Daniel, then, questioned the possible outcomes his situation had harnessed. He thought about all his school chums of the past. Kenny was a successful drug dealer with no aims or aspirations to conquer anything besides making rent on time. Alan was simultaneously the premiere floral and compost adviser in the garden section of a Hall-mart, and Kenny’s number one customer. Marcus had a career as a high school nurse. He received a prestigious education, a prestigious degree, from a prestigious school, and now, at most, with vigor, applies band-aids and prescribes sleep in the nurses’ examination bed for an entire class period. He does so with undefinably prestigious passion. Even Daniel’s first high school girlfriend Kimberly, (which took place during Senior Prom, only) became a police officer and an internet wholesaler of unnecessary (ninja) equipment, and homemade jewelry. During high school, Kim tried out for both the cheerleading squad and the football team and stole a spot in one of those. She still, and has never never held a pom-pom. Daniel thought, all the things you could been could be found in the town you never had the intention of naturally dying in. The yearn for a meaning or a greater purpose in the world, only meant and amounted to how persuasive your excuses were.
Daniel stood brooding in the pick a cart, any cart section of the market lobby, brooding over the accomplishments people he knew had made, and decided he could get over his silly inclination to drink, and accomplish the goal. Daniel changed the ringtone on his cellphone to one that would encourage him, as he placed the Alcoholics Anonymous pamphlet into an unused shopping cart. “Baby steps, baby. That’s how accomplishments happen,” Daniel thought, “how pathetic would I look if I couldn’t fulfill the only goal I’ve ever wanted to accomplish?” Bells were not rung, not a single toast was made, and not a facetious soul cheered or tackled.
The cart he unknowingly claimed with a pamphlet had a wheel that steered slightly to the left, but angled the cart sideways to compensate the piece of crap. “It’s no trouble,” he thought, “There! Now I’ve conquered this bitch.” And that’s when his cellphone went off. Confused at first, Daniel then realized the improbability of anyone else with “Paranoid Android,” (by Radiohead) as a ringtone was strong, despite his intention of having “No Suprises” instead. He reached for his phone in his back right pocket, brought it up to his face, and saw digits to a phone number calling. The number wasn’t saved among his contacts so it only showed up at a number with a vaguely familiar area code. “Hello?” Daniel asked, with one hand holding the cart at course-compensating angle.
“I knew it was you, I saw you in the parking lot,” pause. “I can’t believe you still have the same number! It’s been like, ten years!” said the male voice in a dizzyingly enthusiastic manner.
“Yeah, my lucky set of numbers. They’ve always reached to me, in a way.” Daniel said dryly as he looked at the different sauces that were meant to change the way the fish tasted. Daniel believed everyone he ever knew were like fish with many kinds of sauces lathered on them which was meant to suppress much of the distaste they initially came with. He placed the sauce jar back on the rack. Daniel was always a black coffee, salt and pepper, on-the-rocks, kind of guy. He thought, “if some fucker took seven measly minutes to ponder then invent these things, how rude would I be to suggest they should’ve done this or that, instead? That’s like telling the bartender you liked his idea for a drink, respected the faith he had in it’s glory, and then telling him not to quit his “day job,” as you slowly finished his drink.
“Haha, you’re funny! I was afraid what they said was true about you Hollywood types; you say what the writers say, and laugh when a casting director has something you want,” said the voice, “and plus the drugs and booze therapy that EVERYONE ELSE has to pay for.”
“I haven’t gotten to the drugs yet, but, the year doesn’t end for another six months.” said Daniel, after realizing he, and the world lurked in the birth-month of the first and only love he’d ever had.
“Yeah sure, what are you getting in there? Better be some fuckin’ sour cream and onion potato chips. I’m coming in to make sure.” After realizing the caller’s identity,
“Son of a bitch, I don’t believe it. Kenny? Is that you?”
“Yeah, baby! If you’re not in the Chips section, I’m gonna fuck your mom. How’s she doing?”
“Sorry, I forgot. Come say hi and hold hold my hand, faggot.”
“That’s rude, even for you.”
“I said I forgot!” Kenny pleaded. “Sorry!”
“No, the other thing.”
“Oh. What, you went fag in Hollywood?” Kenny used fag in his daily repertoire, despite it’s context, though he did have shining qualities. He despised animal abuse so much as to not wear leather. Like a vegan. Kenny had no problem eating them.
“No.” Daniel couldn’t stand arguing with him over political corrections. They never ended, though each of Kenny’s points became less and less sensible. The problem with it, Daniel thought, was that Kenny believed every word he said.
“Whoooooa there, Mr. Hollywood, I’m just kidding. It’s fine if you’re a fag.”
“Things don’t change around here, do they?” Daniel said as he placed a bag of sour cream and onion chips on top of the twelve pack of the cheapest beer he found, which was on top of the Alcoholics Anonymous pamphlet. Drinking was like a camera lens filter, blocking or accenting the malicious and unnecessary elements of the immediate world for the photograph. Daniel drank to filter out the idiocracies and hopelessness of life.
“What? Everything’s changed, man. Hey, I see you.” They hung up. Daniel looked around and found Kenny. He was wearing fitted jeans, dark blue running sneakers, a plain white T-shirt, and his football Letterman from high school. Outside the new lip-ring, Kenny dressed like Kenny.