“Excuse me, sir. There are no more empty seats.
Would you be kind enough to move
to another location so that we may seat our guests?”
“Come on, are you serious?
Its seventeen degrees outside!
And I've just been told
that my car is pissing me for another 180 dollars
and that it will take another hour and a half to be fixed!
Would you be so kind as to let me relax here until they call me?”
I was being tossed out
of a busy, inner city McDonalds.
As much money as I put into a company
that has contributed to my physical ruin
over the years with their poisonous gruel,
they were giving me the boot.
Was it my stench?
Vile beer breath coupled with a reeking,
half smoked cigarette in my coat pocket?
Or was it my stained and wrinkled thrift clothes
that they found so repulsive?
Perhaps it was merely the sour look on my unshaven face,
typically worn when one is being bankrupt
by another organization that thrives
on made-to-break car products.
A teenage girl with with braces and braids walked up to me.
“I'm sorry sir. You've been sitting in this spot for two hours...”
“...I'm not bothering anybody....”
“...and all you have purchased was one large coffee.” she noted.
I looked over to the ice cold coffee
that I'd completely forgotten
and took a sip from it.
“Some people enjoy it this way.” I told her.
She was completely unmoved by this statement.
“You're going to have to leave.” she said.
“O.K. Look. I'm not leaving. I have every right to sit here.”
“I'll get the manager.” she warned.
“You do that.”
That was when I over heard her
telling the manager that I was rude to her.
She was now making an unsanctioned,
personal attack of my character.
Out of line. I thought. Completely uncalled for.
I cannot let this stand.
“I was not rude to you!” I hollered,
observing a family that was eating their
greasy cuisine afoot.
“Yes you were!” she insisted.
“No I wasn't!”
“Yes you were!”
“No. I. Was. Not!”
“YES YOU WERE!”
Oh please, I thought.
Why don't you go home
and facebook about it you wretched little drama queen!
I turned to the manager
who stood in front of everything.
The building was whistling madly
like an operating room.
What was the point of all those bells and whistles?
Was the working body so stoned
that they couldn't tell if the fries were burning
without thousands of dollars of obnoxious gadgetry?
For one with a hangover,
it was nothing short of excruciating,
like laying in bed with ten
smoke detectors and a lit cigarette.
However this madness didn't seem
to bother any of them.
“Is it alright if I__”
“Sir. You have to leave.”
“Christ! Will you all quit calling me that?”
He crossed his arms.
“Can I please stay?”
Yes. I was pleading with a man
who probably makes about 30,000 a year,
to let me stay inside of a McDonalds.
“I won't pester anyone. I promise.”
“Leave!” he barked, flushed in the face.
“But there are plenty of seats available now! Look!”
And just like that
I was exiled like a pariah
from a multi-billion dollar corporation
that mistook me for some kind of homeless man
because I failed to order more than $1.60 worth of
of their goods.
All the happy little faces in the restaurant
were pointed at me from every direction.
So this is how a convict feels.
Another miscreant from the wild life of our humanity.
For all they knew,
I could be a child molester,
But I was no such man.
I was just a guy getting ripped off across the street.
I had no choice.
I didn't want to be arrested
and butt-fucked by a muffler in the same day.
So I left.
Have I hit rock bottom,
or has America?