Second Verse, Same as the First

I seem to write the same things, over and over.

I bore myself.

On Monday night I got to take part in a robbery. At McDonald’s.

I have laughed about it, the guy in the purple mask, demanding $10. I can make it funny, I will make it funny when I tell you. The guy left the store without his money and I ordered my nuggets with bbq sauce and then walked out of the store. It’s funny when I tell it. I  wrote a jokey facebook status about being robbed 3 minutes after it happened. It’s funny, I insist. Make people laugh. Make myself laugh.

Because I still feel a wave of terror when I really let it stop being funny. I sat on a bus bench half a block away from the restaurant.  I stared at my phone and tried to remember Mr. Spit’s phone number.  I sat and shook, crying a bit, realizing what just happened.

I walked home with my nuggets, walked into my apartment and poured myself one hell of a shot. I downed it and poured another. I sat under a blanket, trying not to shake.

There was no gun, no knife. Only a kid high on crystal meth and another kid behind the counter who argued with him, escalating the situation. And me, a foot behind the would-be robber. Me, thinking I was going to die in a McDonald’s on Douglas street, on a rainy Monday night, in Victoria because the damn kid at the counter didn’t want to just hand over the money.

It was only a few moments of actual time. And it replayed in my head all last night, while I tried to sleep.

The woman who got back to her apartment and collapsed on the couch was not me. At least, she was not any sort of me that I am proud of. I wondered last night, wonder even now what the hell my problem is. I was in no real danger. The restaurant didn’t even call the police.

Second verse, same as the first. Why did I think I was going to die? Why not?  I lost all of my illusions about fairness in life. I might as well die in a McDonald’s on a rainy Monday night at the age of 34. Why not? It’s as reasonable thing as any when life isn’t fair.

I just, for a little bit, thought that it was.

Second verse, same as the first.

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6 Responses to Second Verse, Same as the First

  1. HereWeGoAJen says:

    It is terrifying. I’m so glad it ended well.

  2. loribeth says:

    (((HUGS))) The first thing I learned as a teller trainee when I worked at a credit union one summer when I was in university: hand over the money. I don’t know what McDonalds tells its staff, but I guess teenagers think they are invincible.

    I am glad he was not armed, but you didn’t know that for sure, at least at first, am I right? At any rate, loud voices & the threat of violence, even fisticuffs, is not pleasant.

    So glad you are all right!!

  3. a says:

    How horrifying! So glad it turned out OK.

    Anything can happen; anywhere, anytime. But it’s pointless to go through life in fear of what might happen, I guess. You can’t prevent or control it.

    I hope that was your last terrifying experience in this lifetime.

  4. Jane in London says:


  5. debby says:

    The young man behind the counter will most probably be fired. It is something that I could not understand, really. Our assistant manager at Tractor Supply had to fight to keep his job, when, as a young man, he was robbed, at gunpoint. He handed over the money, and then, when the robber fled with it, Jeremy gave chase, and tackled him in the parking lot, disarming him, and holding him there until police arrived on the scene. He thought HE was a hero too, but the corporation saw it very differently. We have to sign papers saying that if we are robbed, we will not argue, we will hand over the money. The only time we are allowed to resist is if we are being herded into a back room. I’d imagine that your young man behind the counter got the self same lecture and signed the self same papers.

  6. debby says:

    Oh, and forgot to add this: I thought this so unfair, but now, being older, I get it completely. People are worth more to the corporation than money, and that part IS fair.

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