warning: in case of rapture, this car will be unmanned while the driver does some last-minute stranger fondling

“Buy! Sell!” he yelled, over and over, in staccato bursts that eventually became shouts, until in a final display of exasperation, he smashed his cell phone on the pavement. Reflected light shone off the slivers splayed spectacularly on the sidewalk, catching the attention of just a few passersby, and even then only momentarily as they continued about their business. More than embarrassment at this loss of self-control, he felt a deep impotence that his act of rage had failed to make much more than a ripple on this city street.

His eyes flitted over hundreds of indifferent faces in the seconds that passed, and he felt particularly aware of his solitude in the world. This was one of the many times he had sensed a need to leave the city altogether. If he could only kick the adrenaline habit, he could cash in his chips, buy a place in the country, start taking better care of himself. He had married a good woman years ago, perhaps it wasn’t too late to give her the life she deserved. What was he trying to prove anyway, spending all those nights on the cot he had set up at the office, all in pursuit of more expensive gifts to lavish upon her, when all she really wanted was him?

What he really needed, his friends would tell him, was a different perspective on life. He wouldn’t be so hard on himself if he would occasionally remember how far he had come, which was much further than an anthropomorphic hamburger had any right to expect. Just making it this far without getting eaten, something no member of his family had managed to do, was a major accomplishment.


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September 2010
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