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People shuffle in, waiting in a wavy line to order a drink.

Like a well trained robot the workers turn out cup after cup of coffee

What’s the bathroom code?

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A long blonde finished with yoga gets a latte.

A cab driver with a Bluetooth headset gets a Pikes Roast

A Chinese girl struggles to order tea.

No Hello.

No Small talk.

And only one inevitable question, with a four number answer.

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A homeless man cuts in front of a teen in Daisy Dukes. He demands water as his trash bag knocks into the girl’s Kate Spade. The workers give him the cup and before he opens his mouth they say

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James the Manager of this Starbucks has a Master Degree From Columbia.

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Sarah, making the Green Tea Latte, has done Modeling for Target.

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Jade, taking the orders, has another day job to pay for her daughters private school.

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They’ve said the numbers so many times, the feeling is completely sucked out.

I asked if they’ve ever thought about putting a sign up.

They all gave me a confused look, and went back to working.

In a Perfect World

In a perfect world, I’d give a shit about our Retarded president and the hurt he’s caused. I protest my thoughts on Twitter and join the fight.

In a perfect world, I would go out for drinks when my co-workers ask me too. I wouldn’t make up an excuse and go write at Starbucks alone.

In a perfect world, I would acknowledge the pleas of homeless. I wouldn’t pretend I that I don’t have any change. Or ignore a man who has blood running from his eyes.

In a perfect world, I wouldn’t have to get into crushing debt to learn how to place lines on a computer screen.

In a perfect world, I wouldn’t watch the woman sneak her wedding ring off as I order another drink. And the next morning, we wouldn’t lie to each other saying that “we’ll totally do this again sometime”.

In a perfect world, I wouldn’t get sad watching all the empty eyes berried in their phones on the train. It wouldn’t break my heart to see all the endless scrolling, just for a little hit of stimulus.

In a perfect world, I wouldn’t have felt nothing when I was called a Racist, Bigot, Nazi, white trash, nigger lover, faggot, ignorant, or any other hateful slang.

But unfortunately, I live in this one,

where the hardest part is looking at yourself in the mirror everyday.

Book Review: Less Than Zero, Bret Easton Ellis

I wondered into Barns and Noble yesterday after work for no particular reason. Although I love indie bookstores, it was nice to walk into a store I knew there wasn’t a 50-50 shot at seeing a rat. I bumped into a guy checking out the Fiction section when I saw “Less Than Zero” by Brett Easton Ellis on the shelf.

Now, I’ve seen American Psycho like everyone else. Even had a date say I look like Patrick Bateman (she was crazy, I don’t). But something about this book spoke to me, so I grabbed it after reading the back cover.

I’m glad I did, because it’s an amazing book! I read it in a matter of hours, a feature in which only one other book has managed to accomplish for me. The quick and dirty notes: it’s about this wealthy 18 year old, Cliff, who is visiting home for Christmas. He reunites with old friends, parties, has wild encounters, and struggles with all of it.

Every section has this longing for meaning that is like a inch in your back you can’t quite scratch. You keep reading because you want it to resolve, but really never does. The story is mainly centered around the city of LA, which is easy to take shots there. But in reality, it goes much deeper.

If you look at it from a thousand point view, everyone of our needs is met. Even more so than before when you add in the influx of technology.

Need to go somewhere? Uber.

Wanna find a group to hang out with? Meetup.

Need a date? Tinder.

But when you really start to look at human nature, the history of who we are and how we’ve got to this point, you begin to see the flaw in this design. A flaw I think we are only beginning to scratch the surface on, and throws out a giant question.

What else is there?

My grandpa fought in Korea. He literally scraped his friend’s brain matter of his own face because he had to keep fighting. He might have been next if he didn’t. Yet so many years later, he did this so I could drink heavily, watch Netflix in my underwear, and listen to a girl on the train ramble on about Kylie Jenner’s favorite brand of matcha.

But what did we expect?

We weren’t ready for this unexpected consequence of numbness all the time. It’s like the people that are always like “give peace a chance”. That’s awesome in theory, but there is no human nature added in that equation. We like to feel shit. Not just the good stuff, like happiness, or joy. ALL OF IT! Truthfully, this is one of the main reasons I enjoy the company of women more than guys, because they naturally understand this.

So naturally we do what humans do and make mountains out of mole hills. We self sabotage. Create some chaos. For example, at one point Cliff, the main character, watches one of his good friend’s fuck another man because he’s owes coke money to a gangster. He contemplates leaving but stays by thinking “I need to see this.”

And truthfully, the more I think about it, I feel like it’s not just the particular character Cliff who would stay to watch.. Now, I’m not saying every single person would want to witness that level of shame from their friend. But I think the overall underlined concept is much more universal than we give credit too.

Anyways, I don’t know what else to write. I know this isn’t a very good review of the book. But I feel like the mere fact I can rant for 600 words about only a few pages, should give you a solid indication of how powerful this book is.

 

In conclusion,

10 out of 10

Will probably use it in an argument against a tree hugging hippy.

Actual Cover Letters I Send To Literary Magazine Editors Pt. 1

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Dear Wonderful Editors at the ______Review,

I write this cover letter as the worst song from Elvis Costello’s “My Aim is True” pops up on my Spotify mix. Needless to say, this wasn’t an ideal way to start out, but hey, it can only get better right? It’s like tripping before you get on the dance floor, puking before you run, or writing a cover letter to a publisher. Just get the awkward stuff out in the open ASAP.

I mean, I could’ve talked about how great your journal is, or how I read it every day, or I why really enjoyed “What Your Drink Says About You” By Josey Rose Duncan. But come on, you know that you guys put great stuff out there. I know that you guys put great stuff out there. Instead let’s just cut the bull shit and nod our cowboy hats across the bar in a “game recognizes game” fashion. I’ll ramble about music, and you read my piece and tell me what you think. And if it’s not for you guys, that’s okay! We’ll do this whole thing again next month with a new piece and a new rant.

What do you think? I think it sounds good to me.

Anyways, below is my 800 word story called “Nouns and Verbs”. I hope you enjoy it as much as I enjoyed writing both the piece and the letter.

PS. For the record it was “Watching the Detectives” Not sure if any of y’all are a big EC fan, but trust me, without that song that album is a 15/10. Easy.