Main | March 2008 »

February 25, 2008

Second Face: Barbeque/Mayonnaise

I live in the general vicinity of the Washington Avenue Burger King, so it isn’t completely out of the question for me to stop there quite frequently during the course of the week (though now, because of a lack of finances, I’ve been forced to limit myself). There is a certain sense of comfort in knowing that I can enter such a reputable establishment and satisfy my gullet, usually for the less than $5.00. The BK Value Menu is a sight to behold, filled with the most delectable menu items that rival even those of the McDonald’s Dollar Menu (I have since converted to BK Value Menu-naire status, so I no longer occupy a coveted space on that ever popular list of McDonald’s Dollar Menu-naires). French fries, burgers, salads, even chili (McDonald’s can’t say that) await me as I enter those clear “Push/Pull? doors. I generally opt for three Whopper Juniors and two Rodeo Cheeseburgers, though as of late I have crossed the occasional line to purchase three Rodeo Cheeseburgers and two Whopper Juniors. There comes a time when a change is in order, and I feel it necessary to replace barbeque sauce with mayonnaise.

There is, however, one resignation I have with frequenting Burger King, and that rests in the quality of customer service provided. The word whopper is the same in every language…I think. Spanish: whopper. English: whopper. Mandarin: whopper. Danish: probably whopper. Therefore, when I enter Burger King, and place my order, I expect the cashier to at least be familiar with the most popular menu item, but when I’m misunderstood, held up, or otherwise inconvenienced, it becomes a bit of a drag (Big Mac, anyone?). I would say that the ratio of Latino to White/African-American workers at the Washington Avenue Burger King is 10:1 (conservatively), the majority of whom cannot speak intelligible English. With that said, I feel as if I should be paying in pesos; maybe then my order would be better comprehended. But I’ll still go. And I’ll still get those delectable Whoppers. And I’ll probably even pay in dollars.

February 11, 2008

First Face: Cannabis

I don't possess marijuana; I've never smoked marijuana. So to suggest that I might resemble one of the several grungy dealers who undoubtedly populate lower Washington Avenue is an insult to my character, my wardrobe, and my general appearance.

He approached me very casually. I was looking at something behind him, and his eyes were locked securely on me. He put his hand out, motioning for me to stop, and I kindly obliged, believing him to be generally harmless. After placing one hand on my shoulder, and the other on the nape of my neck – as if to pull me in to kiss me – he whispered every so gently, “You got any weed?? I responded, “No? and began to walk away. I turned around and told him that I wasn’t into that, to which he replied only with a string of incoherent sentences laden with the word fuck and its eternal variants.

I don't know his name (I’ll call him Mike). In the haste to escape his presence, I didn't catch it. What I may have caught, though, is a dormant case of pneumonia. His face was so near mine that there must have been a transfer of fluids.

"Toss me a little saliva, Mike, because I'm not sick enough right now. Pop it right down the hatch. Wait, you haven't been tapping the hash pipe, have you? You have. Well steer clear then, my friend. Can't be catchin' none of that."

Do I project a severely drugged persona? I don't think so. My health is adequate enough. There are no purple bags dragging my lower eyelids nearly to my cheeks. My hair is thick (made possible by the incomparable formula created by the Aussie experts). I brush my teeth twice daily. I don't recognize a sallow tone to my skin. Yellow, grey, green perhaps? Is it just not apparent to me? Do I really look as if I possess drugs? And what if I did? How would he have reacted had I told him that I did?

“No, Mike, I'm sorry. Stock's all out. Try me again next week, though, on my way to my American Literature class. I should be in the area around 11:00. Big bills, Mike, big bills only. We ain't packin' no dime bags on this shift."

I’ve since replaced Descartes, Pynchon, Spinoza, Didion, and Freud in my backpack with rolling papers, roach clips, drain cleaner, ethyl ether, and Vicks. I’m sorry there’s no room for you, Hegel, but priority goes to the speed bottles. Engels? No, sir. I’ve got angel dust to take up the room.

What's that you ask again, Mike? I got any weed? No, not to my knowledge. But could I interest you in a blotter strip? I think the radical design on the paper complements the trip. Maybe some jimsonweed or oxycodone or morphine. No, those don't work either? You could take some of the Ativan, Valium, Xanax, or Demerol. Maybe the cocaine would better suit your tastes. Take it to the Village Wok and tell the waiter that you're freebasing powdered sugar. I don’t think he’ll mind.