I was hungry and confused and it was raining. At the cafe I used to work at the tables crammed full with study dates. I was drinking decaf coffee and getting upset about it, it was bothering me how I couldn't sit in my red brick apartment and do anything. It's so dark and cold, and I uncaffeinated.
I got some beer and hamburger at the bar place across from the coffee place, and then the server smiled at me a bunch, but I thought, Come on, Jim, servers always smile, it's their job, and she kept dropping by, this lady, maybe she was a student at UIC or something, maybe from nearby, a Mexican woman in her 20s, I'm not obsessed I'm just saying.
But really because I'm Irish I am obsessed because over all those mornings on the Western bus, all those cool Mexican kids we never hung out with who had better taste in music and cooler haircuts, I was only ever friends with the guys, but almost could've been with their sisters, because we were all Catholic and had that hard crucifix connection.
I thought about all this while I was eating alone, sifting through a pile of papers, feeling older than my age like I was looking into this dusty future of me in this blandness drifting off the map, just getting withery and working this bell curve forever, then the Depeche Mode song started playing, "Everything Counts," everything counts in large amounts they kept saying, which is when my bill arrived, there was a smiley face on it, Everything counts in large amounts, I said, signed it and left, I wanted to stay and see, but I live with my aunt and I'm in shambles this week.