Neighborhood Music

The music is so blaring. Can anything be said about my toothbrush? ... This place serves food cafeteria-style, but it feels different, like a bistro or cafe. Some of the walls are corrugated metal as if that WWII building material has become chic. The people who know me and who work here are not here today. The people here today are friendly enough but Bukowski would be unhappy. In my undercover job, I may be required to commit a robbery in this neighborhood and I am checking this place out as somewhere to hide, to dart into … if things get heated. If I told you how many months I spend casing a place before an operation, you—you simply would not believe me—but then please notice that I am still out here walking around with all these "regular" people. I hope I remember the bathroom code that day; I would not want to call attention to myself … at least not in that particular way. My current escape plan is to eat a big meal here in the food court, then do the actual deed, then go into the restroom and vomit for quite a long time. On and off for a few hours. I've tried to train myself to vomit each time someone comes into the restroom. And yes I do try to pick a rather isolated restroom. Sometimes when a person in the restroom gets talkative I complain about the food. But I never identify which establishment served me the "bad food" to the person in the restroom, nor do I identify which person at that location in the food court was responsible. I stay in the restroom for several hours. Even cops do not want to be around someone who is vomiting. Obviously then after each time that I vomit, I would certainly want to brush my teeth. They say that the acid from vomiting can really damage your teeth—seriously. Once I've vomited several times the bathroom usually smells so disgusting people don't even come in.

In her sermon this morning, the priest did not talk about my toothbrush. The priest gave communion this morning, but I was already across the street. My priest was not blaring as loud as this music here in the food court. I could not find my toothbrush this morning, so I brought my Salamander's toothbrush, which is quite new, he brushes his teeth so infrequently. Why? … The storyline has been lost, all purpose of life has been lost, and my meal, my burrito, is almost gone. The messiness, tediousness, and sheer effort spent doing my research—just for one modest robbery— I mean we are only hitting one jewelry store. I am the table, I am the dirty napkins, and I am the smudged wheelchair waiting to be cleaned. It is time for me to share my traditional pre-robbery haiku:

The making of sky
Clothed in hesitant grey clouds,
Now, nowhere is now.

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