Monday 4/02/2007 11:35:00 PM

It was so loud. An airplane taking off inside my head. Men. Women. Children. Poverty in every bite of chicken salad. A concentration camp of an eatery. Throngs of people. Old and young trucked in from every corner of the county. To pay twenty dollars for soup and a sandwich. Twenty dollars to scream your choice of bread at the girl behind the counter. Twenty dollars to carry your tray to the last empty table and chew until the hunger subsided.

Getting up to refill my waxy cup of soda it seemed fitting to be stranded in the middle of the world. Surrounded by people. Fouled by the engorged cancer of humanity. If this was anyone's hell, it had to be mine.

Twenty dollars to ponder why I ever left the house. It's a bargain. To sit over my chicken salad and gloat about the futures of their children. To be so sure they're wrong.

All the cities I've been to have never been so loud as this. Surround sound chaos. The symphony of the scraping chairs. As old women straighten to leave. The scrape of forks through dwindling salads as young ladies disembark from their laptops. All the sandwiches I've eaten never as satisfying. Twenty dollars. For chicken salad and to be glad I wasn't chosen.

The tedium of life endlessly chasing itself. Frantic christmas lights someone forgot to disconnect.

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