“A Number One Deluxe”
Rejected twice. I’m not at all surprised. I wrote it in fifteen minutes, and thought it was humorous enough to compensate for its absolute lack of literary charm. No dice.
I can see right through you by the way you look at me. The way your eyes glare at me. I know that you’re disappointed in me. Like the way my father’s eyes well up when he is sad. He never cries, though, but his eyes do turn cloudy. And the fury of my mother. How her pupils get smaller, like a cat ready to pounce on it’s prey. That stern look and how your eyes turn to stone, because you have expectations of me that I have not fulfilled.
I look into your eyes and know exactly how you feel about me. And if I don’t live up to your expectations, you will demand them from me, or you will just walk away and hate me forever. Look at me however you please. Whether you like it not, I am the only person you will be honored to meet.
And look into my eyes. You think I don’t know how all these people feel about me? How they patronize me. How they ignore me. I know how they feel. And you know what? I look at them the same way I’m looking at you right now. And my look says that I am better than you. And I’m better than that guy. And that guy. And the next guy. None of you can compare to me. You’re all sitting there and talking about things that are greater than you all. Above you all. Things like me. A person like me. By what criteria are you judging me? You can’t compare me to your son or your daughter or your brother or your sister or yourself. I am nothing like them and nothing like you. Never was and never will be. Because I am above every single one of you in every single way imaginable.
I can walk into a room wearing clothes from a second hand store and shoes that don’t match, and I’d still know that I’m better than you. I don’t care how I look. It doesn’t matter because I know who I am and I know what I am. Once, I accidentally bought a pair of girls jeans at a thrift store. They were on the men’s rack, so I bought them. Sure, they were tight around the hips, and they had swan’s heads forming the shapes of hearts on the back pockets. I didn’t know they were girls jeans, but I wore them anyway because it doesn’t matter to me. People laughed at me as I walked past them. Then somebody said to me, Hey man, you’re wearing girls jeans. And you know what I said? It doesn’t matter, because I’m better than you. He laughed at me, and I laughed right back in his face.
And I don’t cry for those who die. Why? Because they’ll never have the chance to grieve my own death. What a bunch of saps…
I’m twenty-four and I’m still a virgin, because no girl has ever met my standards. All they can do is put on make-up and dress in nice clothes that aren’t from the thrift store and buy me things, trying to impress me. Every time they try, I dump them. They can’t compare to me and when they try, I know they aren’t good enough. I live up to my own standards, because standards like yours can’t live up to somebody like me. Look me in the eyes now and try to be disappointed in me. You can’t, because I’m more disappointed in you.
Phew. Now that that’s been said, would you like fries or onion rings with your deluxe?
This has never happened to me when ordering fast food, but I wouldn’t be surprised if anything like this crosses the minds of cashiers and burger flippers (or burger microwavers — whatever it is they do those rounded slabs of meat and soy products). Here’s an ode to the crappy jobs. Lord knows I’ve worked a few of ’em.