a fake fast-food religious experience

I’m a vegetarian who loves McDonalds. I love McDonald’s French fries so much; I think they are the best kind. When I go to McDonalds I get the two cheeseburger meal without meat and I put French fries where the meat should be. I’m not proud of it but there it is. Last night there was a startlingly good-looking man working the drive thru window. (I’m preoccupied with how people look. I think it makes a big difference in how your life will be. I think that other people don’t acknowledge its influence enough.) Three things were clear from the start:

  1. This was a man with a leaning towards making the best of every situation.
  2. He had not been working the McDonald’s drive thru for very long.
  3. He longed for attention and love.

He told me my food would take hours because they were dropping new French fries for me. I really hate that. They taste better when they’ve become a little cold and stewing, in my opinion. He was nervous and apologetic but hoped his smile and upper arms would charm me. Seriously, he leaned forward and emphasized both those things. Sometimes I feel like I can see people in slow motion, and what I find out is a secret.

Really, the food took quite a long time, but I keep a computer in my pocket and I looked at twitter. I thought about my novel. Writers should never be bored, not really. He brought me my food. Your French fries are going to be so good now, he assured me. I asked him for a lot of ketchup, and he picked up a huge pile in his fist and grinned at me. I thought about telling him, “you’re too good-looking to work at McDonalds.” He would have really liked that. I felt so powerful. It was like someone had handed me a sword and I elected not to wield it. Instead I said, “I don’t have any ketchup at home,” because it’s true. I’m out of ketchup. He picked up the bin and dropped 6 pounds of ketchup in my bag, and then I drove off, instead of him climbing through the window into my car and coming home with me.

It’s a gift, don’t get me wrong, but somehow I just feel really burdened with all this ketchup. I guess I’m depressed about the extra packaging.



greetings from hardback.

Life is moving a little too fast for my tastes but young professionals adapt. And we’re not that young, Molly. And we’re not getting any younger. And there’s a big black cloud coming up over the mountains out the window facing the parking lot of a coffee shop called Hardback adjacent to a Hastings in Missoula, Montana, where I’m writing you from. This is a place based narrative.

I know I always say this, but I think the man with the spiky blonde hair (dyed) atop the square head sitting in front of the aforementioned window is in love with me. He’s hunched over a notebook, writing by hand, and he keeps looking up at me across the room. He caught me looking back twice already and I think this is only encouraging him. He’s wearing an old flannel shirt rolled up on his biceps – ex sailor biceps – and he is writing weird, disgusting things. I don’t ever want him to find out I’m doing the same thing. Mine is not the same thing. My angle is way more exploitative. He looks how I imagine a live action Duke Nukem might. This dude is going to go home and set up an elaborate shrine of my face made of macaroni and think about me all the time. I wish I could read what he’s writing. I hope it’s about me and it’s terrible or wonderful. I can’t take anything in between. This is probably fucking illegal or immoral or both but here’s a stolen image I only thought to take after I took the time to so artfully describe him, so forgive any redundancies.

great writer, my murderer, or both?

The saddest part about this story is that I will never ever know what he’s writing or what it all means in the end. Or if I ever find out it’ll probably be just before he sobs about how much he loves me while chopping my head off and I won’t get the chance to tell you about it.

But enough pie in the sky dreaming. I’m so busy, everyone. I got my MFA, I’m your master, blah blah blah. Like a second later I got this rad job as a calendar editor at Missoula’s hip, independent weekly paper. I’m working on “my novel.” The word file I keep all my novel ideas in is called “my novel.” Summer, what can I say.

Why do good things happen to chaotic neutral people?