because they would know that I’m cool and smart.” “The only reason humans have gotten to the point of being this cool and smart was because of our ability to hunt and eat meat during ice ages, and tundra’s, and winters, and shit.” She looked at me accusingly, “really? That’s the only reason?” I smiled feeling that I was behind in this argument, “I’m exaggerating, but whatever, you know what I’m saying.” “She resorted back to her impression, “gotta kill chickens like my manly ancestors, bro!!” I chuckled a bit, “that’s right, I gotta be a part of this time honored tradition…my inner monologue reprimands me every time I’m cooking something with meat.” She laughed, “reprimands you?” “Yea you know, like the voice in my head turns into a father-in-law who’s like disparaging his dead beat son-in-law for continually disappointing his daughter.” She burst out laughing, “what?! Why is that so specific?!” I continued, “yea you know, like the voice always starts out by like shaking his head slowly at me and saying ‘look at you, just look at you…where’d you get that pork? The super market? You’re pathetic! There’s people out there killing their meals with spears!!’ So by the time it’s ready to eat, I can’t even enjoy it anymore.” She was still laughing and wiping tears from her eyes, “do you really talk to yourself that much?” “Yea of course, everybody does, in their heads at least. I’m not like saying this shit out loud to myself, at least not that often or when people are around.” Her laughing fit was dying down, “you’re soooo weird.” “C’mon, you definitely do the same shit.” “No, I know what you mean…I’m just not calling myself an asshole or anything like that.” “Alright, so who’s your head-voice?” “Hmmmm lemme think…my voice is like encouraging me and trying to convince me that I’m going to be ok.” “Alright.” “Yea, yea it’s like those white people who watch marathons and cheer the runners on, like, ‘come on! You’re doing great! Just keep going!” I smiled “like handing out those little white cups with water.” “Yea, yea ‘you can do it! Ok, yea… that’s fine, you can stop to pet that dog.’” I laughed, “see there you go, you’re a weirdo too.” “No, not me, I’m just cool.” “Rrriiigghhtttt.”

​    We both looked up momentarily as it appeared we might get a potential customer. “Phew,” I said as the person decided to keep it moving past the shop’s doors. We slumped back into our seats. After a minute she began to stretch and said “I’m falling apart, hurry, I need a back massage.” “I’m sorry, but that would be against company policy. No back touching in the workplace.” “Oh shuutttt uuppppp, you say that every time and every time I get a back rub. So let’s just skip the theatrics and get to the massaging,” she said half-jokingly.” “Well, I don’t respond well to demands, so now I can’t do it.” “C’monnn.” “I’d be betraying my personal ethics.” “C’mmmooonnnnnm, I’m in severe pain.” “I don’t see it happening.” “I’m gonna die.” “You had a good run.” “C’mmmmoonnnnnnn,” she said, sliding her chair over and grabbing my hand, as she tried to manually get me to massage her back. “I’ll tell you what, I’ll meet you halfway. I’ll give you a foot massage,” I said with a grin. “How is that halfway?” “Because you get a massage, but it’s not exactly what you wanted.” She laughed, “yea right, like you would rub my feet in the middle of the shop.” “Kiddin me, I don’t give a fuck.” “And if a customer comes in?” “Then they’ll feel weirded out and leave, it’s a win-win.” “Fine,” she said taking off her shoes, still not believing me. She flung her left foot into my lap and leaned back further into her seat as if to say ‘your move.’ I didn’t hesitate and started working the arch of her foot by rotating my thumbs, and the top with the rest of my fingers, as if they were squeezing a stress relief ball. She had knee high navy blue socks with cartoon-esque pizza slice stitched all up and down them. “Cute socks.” “Thanks,” she replied, closing her eyes and leaning her head back. Those little pizzas are gettin’ me hungry, wanna order a pie?” Keeping her eyes closed and head laid back she said, “What’s say we just focus on the massage for now.” I was ok with that, and decided it was probably time for me to shut the fuck up. I increased the pressure with my thumbs ever so slightly, and soaked in her subtle moan of approval as she sunk a little deeper into the chair.

     ​A moment later there was a familiar sound that seemed to be coming from another dimension, it was a customer opening the front door, the first one in nearly two hours. She straightened up in her seat and swung her foot off of my lap. We locked eyes for a split second, before standing up and looking forward at the customers.

     ​A middle aged couple shot us quick fake smiles, before slowly circling the shop and internally deliberating over all the bullshit stocked on the shelves. They weren’t even going to buy anything, I could tell by their indifferent curiosity.

​    We stood side by side, a few feet apart and watched them. My eyes were wide, and I was biting down on both my top and bottom lip as I shook my head, barely moving it side to side in disbelief. I didn’t want any good fortune or happiness to ever come the way of these people or their families ever again. I wish I had a trained swarm of bees to unleash on them, a pride of starved lions, a herd of frazzled water buffalo, a stampede. I wanted them to know, I wanted them to see the hatred in my eyes.

​I waited all week for this.  




    ​Two fat people walked in and ordered fat people things, and a skinny person ordered a skinny person thing directly after, and I felt like the universe punched me right in the dick and screamed at me that nothing happened by accident. That’s why I worked in this shitty coffee shop for so long, because I needed to know that. What a relief.

