Finding out you’re immortal as a teenager can set your world on fire.
But finding out at the same time that just getting angry could kill everyone around you can dampen that pretty quickly.
Who wants to live forever if you can’t get close enough to someone that they can piss you off and live to see the next sunrise with you?
Meaning – it was time to take a road trip to sort things out.
When my uncle offered a summer gig cooking out of his food truck for a big-city contract, I jumped at it.
But when he stopped to pick up another helper down the road, I was bummed. She was a looker, a great cook, but I didn’t know if I could trust myself with her – in every way…
Ham & Chaz – New Fiction Writing by Brower and Kruze
They were waiting for us before dawn.
Hungry people. Lots of them. Jean nudged my feet and I sat up, rubbing my eyes.
“No rest for the wicked.”
I rolled up our sleeping gear and stowed it while Jean went inside to make sure Hami was up – she was. And he came back out with a wad of her sleeping bag and pad for me to roll up and stow. Jean then went around back to start the generator. I heard Hami firing up the grill and soon got all the smells of it. Meanwhile, I unfolded the chairs again and set out the small condiments table. Hami opened up the screen window and passed out the napkins, salt/pepper packages, and plastic-ware.
Everyone was pretty orderly and started forming into lines. I heard some coughing, some sneezing, but nothing really serious. Of course, in the dark, it was hard to tell much beyond the yellow glow under our awning. I did see some white nurses and doctor’s outfits in the line out there.
The guys in front of the line just smiled at me when I gave them any attention. And I smiled back. Our work was cut out for us, but they were honestly happy to see us.
Jean was inside, doing a final check to see everything was in place. I pulled up a trash can and put a liner in it, one of many I could see filling today.
Then I headed inside the van to get started.
– – – –
The day rolled through with just enough breaks that we got our own meals in between. Jean showed up regularly, often riding up with someone’s delivery truck with more supplies.
Both of us got frazzled from working in the humid heat. And I had to take my “quick-counts” for “centering” myself often – just keep going on an even keel. Hami seemed to deal better with it than me. But she got to smile at the customers and seeing them smile back. Of course, I was focused right on the hot grill, while my bandanna kept my brow sweat wicked to the side and out of my eyes.
All I could see most of the time was the next order and the last one going out.
And Hami’s cute backside every now and then.
But mostly my mind had to stay on what I was cooking and my supply of hamburger and cheese. For our menu was simple. It had burgers and cheese in different combinations. And we never had any complaints.
By the lines, we didn’t have much competition, either. Jean had understated how much we were needed…
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