Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Tender Mercies Along An Average Foot Patrol

A basic hamburger with grilled onions only, Ca...Image via Wikipedia
A couple of nights ago I was walking my post, patrolling around the perimeter of the luxury
apartment complex I guard, bitching to myself about my dental pain. I was spewing, silently
spewing, a litany of woes that had come to me through my painful teeth. I hadn't been able to
sleep. I hadn't been able to crawl out of my sick bed much to go down to the chow hall to eat. I hadn't been able to do much of anything that made me happy. No movies. Not much socialization. Not much writing.

I was silently spewing this list of woes to myself, thinking traitorous and disrespectful
thoughts about a commander in chief who had abandoned me so thoroughly after he was finished using me, my stomach rumbling because I hadn't eaten all day and it was ten o'clock at night and I suddenly thought of all my woes:

"Well, nothing that couldn't be cured for the moment by a hamburger."

The trouble was, I didn't have enough money on me for a hamburger. In my preoccupation with my dental pain, I had forgotten to stop off at the ATM on my way to work . Now I was looking at a long, long night of walking round and round the apartment complex all night, throbbing and hungry.

I seem to recall a passage in the bible that says God will not allow a burden on his people
that they cannot bear. Eight hours of pain and hunger: at 10 p.m. that night, eight hours of pain and hunger seemed an unbearable fate.

I walked past my guard "shack". I walked past the jacuzzi and the swimming pool. I took the
right gate, opened it, and walked past the gas barbecue grills and BEHOLD! (yeah, you probably guessed it) there were three hamburger patties cooking on the farthest grill.

"Is that for me?" I asked God, salivating. I try not to salivate when I talk to God, but sometimes it can't be helped.

"Is that for me?" I asked God.

He didn't answer.

I decided that those three delicious-looking, fine-smelling hamburgers were probably not for
me. I decided that they were not an answer to a prayer because I hadn't technically prayed for them. I continued on to the back parking lot, my stomach screaming, "Stop! STOP, YOU IDIOT!!"

I shortened my usual parking lot patrol to angle back around to the gas barbecue grills. It
was after ten o'clock and the apartment complex's curfew on using the barbecue grills was 10
0'clock. As the security guard, one of my duties was to turn off the gas barbecue grills if they
had been left burning.

By the time I got back to the gas barbecue grills, the three hamburger patties were starting
to burn. No one was around. It was quiet on the property. Eerily quiet. Like a ghost town. The
three abandoned hamburger patties cooking in a ghost town took on a spooky aspect. I turned off the gas grill.

Somebody will be by shortly to scoop up the patties, I thought. They just forgot for a
moment. They'll be glad someone didn't let them burn. Again, I resumed my foot patrol of the
property, my stomach screeching, "You CAN'T BE this STUPID, you freaking retard! No! No! Don't walk away from me when I'm talking to you. Oh, Jesus, you're walking away."

Thirty minutes later, I walked past the barbecue grills again. There were the patties. I turned on the gas grill to reheat the burgers. A paper plate had been provided next to the grill. I cooked and ate the hamburger patties and they were good.

Almost satiated, I ambled over to one of the dumpsters looking for a thrown out box half full
of toothpicks. On top of the pile in the dumpster, just perched where anyone passing by could see it, was an unopened box of "Harem's Secret" Turkish Delight Rose-flavored candies. I opened the box and saw that the candies were good. I ate one of the gelatinous candies and my toothache waned away to almost nothing!

Stomach full and relieved of dental pain, I continued on my path. It's not going to be such a
hellish night after all, I thought. Now, if I just had a woman . . . (see my story: Night of the Succubus)
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