You walk up to the cashier and buy a biscotti and tell the punk to keep the change.
At your favorite spot, you're a work monster. Kids cry, old people cough up mucous and try their ringtones, someone tries to ask if they can plug their computer in beside you, but you ignore them all. You are Steve Jobs, but your efficiency at the moment is closer to the children making iPads at Foxconn. You plow through the assignment with ease. In fact, you finished a little too fast, so you dick around on your phone to milk the clock a bit.
When you look up, everyone is gone except the barista. He's holding a broom and giving you a look like he's imagining cutting your head off, like he's smelling your head roast in a pile of flaming tires, like get the fuck out before I kill you, bro!
"Alright, I'm leaving," you say packing your stuff up and heading into the night.
You take a shortcut down a back alley and, because of your obviously weak frame, are immediately jumped.
"Give me that laptop," the goon says holding a knife up. The blade shines in the darkness. You take a gulp.
Are you concerned that you may be a character trapped in a Tom Waits song? Be smart and learn the warning signs before it's too late. Also, it's too late. It has always been too late.
I'm haunted by a recurring vision of a skeleton flipping me off. To avoid seeing this terrifying image in bumper sticker form, I pay someone with a blank bumper to drive in front of me at all times.
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