through the McDonald’s window

through the McDonald’s window
by Michael Estabrook
McDonald’s is a microcosm, I think,
as I’m sitting here,
with my four sugars in my coffee,
watching the attractive employee
with the mussed hair smoking a cigarette,
pacing outside the window,
watching the two construction workers
discussing in simple Beckettesque lines
the difficult old lady customer
impossible to please
with either woodworking or painting,
watching the family pulling up
with the camping trailer, ordering
the biggest breakfasts they can get,
the father with two
identical copies of himself
all with crew cuts and turned up noses
trailing along behind,
watching (still sipping my flat coffee)
my reflection in the window,
wondering when it was I got to be
so old and stupid looking.

0 thoughts on “through the McDonald’s window

  1. Not even “four sugars” can sweeten this amusingly deprecating look at oneself and society. The microcosm here grows out of the narrator’s own “reflection” in the others he watches, “wondering when it was I got to be so old and stupid looking,” a fine clincher ending.

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