I decided to take a second job at a coffee shop.
Brew, pour and serve coffee.
I make sandwiches, blend smoothies, cook wraps, stroke egos and sell free bags of airplane peanuts.
I also clean a lot; sinks, toilets, asses, you name it.
My specialty is not giving a shit about people who treat me like shit.
It’s not that I am satisfied with my servant job and lack of success as an artist. It’s just I haven’t figured out who I am supposed to take it out on yet.
I pulled out of a three-day bender and was struggling at work. I placed a sausage sandwich in front of a grizzled man. He was wearing a minor league hockey jacket. Coach or parent I knew right away this guy had an anger management issue.
“Isn’t there any fucking ketchup for this?”
My body oozed toxins, I hope my sweat didn’t give him any satisfaction. It was not because of him.
I thought of how minor league hockey referees would deal with him.
I worked on other orders, knowing full well there was ketchup in the back.
“You mean I gotta eat this fucking sandwich dry?” He gunned.
I didn’t like his tone, but I did enjoy his senseless swearing.
This coffee shop remained his hockey arena.
I looked at him with dead blood shot eyes. He looked at me with angry blood shot eyes. I was sure he was about to heave the scalding sandwich at my face.
The sausage would probably stick to my cheek. Boiling toxins providing a sealant. I am sure the other customers would continue to query where their order was as ground pig shit torched my face.
Societal rules need not apply while you’re at a counter, in front of plexi-glass or behind a steering wheel – places where the pent up and unsatisfied unleash their frustrations at the undeserving and unarmed.
The moisture this man was going to get on his sandwich was from the grease in the flash frozen meat, and the sweat from the beers I had last night.
He sat down to his sawdust sandwich and stared at me like I had a gun to his first born.
I enjoyed the gaze. Of course I would prefer it to be from an attractive woman with a tumbling blouse line, but this man is what I got.
I was about to clock out, but there were a few orders left to finish. These ones I did with glee and perfection. I laughed with each customer and gave them exactly what they wanted and then glanced at my guy.
I knew this would burn his insides: Me having a good time, and other customers walking away satisfied.
I saw him talking aggressively at his friend while his eyes stayed locked at me.
The last time I checked I did not own a pair of breasts.
The shift was over, my hangover subsiding. I took off my apron and walked to the office and got changed.
I threw on my jacket and grabbed a packet of ketchup.
I headed out of the shop and walked by my attentive man-child while squirting ketchup in my mouth.
The now gentle man was silent.
There was no counter, boards, or steel between us.
I hopped into my tiny, dented hatchback.
I rolled through the first intersection and was cut off by a car bigger than mine turning right.
I slammed on the horn and put my foot down on the gas.
This asshole was going to pay.