    ​I was relieved when a clearly gay lad came in with his grandfather and they just ordered regular coffee. That was easy enough to make. They ordered the coffees, talked about it, coffee that is, and seemed very comfortable with each other. I was intrigued by that, and found it to be rare and beautiful, the older man being so understanding and accepting that is.

    ​An older man and I drank, not together, but in general. He was alright, came in for a cup of tea a few times a week, he looked pretty fried. We talked about it, drinking that is, “it wasn’t a problem” he insisted, “you just have a few drinks a night, like everybody.” I agreed even though I knew most people didn’t do that, but it made me feel better, because I only drank like four or five days out of the week. Every night? Don’t be ridiculous.

   ​We drank while making coffee, from time to time. My co-workers and I, that is. I had one of my best friends hired and had become pretty good friends with one of the other guys from the shop throughout the years, and we all drank, so it worked. While the cat was away we put whiskey in our coffee from the bottle we had hidden in the bathroom. The cat was oblivious. We drank during some weekend mornings/afternoons to keep the hangovers at bay, from the damage done during the night prior. It kept us civil and jolly, but terribly uncoordinated. It was a good time though, especially since we were able to play our own tunes over the shop’s speakers.

​   And we play some good music, some groovin’, thumpin’ and bumpin’ funky ass shit. Some customers are like “yeaaaa,” and some are like “can you turn that down, just a little?” and we’re just gettin’ down, bobbin’ our heads having a good ole time, like “doesn’t this make you wanna drink some mothafuckin’ coffee?” And we sing and pretend we’re in Parliament, the funk group not the government thing. And women laugh, and hot girls ignore us, and guys are too cool and are thinking “fags,” and I’m like whatever Serious Jones, gay dudes are way more fun than you anyways. And right on cue a gay guy walks in and orders a mocha and signals for me to leave the change in the tip jar, and isn’t fun at all. “Have a good one, thanks” I mumble.

    ​I mumbled a lot of the time. I was miserable most of the times that I mumbled.

    ​The Mexicans in the next store over seemed so happy, always smiling and jovial, and making eight dollars an hour if that. Meanwhile, the Mercedes owners stared in disgust at the prices and calorie counts. They called me “boss” or “guy” or “buddy,” and they took themselves very seriously, which kept me in stitches. Middle aged women acted the age they were trying to look, unable to admit their time had come and gone. Tough guys looked at hats in herds in one of the other stores nearby, and the simple right leaning white guys just wanted a regular small hot coffee. “None of that fancy mocha-chino crap.” “Those are for fags and Mexicans,” I imagined they thought, with their short sleeve polo’s tucked into their cargo shorts. I wondered, what if these kinds of guys had a gay son, or their daughter fell for one of my Mexican friends from the next store over? Wouldn’t that be some shit?

    ​I wanted someone’s daughter to fall for me in the back corridors, where the garbage and stock rooms were for the various stores. I tried to get my ex to come with me to the stock room, before she was my ex that was. She thought about it, but ultimately said no. I always imagined one of the girls from one of the stores would mosey into the stock room while I was picking up supplies and give herself to me on a whim. It’s yet to happen, but I won’t give up hope.

    ​I went out with one of the girls from one of the stores once, and she drank a lot, and she threw up a lot, after we were making out for a minute. I held her hair back, and told one of her friends whom was still in the bar what had happened. We got her into my car, and she directed me to the girls house, the friend that is, and we got her into the house. She was embarrassed the next day, and swears she was drugged. She never got like that. She didn’t know what could have happened. I thought prior to that we would meet in the back corridor one day, but we kinda stopped talking after that, which was a real shame, because she was terribly attractive.

    ​The last girl I was with told me to lick her asshole after we had both already came, and I was appalled. Not that I haven’t done that in the past, I have and have enjoyed it, but I don’t want to be told to do it. I had already been in the region earlier with the necessary tool if that was going to happen. If I wanted to do that, I would’ve, but I didn’t want to. I didn’t know or like her like that. I didn’t want to know her at all after she said that, and I was sooo happy when she left later that morning.

    ​A mentally unstable lady told me to go fuck myself and wouldn’t leave my work place, because I didn’t notice her walk into the shop earlier that day. She thought I was deliberately avoiding her for some reason, and apparently everyone knew her in that mall and everyone always noticed her, so she told me to go fuck myself. I purposefully did not jerk off for two days just to spite her.

     ​Some jerk off spewed out some racial slur about Obama after I served him his coffee, assuming that I was an out of touch racist like him. “This is why I hate white people,” I tried to explain to the black girl I worked with. “But you’re white” she responded, unable to understand my point.

    ​A younger black fella asked what I had for a dollar, “water” I said. He asked if something that cost more than a dollar was a dollar, and I replied no, “come onnnnn” he groaned or asked as he slowly walked out, holding his book bag by the inside of his elbows, so that it hung very low. It looked quite uncomfortable. “Sorry?” I thought to myself.

    ​I enjoyed when customers apologized to me while I was sitting on the counter at work reading, or just sitting there, and I had to get up to go help them. They actually apologize for disturbing me and forcing me to carry out what I get paid to do, and I totally expect and think I deserve their apology at the time. How dare they?

    ​How dare you people come in at all, annoying me with your orders and demands, it’s like can’t you see that I hate you, you don’t care about that? You don’t care that the random coffee shop guy hates you? No? Of course you don’t, why would you? I’m only your temporary servant, your sub-human. Right, no, don’t worry I get it, I’m the asshole.