Secret Pop

Jan 7, 2006

It's nighttime, and I know it.

I was driving home from El Cid, and I called Beulah back, and we were talking and she said she had gone to Jack in the Box, and I decided -- though I seldom do -- that I was hungry and I should get something to eat, so I went to the Jack in the Box near my apartment, and I got in the long just-after-the-bars-close line, and I was behind a BMW full of rowdy Israeli guys. I took them to be Israeli by the accent of the one short fellow who actually left the back seat of the vehicle and came towards my car and asked, "Do you want to fuck?" His face was expressionless at first. But his gestures, and eventually his face said, "Come on. What do I have to do?" I ignored him the first time. He got back into the car, and I wondered if I had misheard him. Maybe he realized how long his friends were taking to place their order and was asking if he could get me something. But a few minutes later, he got out of the car again and repeated, "Do you want to fuck? Do you want to fuck?" I was tempted to take a picture of him. With his untucked striped dress shirt and funny little build and his glasses and his urgency -- he could have been a young Richard Dreyfuss, if he'd had a face that looked anything like Richard Dreyfuss. The guy sitting next to him in the backseat was looking at me imploringly through the read windshield. I tried not to smile. When we rounded the corner to the pick-up window, young Richard Dreyfuss opened the car door and leaned out and asked, "Are you having a good night? How is your night?" My window was down, because I had just ordered my breakfast sandwich, so I heard him perfectly and didn't want to be rude. I smiled and said, "I'm having a great night." Then he said, "We are very relaxed. We like to relax. Do you like to relax?" And I said, "I'm fine, thanks," assuming he was now trying to sell me drugs. The guy sitting next to him looked back at me again. He began to knock his knuckle against the rear windshield, I guess to get my attention. My window was rolled up again, so I couldn't hear it. But I could see him trying. I wondered if he wanted to be rescued. Or if he just had a different line to try on me. They took a very long time getting their order, including a lot of various guys getting out of various doors and then getting back in again, and eventually drove away. Then I got my order and got home to find half of the two things I ordered not in my bag. The bag seemed very heavy, but it was because there was a gigantic amount of ketchup and house dressing in it. I guess I didn't need the potatoes. But still. The slogan on the wrapper of my sandwich taunts me, "We don't make it 'til you order it." And it should obviously read, "We don't make it 'til you order it, and even then not so much."

I don't think I have been to that Jack in the Box in years. But I do recall they had a pretty steady track record of always getting at least one thing wrong.

I went to the post office yesterday, and the lady at the walk-up asked me if I was a hair stylist. I didn't expect it, as I've really grown tired of my hair recently, but I suppose it was flattering. People don't usually say, "Are you a hair stylist?" when the follow up is going to be, "Because you should really think about getting into bookkeeping." So that's two compliments this week. "Do you like to fuck?" and "Are you a hair stylist?" And all at the end of a stretch of days when I was sick and miserable for a good part of the time. Thank you, 2006. You've been quite a week.

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