fry cook, esq.

I don’t really have much to say. It was sometime around 4am a few days ago when I wrote this and I was drunk.

I have a few ideas about what I could do. You got a job, you quit a job. The last restaurant sucked balls. Hot sweaty no one to talk to you. Five fryers. Cleaning one fryer and draining it sucks because you’re always a small movement away from irreparably scaring yourself. You’ll need skin grafts from your thigh to even look like a freak. Burns on the arm, legs, occasionally a hot splash of oil smudges your glasses and scalds your cheeks. Just a bit. Enough to make you fuming but never enough to take off your apron and walk out the back.

Burns. Lots of burns. Burns on my arm. Burns on my chest. One night I was pissed at a girl. Burnt myself on the arm with an L&M menthol in front of my friends. Bugs orbited around the porchlight aimlessly. In a sense I was like them. Orbiting. She was a smart one. Thought I liked her. Showed someone at the party the texts and he said something stupid. I knew she had a boyfriend and I still got mad. Dumb text. It doesn’t matter know. I have two burns on my left arm that I can’t get rid of. Two marks right before the crease in my elbow.

Told my friends then I did it for attention. Evergreen flash of anger and sadness. Anger is sadness with conviction. I was joking but now they make fun of me for it. Rips at my ego but I let it go. Smile. Take another sip. I did again. Forever saved in a thirty second snapchat. Some stupid Yung Lean song playing off my phone speakers. Took another L&M menthol and put it out under my left nipple. Can’t burn the right portion of my body. I’m right handed. The embers were hot and if I was cool I’d say it didn’t hurt a fuckton, but it did. Adrenaline felt good that night. Anger washed away.

College. Uni. I keep calling it Uni and my friends chastise me for it. I don’t know why. I miss college. I transcended the stoner archetype. I became popular. Now I live at home and reminisce about half-decade old memories with friends from home. Remember that kid from high school? No, and I haven’t thought about him in a solid five years. College was fun. Met a lot of good people. I denigrate the college I went to but I ended up doing well.

Uni College was sick. Winter and summer breaks meant something. It was the end of a semester or a year. You go back. Mispronounce au revivor to the friends at home to show them you are well read and start a new semester. New classes. Syllabus week. Time to go back to being an RA. New freshman. Need to acclimate them. They’re scared. Never paid attention to them. Room checks would come around. Well, looks like it’s all good, but the George Foreman grill goes against university policy. They’d hide it. Need to bring it home when mom pays for a bus ticket because only one-in-three students have a car and it’s a mile uphill behind a locked parking lot.

Good people. Good professors. Dr. [REDACTED] and [REDACTED]. Lots to talk about. Good advice. [REDACTED] doesn’t have wisdom but he has advice. Dr. [REDACTED] had wisdom. The whole department knew me. Three different academic buildings new me. Across campus, through each bar, through every corridor, I’d say hello with a smile on my face not knowing where I knew them from. They knew me. They’d flip out when they saw me at parties. But I’m not coming back. Not for this semester.

The mailman who walks five miles a day will crush your diploma in the mail. Slam it through the mail slot at your mom’s crib without care or consideration. Why would he give a fuck? Why would I give a fuck. Piece of paper. The people were important. Classes were easy. Friends were plentiful. It’s over. Get the degree and pay for the transcripts and stop falling for nostalgia. It will only drag you back in the recesses of your mind.

Step two. What next? Fuck around a bit. Summer felt like a haze. Since you step foot on the graduation stage it felt like a haze. Three months ago you were living at your grandfather’s drinking too much beer. Eating meat from the trucker who needed to make weight at the weigh station and something that resembled deer? Drove across the country. Saw family. Little brother helped drive. Good kid. Hope he doesn’t fuck up. Somewhere in Missouri Aunt [REDACTED] handed you a piece of pan-fried bass you just caught. Serene property in the middle of nowhere. She put the fish down and looked at you and said, be confident, you’re qualified. Don’t accept shit from anyone. You know how far I’d be if I were you?

Water sits in a glass on the nightstand. You don’t drink water. You try because if you don’t you’ll get a hangover. Nerves raging. Sharp pains when you stand up. The alcohol fucks you in the morning. The weed does too. Makes you sleepy. But more importantly fogs your brain. Clogs it up. Hazy. Like the night sky behind a few clouds but only so many that a few stars shimmer through. Or maybe it’s satellites. Who knows. You schmoozed your way through astronomy. Told the prof you cared about it. Don’t remember a single fucking thing.

Planned. From kindergarten to the end of your senior year. Five years old to twenty-two. Each step. Michelle Obama approved French toast sticks. Middle school tables defamed with sticky syrup. If you got some on your sleeve you’d want to go home. College too. Happy little workers at the common dining hall. They liked you. You were friendly. You knew that hated their lives, at least their jobs. Everyone hates their job, some are just better at being quiet about it. The only redeeming factor was someone who treated them human. They slid you raw tuna steak and they asked your friends where you were when you were gone. Life was planned.

You haven’t even given yourself a rationale for law school. This is the next step. You need to get on it. Do you really want to be a lawyer? Why? Your life will still suck balls until you spit them out. Wake up and spit out the nuts. A geographic change doesn’t change things. But it’s a plan. Another plan is the US armed forces. Drape yourself in the tricolor of the state and march in step. Learn to shoot. Suffer. Truly suffer. It would not be fun. It would be four years of tube-processed shit into down your throat like a scat version of gitmo hunger strike force feeding. Military would suck balls.

What’s next to talk about. Her. Is she gonna help me make this thing work out? Probably not. It’s probably a good idea when you are harder than diamond in your lindy-wear boxers cut on the sides and she’s wearing her Calvins on a videocall – not without purpose. Sending you messages. Good ones. Women and men have to chat about things besides the only topic both truly want to talk about. Sex and other degenerate shit. But the other stuff makes daily suffering worthwhile. How are you? How have you been? How’s the DMV and why is the lady taking so long and what’s wrong with your car and are you okay? She’s thousands of miles away. Left you and went to law school. She got an 164 on her LSATS. I need a 164 on mine. It fucks me up.

It’s on you, retard. You can live this life. You can work in a restaurant for the REST OF YOUR FUCKING LIFE! You can hangout with the felon who works on sauté right down from grill, which is manned by a Honduran dude who came here holding on for dear life under a lettuce truck. But now he’s pulling bones out of a salmon like a surgeon and leaving at 9pm on a Saturday night while you slave away. Sweep Brush Squeegee Mop and then Spot Sweep till you’re 70 fucking years old. Every day you’ll think about how you could’ve been a lawyer by then.

Five years. It’s a five-year plan. Set some ground rules for yourself. Hit the gym. Build muscle and lose weight. Stop drinking. Drinking and smoking every night. You’ll melt your fucking grey matter when that is, as of right now, the only organ that matters besides your heart. Maybe your appendix too but only if it exploded and you could rip a couple thousand off GoFundMe.

But people do care about you, fucking moron. You have a lot of friends. Good friends that’d drive two hours to pick you up from the airport on short notice. Don’t compare yourself to others. It’s not hard though. Many just don’t have friends. They don’t have luck with girls. You aren’t either of those people. You can work your ass off but also you can manage a conversation. You have brains. Don’t think of your life as as a movie. There are no character arcs. Time only moves one way and the only critic that matters is you.

Once again. People around me love me. Show more care to those who raised you. Don’t sling around fried Sysco garbage anymore. No more blanching fries and dropping hush puppies and meekly telling managers why you can’t come in early. Graduate from being a fryer. Become a lawyer. Green copper plaque outside an exposed brick building in fifteen years. Fry cook, esquire.

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