Upsetting
Wednesday, December 24, 2003
 
Watch the girl make the corn beef sandwiches with her fake nails. Four at a time. Bread, bread. Mayo, mayo. Beef, beef. Lettuce, lettuce.

Her father makes the deliveryman pull out and display each milk, orange juice and non-diary creamer in the crates. He goes down the invoice, ticking each one off as the deliveryman checks his watch.

The girl with the sandwiches doesn’t look up when she takes an order. The three of them with the detached financial interest of streetwalker.

A man folds blankets while the dogs bark outside. The birds click and cluck above, swirling above the demented canines. The man has sworn off the advertising machine. No more will they poison me, he tells himself. It passes from me to her to them …

Let’s all drink from the same cup.

See how they like it in Hong Kong, Mississippi. Looking for a reason to belong. Pit bulls without leashes. Old Saints jersey on the man pumping gas. Inglorious pasts them all.

Young people in college are Republicans, making cookies designed to offend and spark debate. Young Republicans growing up into old Republicans. Yes, white people do use the word nigger when black people aren’t around, but don’t think black folks don’t know.

Just ask Mr. Nigga in the first-class seat to Paris.

 
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