March 21, 2010

Hoegaarden part one

A short story:

I'm not the sort of guy, to try something new. Hell, I'm afraid of trying a new beer. In high school, my friends called me Maxed out Max. Not cause I did things to the extremes, but more because I had exhausted out everyone from not wanting to try anything other than my usuals. In my first two years of college, I continued in this fashion until my third year, which is where this story begins.

My eyes tend to remain shut, they dont really open until well after I've emerged from my cocoon of comforters and blankets. It usually tends to happen, just about halfway through brushing my teeth, and shaving. As usual, my roommate is still fastened firmly to his mattress, his legs dangled limply over the edge in a pair of red basketball shorts. The little clock beside his head began to chirp a soft alarm and his hand, edged towards it like a snake and with a single, deft motion, chucked it at me. I just managed avoid being hit by morning missiles. His head ducked under the covers and I pulled the thick, linen curtains open. Light streamed through the large windows and he sat up. Blinked a couple times and covered his head with a pillow. I only stared at him contently and finished dressing and got out.
At the cafe, I ordered my usual breakfast and my usual coffee. I had it at my usual table with my usual newspaper section from my usual newspaper open.
I dont know what it was, but you know that feeling that some people get when something just clicks in their head, and they go flippin bananas? I kinda had that. I stared at my table and only one thing came into my mind. Disgust. I motioned for the waiter, and he came by.
"Mr. Max, good to see you. Is there something with your breakfast?"
"Yes, there is."
"But, what could it be? It is the exact same thing our cook Maurice has made for you for the past two years."
"But that's just it. Could I have something different?"
"But of course. Here is a menu, I'll be back."
I stared at the piece of paper. Although, there were 12 different breakfasts, it felt like staring down 1000 different entrees. My mouth began to pulsate with fear and excitement. Each option looked more liberating that the next and each one began to scare me like no other. I could only look at the next one down and almost feel my teeth chatter. The waiter came back.
"Mr. Max, are you ready?"
I looked at him, and then back to the menu. My mouth trembled in fear.
"I'll just stick with what I got."
"I see..."
Suddenly, I heard a voice behind me. It wasn't any voice I knew, none that was familiar to me at least. It was sweet, and sour at the same time. It rang in my ears but was pleasing. I turned around and saw a smiling, bubbly face. She sat there, in a calico print sun dress, her hair was clipped short and she sported a cycle cap and thick framed glasses.
"Could I get, a carafe of orange juice, a chicken fried steak, some home fries, no... let's have hashbrown patties today, and a fried egg on the side. Sunny side up. Something new this time."
I was in awe of how easily she just picked new things. I turned back towards my plate of eggs benedict and hashbrown pattie and looked back at her. Something in my gut said I needed her. I stood up and sat myself down at her table.
"I'm Max."
"Oh. Hello. That was rather forward. Well. Hello Max, welcome to my table." As she said this, she made a flowering gesture with her hands. "Now Max. What can I do for you?"
"Well, this might sound silly. But hear me out ok?"
"It's fine. Just tell me."
"Ok, well... I'm in a rut. I cant try anything new. I've been the same, straight laced guy for the past 20 years and I think you're the person to help me change that."
"Why would I want to help you?"
"I just feel it in my stomach. The way you ordered breakfast, I could never do that."
"Haha, silly. But that's just breakfast. It's what I feel like."
"But why do I always feel like eggs benedict and patties?" I jerked the dish from my table onto hers. The eggs landed with a rattle and bits of potato scattered about.
"Oh man. Are you some nutjob or something?"
"No, I'm honest. Look. There's no one in my life that's radical, different, etcetera. I want to live a little. I want to... I want to do things my mother would be angry at."
"That's not a problem. Ok first off, let's order breakfast."
"But I got breakfast right here." I motioned to the eggs benedict and patty.
"Not anymore." She spit on her palm and smacked the benedict. "You're ordering something new, and i'm helping you. What do you feel like?"
"Me? Uh. I dunno."
"Pick something."
"Ahh. phoo... um. Pigs in a blanket covered in gravy sound good actually. I've never noticed them before."
"Then Piggies you shall have! Waiter!" She motioned over my waiter. "This gentleman will have..."
"Uh... Can I get the pigs in a blanket covered in gravy."
He looked at me stunned. "Very good. Anything else?"
She looked at me. I looked at the menu.
"Champagne and orange juice. I'd like that please."
"Very good." A smile spread over his face as he walked off to put the order in.
"That's a great start. I'm proud of you."
"T-thanks. It's new."
"Cassie."
"Pardon?"
"Cassie Innsbruk"
"You?"
"Of course."
"huh" I nodded vigorously. The waiter came back with a plate of sausage gravy draped over a pair of piggies. I wolfed them down. They didn't taste like they should have been in my mouth at this hour, but it was invigorating. The Champagne came next and it washed it down with a bubble. I grinned at my new found ability.
"Turns out you do have free will"
"Heh, I guess so. Hey look, I know it's kinda out of the blue, but would you like to go out with me? Help me continue changing me? It'll be for the good of the world."
She looked at me stunned. "Ok. I'm not seeing anyone, and something like you might be a fun project. But we gotta do heavier shit than just bacon and eggs. Now. What other problems do you have?"
"Well, where should we start?"
"How about them threads. When did you last go shopping."
"On my own?"
"Sure."
"Never."
"Oh my god. Meet me at Powell station in 45 minutes. Bring a buttload of cash."

to be continued...

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