Sunday, July 07, 2019

Dyspeptic and Broke

—Anonymous Photo

—Kathy Kieth, Diamond Springs, CA

Done with illegal fireworks and greasy hotdogs, we
head down to the mall for All-American pizza

and ice cream. At the neon restaurant, the twenty-
something hostess with blond curls and deep

purple nails stares out the glass front door
all through dinner: no one to seat, her life floats by

the window as she pulls in $6 an hour. Outside,
a toddler in huge shorts and a ten-gallon hat careens

past a teenager with dyed black hair and nose-
ring, sophistication cancelled by her pouty

cherub face and hovering mother. We drift over
to the bookstore, where we spend too much money

on credit, then to a forgettable movie; but its ex-
cruciating soundtrack sends me reeling

into the bathroom for the calm of cool porcelain
peace. Finally, dyspeptic and broke,

we head back home to sleep off
another holiday. . .



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