Junkie Jesus at the Drive-Thru
It's bar time at Fat Frank's Fried Food Heaven, and Junkie Jesus doesn't know what he wants. There's a line of cars behind him, filled with hungry people, high, drunk, and along for the ride. He knows their hunger, and their impatience, but Fat Frank's menu features more items than stars in the clear black sky above their white-lit, flashing slogan: It's a little bit of Heaven, fried.
Junkie Jesus thinks. In front of him, there's a ring of picnic tables and parked cars, occupied by the bored fed. They are restless, hungry for something else, something not fried, maybe a little bit of Hell.
Behind him, the honking grows louder.
He finally decides on a small Vanilla Fat Frank Frosty Creamy and a large Fat Frank Fry. When it comes, he can't wait, and takes a sip from the Frosty Creamy as he pulls away from the window, steering with the hand clutching the fry bag. He brakes, confused, and jumps out of his beat-to-shit '77 Mercury Comet and runs back to the takeout window, getting between Fat Frank and the next car full of hungry junkies.
This is wrong, Junkie Jesus tells Fat Frank. I ordered a Vanilla Fat Frank Frosty Creamy. This is a Strawberry Fat Frank Frosty Creamy.
Abracadabra, kid. Poof, it's vanilla. Just like that. Magic. Fat Frank considers Junkie Jesus, the long line of cars, and the restless, whistling crowd. And now, we're closed. He shuts the window and walks away, wiping his hands on his apron.
Junkie Jesus calls out, Fat Frank, Fat Frank! Why won't you help me?
Eat this, someone shouts, and something hits him in the back of the head. Junkie Jesus spins around to face his crowd. To his left, the fed, to his right, the unfed. All around him, need. He is hungry, the people are hungry, and it's all pointed at him, concentrated in car lights and car horns and silent approaches.
It's the principle, man, he says, standing there with a crumpled fry-stained bag in one hand and the small, lid-askew Fat Frank Frosty Creamy in the other. Then, I am only me, I am only who I am. His arms spread wide, he looks like he wants to give them all a big hug.
A Fat Frank Fry bounces off of his forehead, and a jumbo side of Fat Frank's Honey Russian sauce hits him in the gut. Junkie Jesus ducks down, dropping the Strawberry Fat Frank Frosty Creamy and falling to his knees. The pink dairy treat oozes across the dirty asphalt to a half-eaten Fried Frank Fishy Fillet, and Junkie Jesus is lost for a moment in the complicated beauty of it.
He looks up, straight up, at the clear black sky above the white-lit promise of Heaven. On behalf of the crowd he is become nothing but blind, mongering want, and from each prick of starlight the promise is kept, and a Fried Frank Fishy Fillet falls. They splat on windshields, pour into open car windows, land on the roof and in the gutters, and bounce off of cars and junkie heads. They land everywhere but on Junkie Jesus himself, sitting cross-legged now, eating his fries, watching. He is thirsty.
Big Maggie strolls up and leans against the wall next to him. He knows her from around junkie town, knows that she has one false leg, and doesn't hold anything against anybody. She has a Fat Frank Gigantic Gulp in one hand; she helps Junkie Jesus up with the other.
He's shaky. Can I have a sip?
Sure, says Big Maggie. It's Diet.
Junkie Jesus cries.
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