ON MARTIN LUTHER KING DAY…

…one man had an appetite. This is his story.

Our man could only make out two attendants inside of Burger King that day, a two-bit security guard and an irritated cashier. The floor was wet, but our man strolled to the counter real cool to make his order.
“Hello,” our man said. “Can I get the Martin Luther King Burger, please?”
“I’m sorry sir, we don’t have that.”
“Excuse me?”
“Sorry sir. We don’t have that.”
“I heard you the first time. What I can’t seem to understand is how you don’t have a MLK Burger. Can you at least give me a Civil Rights Whopper with cheese, please?”
“Sir, we don’t have that. We have regular Whoppers.”
“If I wanted a regular Whopper, I would’ve asked for a regular Whopper, but if that’s how it is I’ll settle for a Justice Jack with cheese, please.”
“Sir, that’s Jack In the Box. This is Burger King. We don’t have that.”
“Well whose fault is that?”
“Sir, if you’re going to become a problem, I’m going to have to ask you to leave.”
“Oh, so I’m a problem now?”
The security guard made his way toward our man and said, “Sir, I need for you to step outside.”
“I’m not stepping anywhere. I have an appetite!” said our man.
The guard grabbed our man by the shoulder to make him move, but our man continued on.
“It is an appetite rooted in burgers and fries!”
The more the guard tried, the more our man resisted. The guard lost his grip and our man broke free! To the kitchen he ran, but the floor was wet. Down he went like a ton of bricks!
Hurt, our man continued on.
“I have an appetite,” he said, “that one day this nation will rise and cook so that I may order breakfast at McDonalds when it’s clearly after noon. I have an appetite that one day on the dirty hills of Westwood the employees of Pizza Hut and the employees of Dominos will be able to lay down their peels and make super pies. I have an appetite that one day even the state of California, a state sweltering in the stew of tofu and wheatgrass, will be transformed into an oasis of burger patties and deliciousness. I have an appetite that my four little children will one day live to experience. I have an appetite today. I have an appetite that one day, down in Westwood, with its pho feud, with its deep bowls dripping with the broth of yum; one day right there in Westwood, fat people and skinny people will be able to join hands to say grace. I have an appetite today.”

Mine

My grandmother died a week ago at least in my mind. She’s been hospitalized for three and the last four days or so she’s eaten nothing. She’s drank nothing. She feels nothing. She’s given up.

For an eighty three year old woman, I can’t be upset. My grandfather died three years ago and I’m sure she misses him dearly. Married for over fifty years, surviving three wars and two young girls.

I’m so grateful I was able to visit during the summer, but it pains me to see things fall apart now. Everyone is dying. Bobby Jean. Matt Davantzis. Poor Jeeves. I could’ve died myself.

Matt, when you died I tried to find the words to express how I felt but all that kept playing in my mind was the loop, “I lost my friend.” I miss your vibe. You were the most positive person I had ever met which means a lot because your life was far from positive.

To my family, overseas and in the states, I hope we keep smiling. I’m in my profession for so many reasons, but the main one that sticks is having that distraction from times like this.

Today I got the call that nobody wishes for. Tonight I take the stage with my team, but I know she’ll be there to watch me. I love you. I miss you. Rest in peace Mine.