Intense Poetic Prose
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Intense Poetic Prose
Spotlighting writings & photos of upcoming author Erik Christian
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The Soda Jerk

The Soda Jerk | Intense Poetic Prose | Scoop.it

                              

 

 So, I awoke one day and had to prepare 80 sandwiches for the ravenous tourists that flooded the streets like a herd being funneled into the slaughterhouse. My parents’ experiment of operating a fifties-style soda fountain downtown had spiraled my dad into a deep dark tunnel of depression and my mom shaking from fatigue and coffee abuse. They thought it was a good job for me if I wanted it and that idea transformed into their pleading I work the next day after they experienced a week on their own, scooping tons of ice cream to the lines of people that went out the front door and around the corner of the building. My dad was introduced to Paxil by his doctor the following week and my mom drank tequila with the Mexicans. Things looked crazy when I joined and started slicing tomatoes and onions and preparing for a new day, where the marble counter-top would get sticky with ice cream by the end of the day and at least five glasses would break and two complaints and one crazy guy who looked like Joe Pesci, drove all the way from New York to have a double malted, double chocolate milkshake but only had 72 cents.

Two weeks before this, I was quitting the Merchant Seamanship program at Job Corps Two Hundred miles away and getting dumped by my long courtship with that woman. You know. . . the “One”. I went from wearing Carharts, splicing metal cables together and checking gauges on enormous Diesel engines, to wearing a little paper hat and putting a little pile of potato chips on the plate next to the B.L.T. sandwich. My co-workers were in high school and they took to “teasing me”. I was a shell-shocked alcoholic who hadn’t been teased since Junior High, so their laughing at me and joking led me to think of becoming a serial killer. The Soda Jerk serial killer would suffocate his victims by shoving their heads into the Tootie Fruity. I found myself enjoying the fast pace and got another restaurant job at night. I found myself running from one restaurant to the next, then riding my shwinn cruiser home at night. I was back at square one in life. Getting a paycheck for $250 was a lot of money for me. I had no debt and no TV. My only source of entertainment was my stereo and the typewriter that was placed in the middle of the table as if to remind me to write. Eventually, I needed more money and applied for credit cards. A girl moved into my home and we needed this and that. I got a car again and started to feel the twitches of stress. I was becoming just another worker bee. I started to look generic, just like those actresses that come onto the scene looking unique and authentic; then, they dye their hair blonde, or put highlights in just like every other actress. Or, how a Jaguar, Lexus, even a Porsche, become to look like a Toyota Camry. My only route to authentic was my poetry and maybe living in a school bus.

I found myself competing for material things just like every other guy. I couldn’t compete with a Lawyer’s salary by making sandwiches and flipping burgers, besides it was never my intention to grab a big piece of the pie when I was already full of life and light. I forgot about seeing the owls fly in and out of their holes etched into the sand cliffside next to the bike trail, or seeing the Northern Lights while riding on a back road on my bicycle and hearing the Coyotes in the distance, or hearing every little sound that pushed my bicycle forward, my lungs filling, the chain clinging, the tire’s tread meshing with the asphalt. With society at Large and on the cusp of Technological breakthroughs, I’m not going to play “their” game. The big boys can keep the treasure. I’ll find the prize in seeing truth and beauty in strangers’ eyes. The revolution out of ignorance will be when we accept everyone’s uniqueness and stop the blame game. Our egos are getting bigger along with our wallets and its sick. . .     

 

Copyright 2012. ERIK CHRISTIAN                         

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