Roosters in vegan restaurant
“No engine in the oil?”
“Rooster, you can’t drive.”
Rooster. Rooster. She calls me “Rooster” now, like I’m generic. As if I were a piece of meat that she had picked up at the fish market and was looking to sell. I do not think so. I think my wife is trying to kill me. We’ve been on the road for weeks to save my cousin Bennington from eternal damnation, and it touches me. I am losing sleep. The driving. The constant emails. Paranoia. The anguish of the release of my next book (end of 2023). It’s a problem for me to be so busy with other people’s issues while I’m thriving. I am a flower in bloom and no one can stop me, not even my wife. Not even the McDonald’s driver who refused to serve me Oreo bread and crumbs instead of a “Happy Meal”.
Let me tell you something, ma’am: there is nothing joyful about genocide.
We had to resort to fast food chains to stay alive during our untoward commute from New York to Boston. I got lost and we were first in the South and now we are near Chicago. I am really sorry. But I’m excited for all the Mexican food we can eat (Monica becomes hunger and also large-WOW). I’m not a fan of the way this cuisine treats our species (“pollo”), but I’m a huge fan of all of its other products (even cheeses, I’m nuts). Nothing compares to a garbage bag of tortilla chips, pico de gallo, hot sauce and brown guacamole. Monica and I went beast mode in the back of an Ostentinass Tortilleria outside of Joliet. We get weird with this and I feel like the more time I spend outside and really eat the dirt and rely on the grass and runoff from the highway to support my water supply. , I feel like I’m being fed, as if I can feel the culture in my mind, vibrating, illuminating, spreading all around me in a thousand steps of a million steps of a billion steps of billions of millions of points of light and I—
“Rooster why are you blue.”
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So I took my husband to a hospital in the Midwest. Why? Because I love him. I can eat sweets and ham sandwiches and drink milk in the waiting room. This place is so destroyed that we are actually treated like people– isn’t that something? The last time Rooster saw a popular doctor, we were in The Sailor – no, I can’t speak to that. Anyway, it’s been several… years since his last check-up. I’m sure he’ll be fine. Oh, he’s coming …
“Honey, I have brain cancer.”
“I am joking.”
“Oh my GOD, Rooster!”
“I’m really, really fucked up on the inside though.”
“I know. I love you.”
“I love you too.”
So we quit eating from dumpsters and went to the most hippy-dippy and freedom-loving vegan cafe in the Midwest with all the signs in the window for all the causes in the world and it’s so dark in there , I feel like I’m in Dracula’s dining area. Our server, “Bison”, not only provided us with a table, but also “the freedom to let go of your chains”. Rooster and I spent our entire appetizer (linguini) trying to figure out what he meant by that. “Chains.” Is it factory farming? Meat eaters? And then I remembered the painting outside. It was dark, the rooster did not have his glasses by usj (“They make me ugly. They make me look like Woody Allen”), but I saw what he said, “FREEDOM LIVES HERE.” UNMASKED & UNVAXXED ONLY. We have never been asked our vaccination status, how would you prove it?
Or vice versa… Hrngh. I can’t let myself be distracted. Our server is a flake and I don’t trust him. “Listen, Rooster, Bison is here to get us and we have to think sideways here. He punched me, the twerp. “Monica, we haven’t even finished our entrance. I would like to eat my breadsticks without any of that stuff inside my brain. Thank you. ”Fine. I left him alone to eat his dessert (salmon roe and marmalade) while I checked my social activities in the bathroom. Someone was having coke in one of the stalls, or he had a cold, or it was spreading the not-so-new coronavirus in my general neighborhood, so I left without saying a word.
The rooster came running after me. “MONICA !! I UNDERSTOOD! I HAVE HER CONTACT DETAILS! WE GO BASEMENT!”
Bennington again. I just wanted a normal dinner. Real people were showing common courtesy to us and treating us and the guests at their establishment, and I didn’t even have a full meal. I hate that. Nonetheless, I persist. It’s just my way. The Monway.