Common Brunch, Kedzie & Milwaukee, December 2012: Streamed

An intentionally modest storefront with an army of calla lily-filled matte white porcelain vases lines the window because calla lilies are the new hydrangeas are the new daisies and a “vintage-style” neon script light over the door displays a single word because single word-named brunch restaurants are the new ampersand-named restaurants

and those motherfucking Yelp reviewers neglected to mention that this place is community-style seating and please don’t sit me next to that waif sparrow woman with the oxblood cloche and matching infinity scarf

and I am seated next to her and her skin smells like calla lilies because calla lilies are the new hydrangeas and a tall urban-mulleted waitress with ear plugs resembling deer antlers is pushing a tea-stained paper menu into my hands and “The special this morning was oyster-braised French Toast but we have SOLD OUT” she says pointedly and Oxblood Cloche moans as though impaled with disappointment

and babies jesus-god there are more babies in here than adults and babies with hats that resemble farm animals and babies with crunchy crackly toys that ring in my ears and crunch crackle crunch crackle

and I have to pee so I squeeze through the footlong space between diners and kitchen and Urban-Mulleted Waitresses glare at me because HOW DARE I and the bathroom line is 6 deep and how the FUCK can an establishment have a seating capacity of 64 humans and have a bathroom that holds only one borderline incontinent woman and I don’t give a shit if there are hexagonal floor tiles to resemble a 1940s Brooklyn dentist office YOU NEED LIQUID SOAP AND NOT THIS GRUBBY BAR SHIT

and at the table my braised kale tips (WHY IS EVERYTHING BRAISED?) are wilting and my coffee is cold because there is only organic MILK and not creamer packets and it requires 4 ounces of cold organic milk into 6 ounces of indigenous-poverty-small-batch roasted coffee to make it palatable

and “Please bring me your finest herb-infused breakfast cocktail” says Oxblood Cloche and I watch over my shoulder where a glassy-eyed boy’s skinny fingers tremble behind over the bar as he painstakingly carves one solitary ice cube for a hand-rubbed rosemary Tom Collins which Urban Mullet explains to Oxblood Cloche is a “going to be a more modern interpretation than what you are used to”

and I stare at the barboy and briefly imagine stripping off his pin-striped apron and looking into his dying-whale eyes and taking him gently by the hand into the sunlight and we make love under window-lined calla lilies which are the new hydrangeas and he fills my uterus with a perfect skinny multiracial fetus and

we are being rushed to pay the bill and goddammit it’s cash-only and how the fuck are brunch establishments unable to accept credit cards when they have a machine solely to create celery-infused foam garnish and Urban Mullet forcibly points me to the ATM of Shame in the rear of the store

and we are out and I am leaving and the Fresh Air and A SIXTY DOLLAR PARKING TICKET because the maximum parking time of two hours does not reasonably account for a 97 minute wait to be seated

and I am moving without conscious effort and squeezing my key ring into my fist and  I am stabbing repeatedly stabbing stabbing my eye sockets with a car key until blood and tears mingle down my cheeks and I begin to black out as red blood splatters and silently adorns a single calla lily at my feet in the snow.