A Letter to a Possibly Despondent Cat Leth
Your post reminded me of a story.
A couple of Novembers ago, I went to the midnight release of Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 3. I didn’t have a car or a license at the time, so I just had a friend of mine drop me off at the Gamestop at 11 in the morning, but it was ok. I was prepared to wait for thirteen hours for my game. After awhile, I hungered, but I only had a five in my pocket. Scanning the area for a choice of restaurants, I eventually decided that my best bet would be McDonald’s. It was right next door, and I could get some food there cheap.
When I got there, around one in the afternoon, it was packed with people in suits and business casual and a few dignified looking old folks. My hair goes halfway down my back, and I have a full beard, so I looked a little off putting to them, I suppose. I’m used to stares, though. Anyway, I ordered two large fries and a coffee (I couldn’t be convinced to eat meat from this place), and a few minutes later I saw them put my coffee on the coffee fountain. The girl behind the counter just left it there, and it boiled out all over the floor. I had to point it out to her a few times before she realized that it was overflowing, but she eventually got my order together (wet coffee cup and all) and I sat down to eat.
While I was sitting there, I stared into the play area. There were only a few people out there: a mother with two children, and another nicely dressed old lady who must have been the grandmother. The mother was wearing loose jean pants that had no hem on the waist. She would frequently bend over to pick up one of her children or what have you, and bare her ass to the whole restaurant. She was wearing the scantest pink thong I believe I’ve ever seen, and trust me, Cat, I’ve seen a lot of scant pink thongs in my day. It had rhinestones on it. Everyone else in the restaurant did the polite American thing and quickly stole a glance, only to look away as if it repelled them. Except this one old codger who sat across from me. We were both staring, and we would occasionally look back at one another and smirk. We weren’t doing it in a perverse way. I don’t think either of us gave a shit about this woman’s thong. It was the tension in the air that we reveled in. You could cut it with a knife. It was the awkward tremor of a hundred eyes trying as hard as possible to not look at something that they really really wanted to, for whatever reason. I liked that guy. I never said anything to him, but I imagine we would have been fast friends.
Anyway, once I drank my half gallon of coffee, the ice machine broke, and it started dumping ice all over the floor as if it had been possessed by a poltergeist. None of the employees seemed to care. It was a spiritually nihilistic moment, really. This whole visit to McDonald’s had been.
That was when I started to laugh. I laughed like an insane fool, and the old man started laughing with me. Then, all over the restaurant, other voices rang out, parroting my contagious hysteria.
Then I left.
That was the last time I went to McDonald’s. Hope you feel better, Miss Leth.