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Food for Spiritual Malaise

I was in a hot fast food restaurant
with a terrible line, curling
all around the grimy tan floor.

Ugly scene with shit all over,
chairs strewn like napkins,
baby carriages poking ankles,
hands with smart phones booming
Pooh Bear in pulses.

Employees were working furiously,
working far too hard.

One employee was spiritually enlightened.

I could see this and I could feel it from afar.
No matter what happened on the outside,
he loved every single, ugly customer.
His smile never left.
It was not false.

I did not want to wait in such a line,
thought about protesting to those
for whom I was running,
but told myself to wait, to serve the cause
of the love of my masters.

I try to resist all that the world offers.
My mind tells me everything is wrong.
My mind sits there blobby as clay, being sick.

All in the wicked line
seemed to be greedy minions of the Devil,
(I was nearly run over in the parking lot.)

but this was I, my allergy to people,
my fear of not being good enough,
Fear that I am the victim, the center of sick chaos.
My fear is gross and creates my lasting disgust.

After moments of time, people in line
started to appear as if
they were at least similar to me,
trying to do their best,
and I could not possibly dislike
the fouled up mess
I smiled for a long time, cheeks hurting,
wondering how my resistance disappeared,
but the line was fast and I was out in minutes,
hoping I brought the power with me.

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  1. #1 by Evelyn on March 3, 2011 - 8:13 am

    Different than usual.
    Almost more like prose than a poem.
    For some reason it makes me think of this nasty restaurant that is around here, its a chain and its called Country Kitchen Buffet and its always so crowded and dirty and picked over. Then picturing that one enlightened person, perhaps smiling while re-filling velvetta mac and cheese…
    You took me right there with you.

    • #2 by Carl on March 3, 2011 - 11:44 pm

      Thank you. I’m learning from you. Mine was a Chipoltle. It was crowded because 50% of proceeds up to 5K went to Humane Society of KC, so it was worth all of the sickness.

  2. #3 by screen_scribbla on March 3, 2011 - 1:33 pm

    Aw shit. You perfectly described the way I feel inside whenever I need to spend time in crowds in public. Great words.

    • #4 by Carl on March 3, 2011 - 11:48 pm

      Thank you so much for your comments. It is nice when someone identifies. It’s really nice!

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