Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Dear Jennifer,

When I was in the senior English class at North Miami Jr./Sr. High School (the school with the stupidly long name), we read several plays. I don't know if you read the same ones, Jen, but I think maybe you did. I think at least you read the first one.

That one was Waiting for Godot, a tedious, depressing saga of two men standing, day after day, waiting for a man who never showed up. That man was, naturally, Godot. The casual literary analyst would immediately say, "Godot--God!" and that would be one such interpretation. But it makes the whole play become deeper than just two guys debating class differences in vaguely coded language, eating the wrong colored vegetables, and random trees.

Godot was ripe for the picking.

So Paul and I decided to write a third act for this two act play, because: Who ever heard of a two act play?

We sat down at the computer and wrote a post-people's revolution Pozzo and Lucky, Vladimir and Estragon digging their own graves, waiting in the wrong place for Godot, who had been on his way, but since the other two kept leaving, always missed them. It culminates with hyper-cerebral electrosis--the spontaneous explosion of one's head. It's real. Look it up.

I just pulled up our final act. It still makes me laugh. Paul and I should write together more often...I debated posting it here, but I decided that it would not be so amusing, had you not just finished reading the original two acts.

Another play we read in class was about three people, trapped together in a room, all of them evil in some way, all of them uniquely suited to make the others crazy. "Hell is other people," is the line that springs to mind. I think the play was called Triangle or something close to that.

When I called you on Friday, I had no idea I was dragging you into a combination of those two plays.

We were both very hungry, something that could be understood, since I had been very busy all day with the shelving of books and you had been hard at work doing whatever it is you do when I'm not with you, like cleaning up after disgusting children and their bodily fluids. My back hurt, I was tired, and all I wanted was to sit down. You were hungry enough to insist we stayed in town to eat.

Since you were meeting up with your Special Someone, we figured nearby was good.

But then it happened.

And it was totally my fault.

It was my idea, after all.

Market Street.

That is the Market Street Bar and Grill, and before I start getting angry e-mails, phone calls, or other bad things, like nasty messages taped to my car windshield or left with me at work or something, we've been to Market Street tons of times, we have yummy food there. I really like that restaurant, otherwise I would not have suggested it at all. They have really tasty pulled pork. Mmm...pork...

I know you were hungry. I was hungry too. So hungry I was shaking my freaky shaky-hand-syndrome shake.

How was I supposed to know it would take them over a half hour to seat us, when they told us it would only be 15 minutes?

That being said, I think I owe that elderly couple an apology. I was so totally staring at them while they were eating. Mostly at their food, but that woman had some kind of strange neck thing happening, the kind of neck abnormality that would prompt my getting plastic surgery, even though I am mostly morally opposed to it. That neck thing qualified as a deformity.

It moved all on its own.

Like jello, only grosser.

It was like the neck thing was alive, like it was eating, not the woman. I think it might have been parasitic.

But she was only trying to enjoy her dinner. And I was staring at her eat, wishing she would throw me the bone from her steak or the remains of her baked potato, despite the fact that I don't eat the skin at all and that was all that was left when she finished it. Potato skins are nasty.

I was so happy when we were seated. Weren't you happy, Jen? It was only a little after six, maybe ten or so minutes, so that was good, right?

The waiting did get out of hand, though, when it expanded to include all the time we spent waiting to order something to drink, waiting to order an appetizer because we were so hungry, and waiting to order our dinners.

We shouldn't have had to wait so long for onion rings, that's for sure. And making a hamburger doesn't take so long, and pulled pork involves slapping the meaty goodness onto a bun, so that should have been fast.

It shouldn't have taken an hour.

But, Jen, I have figured out why it took so long. Brace yourself, it's a little hard to stomach.

See, they were out of pulled pork (that makes the wait my fault, see, because if they'd been out of hamburger it would have been your fault for ordering a cheeseburger). So they went to the market (Market Street, get it?) and bought a pig. Then, after fattening the pig up, they drove down to the slaughterhouse, since it would be against FDA standards for a business their size to do it on site, they "took care" of the pig, then they drove back to the restaurant.

After that, they did what you have to do for good pork, they roasted the pig, but they did it like we saw on No Reservations, where they dig a hole in the ground and put the pig in it, and slowly cook the pig after covering it with all kinds of palm leaves and things.

When the pig had fully cooked, they pulled it out, then got two forks and shredded the meat like you're supposed to for pulled pork. I think our waitress did that, since she was so missing most of the time.

While she was doing that, the cook baked the onion bun himself, while he made the sauce. He also took that time to put cucumbers in brine to make pickles, which he served with the pulled pork sandwich.

I realize this still does not take into account all the time we spent waiting for the waitress to bring us boxes to put our leftovers in and our checks. I think that took a long time because she had to get into her wilderness gear and go out into the woods in central Asia and kill a Styrofoam beast, using its remains to form the boxes. Then she had to cut down a tree and take it to the paper mill, then wait for the pulp to dry, becoming paper, then run it through the cash register.

Now, I understand that it might make more sense to blame the waitress, and you're right. She might have been out front with the Lip Gloss, talking about so-and-so's hair and ex-boyfriend. She might have been busy teasing her hair or something. Who knows. I guess all those options make some kind of sense.

And I'm sorry that I thought it was so funny when your Special Someone was cryptic in his very romantic text message. I'm sorry I encouraged your wrath a little. Really, I only did it because I thought it was funny when you were angry just then, for the same reason why I thought it was okay to say, loudly, that we were trapped and there was no escape for us, and that we would die right there in the booth. That might have been rude of me. Especially when I said it so loudly.

The only explanation for that was that I really didn't care anymore how nice I was, since we already had our food and no one could spit in it but us. Or maybe that, after two hours and thirty minutes, if not more, I had given up on being a good, polite person.

Still, I can understand why it might have been a tad embarrassing to sit with me, while I talked about how I couldn't go to the bathroom on principle, because if I did I would be admitting defeat, since by using the restroom, I would be accepting that I would be sitting in that booth for hours longer. And I get how I might have led you to some relationship problems, with my inciting your rage against your Special Someone, since there was nothing on the TV behind your head.

And I promise that next time we are so very hungry, I will just suggest Arby's or Culver's like a normal person, so it will all end up okay.

I also promise that I will stop helping you think up good come-backs, unless they are for a conversation with Andy because he knows how quirky (that's a nice word for crazy) I am and might just forgive me, if I ask him nicely.

That being said, I hope you will let yourself be seen in public with me again, someday.

Your friend,


1 comment:

  1. I did read both of those, and I believe the one stuck in the room had the word "exit" in its title somewhere. Actually, I think I might still have the notes from that class, I'll have to look it up.