Today I am hosting an extract from Jennifer Cie’s new book, Dowon the Other Street which is published today!
Excerpt from Down On The Other Street:Vol I –The Photo:
“With a burger in one hand and a hotdog in the other. That’s how I want to die. Like a true American.”
Streaks of yellowing pimples topped off with a variety of green and white caps waved from each side of her cheeks; the new haircut was not a strategic cover like the others. This was good. I needed a distraction to keep me from laughing when she talked like that. Not more than five foot three with a twang that grates on my nerves every lunch break, I hate to love Melissa.
“Seriously! How dare you come in here with a damn rice burger! I oughta call your momma and tell her you need to be re-baptized in Coke and freedom fries.”
I didn’t want to laugh, but that’s the effect she has on me. One minute I’m giving her the smuggiest of smug looks I can muster up, the next I’m laughing at her ignorance. In a weird way, I think I’m going to miss her the most.
“Yes! Coke and Freedom fries! Don’t act like you only eat salad. I can see the truth.”
I didn’t get a hug or “good luck” when she found out I gave my two weeks’ notice. She just kind of hovered around my cubicle for a while. I think she was staring at the picture of us. It’s the one of you spilling beer all over your shirt while I’m kissing your cheek.
I know you hate that one butterfingers, but it’s my favorite.
“You could use some lettuce though—that Diet Coke ain’t shrinking on nothing.”
The last words Melissa will probably ever utter to me were fat shaming. It’s kind of fitting since the first time we met she called herself a reformed “working second shift at the grocery store pale fatty.” Still not sure how she went from unloading trucks at Walmart to no minimum qualifications met assistant pretending to be the manager, but that’s the recession for you—messing up logic since 2006.
I kind of wonder what would have happened if the government had of got itself together and the burst never happened.
Would you have been at the “Elite 8” party curling up your nose at those guys butchering your name? Could we still have had that first eye contact with each other from across the room when we both yelled, “Hit the free-throws,” at the screen? I like to pretend that you still would’ve somehow been at the Blue Monkey. I love to imagine that you still would’ve sauntered over to me in your gray Memphis Tigers shirt holding out a beer.
I want to believe that I still would’ve heard you say, “Ey, I’m Ly Pham—good aggression coach,” and swooned…Too bad that’s just wishful thinking.
You can find out more about both Jennifer and her book at the below links: