A Story by RLHJ

     Two cups of coffee, three cigarettes, fourteen tangents in conversation. I had watched our waitress talking to the cook for the last twenty minutes or so. They’ve been absorbed into their own little world. And us? Still no food.
      I’ve been keeping track of the pace of their conversation. While talking, her arms spring to life. She’s conducting her own private orchestra, the flesh under her arms flapping wildly. His head bobbles around.

     The thick lenses and frame of her glasses are an homage to the eighties. The frame has a faux tortoise shell pattern with flecks of green and black in the translucent plastic. They only help to accent her ugliness.

     Every chance I get to put burns into the exposed underside of these mdf counters, I take. The pleasure I get from the damage I’m doing to this shithole’s property; almost sexual. I want more.
     I sit idly for a bit, nodding occasionally, to keep time to our own conversation. I had been sizing up the patrons, sitting there, staring at their food. They look as if in anticipation. As if, at some point, their meals may spring to life and bring meaning to their boring worlds. And then, if they are lucky enough, perhaps perform a magic trick.
     “I’ll be back,” I say.
     Sam nods and I’m off to the bathroom.
     The bathroom is empty. I straddle the urinal.
     Listening closely for footsteps, any sign that I might be interrupted; I send a dark yellow arc, out, and to the right of the toilet. I watch the stream burst into a mist as it hits the bathroom wall. It smells of brewing coffee. It pools momentarily on the tiles then, it slowly starts to disappear into the cracks. I couldn’t be happier with myself.
     Tense and release. Tense; release, shaking off the excess drops.
     I’m entranced by the swirling dance of the wallpaper. The patterns tangling and tying themselves up as I put myself away.

     I feel a hand on my shoulder. It grips tight and pulls me around. Oh, s**t. The cook.
     I don’t think before I realize I have hooked my palm around the back of his neck, sidestepped, slammed his face into the exposed plumbing of the urinal. He’s reeling. He’s coughing on blood and shock. He slumps back into the wall; slides to the floor. No more thoughts. No time to think.
     I drive the heel of my foot down at the side of his neck. He makes a sound like air being squeezed from a plastic bag as he goes unconscious. My foot comes down on his face as his body spreads onto the floor. A kick to the stomach and bile starts to dribble from his mouth, out his nose. He starts to twitch; that’s when I know I can’t stop.
     I grab onto the faucet, throw a foot up on the edge of the sink, and pull. My hand slips. I fall back, through a stall door, and land with an elbow in the toilet.
     “F**k! Goddamn, motherfucking-s**t!”
     I grab the handicap rail and pull myself up, disgusted by the water soaking into my shirtsleeve. I throw the stall door open and move back over the cook.

     Stomping three more times on his face the blood comes, now from his ears, dying the floor tiles.
I scream, “Look what you f*****g made me do! Look what you f*****g made me do! Look what the f**k you f*****g made me do you piece of s**t! My f*****g shirt is ruined. ”
     An old man pops his head through the bathroom door then quickly disappears. I can hear the voices of the people in the restaurant become fervent. I hear Sam yelling. Then the wall shakes.

     Screams. Time to go.

© 2011 RLHJ

Author's Note

Just in case you're not clear on it, start from 0, then 1, then 2, then... You'll get the idea.

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Added on September 26, 2011
Last Updated on September 26, 2011
Tags: diner, food, numbers, fight, counting, fiction, rv, henretty, jornales



Grand Rapids

Bikes. Pictures. Words. These are a few of my favorite things. In the last three years, I've moved about five times in three different states. I hate people from California. I'm from Michigan. I li.. more..

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A Story by RLHJ

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A Story by RLHJ

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A Story by RLHJ