Words by Archibald Barone
It’s almost midnight, but it’s brighter than any day. In here, there are four rectangular suns. They will not relent until the land they shine upon is rid of all filth and imperfection, or at least is clean enough that upper management doesn’t complain.
This is the final stretch, my body’s fatigued and my head’s buzzing at the same frequency as the droning exhaust fans. The four suns work in unison to obliterate any trace of a shadow, including my own. I’m in limbo, at this moment, I am not real. The only evidence that I am here is the 97 dollars that will hopefully find its way to my bank account.
Squeegee in hand, I squat down and extend it under the fry-holder, then pull it back towards my chest. A wave of something between oil and water sloshes out along with the squeegee and is swallowed by a drain. Scooching back, still low to the ground, I scope out the aftermath of the tsunami.
Yep, every time.
A fry always manages to escape its fate, this one has cleverly positioned itself in the narrow gap between the fry-holder and deep-fryer. Too thin a gap to squeegee and under enough cover to go undetected when standing, well played. I know I’m going to drop to my knees and grab it, I always do, and I always will. None the less, I will always hate myself for this exertion. Why do I choose to put my energy into this? There are far nobler things I could be putting my energy into that are far more meaningful and helpful. Probably. And besides, the food here kinda sucks.
At this, I realise the droning exhaust has almost succeeded in smoothing my brain entirely. In an effort to block out the insidious frequencies, I turn up my earphone volume and restart the song I fazed out of.