Wearing a light jacket and a really cute knitted beanie she’s had since high school, Jessica Rodriguez stepped out of her Downtown Miami office, took a deep breath of the cool air, and for a moment was able to put the fact that the world is so damn awful outside of her mind. “The weather is so nice today,” said the young architect to herself just before an elderly man screamed at the second-generation Cuban-American to go back to Mexico.
Brushing off the vituperative stranger and trying to ignore the increasingly contentious state of international affairs, Ms. Rodriguez walked a few blocks to her favorite local cafe for a hot chocolate, but it had closed down. “Commercial rent increases really do make it difficult for mom and pop stores to stick around,” she thought to herself before remembering the weather. There was an Au Ban Pan several blocks away so she headed there instead.
“One soy hot chocolate, please”, said a smiling Jessica to a 35-year-old barista who rang her up but otherwise refused to acknowledge her existence. Undeterred, Jessica swiped her card and flashed the barista a kind smile. “Yo, you need to insert the chip,” said the barista curtly in response. “Oh, of course,” Jessica responded as she inserted the stupid chip. After she paid she gave the barista a $2 tip. “He needs it more than me,” she thought to herself and then waited 15 minutes for her drink to arrive.
As she walked back into the pleasant outdoor breeze, Jessica sipped her hot chocolate and realized it was not made with soy after all. She briefly considered asking for a new cup, but thought better of it because diarrhea can be nice sometimes and she really didn’t want to have another rude interaction with that barista. The hot chocolate was delicious though.
As Jessica enjoyed the walk back to her office she scrolled through her Newsfeed and was almost hit by a car only twice. She was very happy to have had her headphones in so she could ignore the homeless people who begged her for money. Pretending not to hear or see them, she inadvertently made eye contact with a man with literally no nose who held a sign identifying himself as “Cancer Dan.” “Well, at least he get to be outside on this gorgeous day,” she told herself as she tucked her purse under her arm and looked down at the sidewalk as she passed Cancer Dan, who clicked his tongue at her and slurred something about her pussy as she walked by him.
After several minutes of walking around the City with her head in her phone, she noticed her stomach beginning to rumble. She assumed the consternation was due to the whole-milk hot chocolate, but perhaps exasperated by constantly being aware that the world seems to be ending.
Jogging desperately toward a McDonald’s to use a bathroom, she was told by another old man to get out of the Country. When she finally made it to the McDonald’s it was filled with dozens of black teenagers. “They really shouldn’t be eating this crap,” she told herself as she limped toward the bathroom. There were three teenage girls waiting in line ahead of her, each casually staring at their phone and occasionally taking Snaps and playing with the filters. “Am I too old to use Snapchat?” she asked herself.
It took about 10 minutes for the girls ahead of her to cycle through. When she finally arrived inside the bathroom and depants she pulled out her phone so as to occupy her mind during the act. “Fuck, only 4% battery,” she said to herself but nevertheless started to scroll through her Facebook page anyway.
After several minutes a teenage girl started drumming on the door for her to finish, but she wasn’t close. As she scrolled through her Newsfeed she saw story after story about what was going on with the Trump administration and the people he was picking to help run the Country. “They all look like super villains.”
The drumming on the door got louder.
“Hey, you taking a shit in there or something? I gotta pee, bitch,” laughed a young voice from outside.
As Jessica strained to finish, she read several more posts about the god awful state of the world, including evidence that Russia was interfering in our elections, how millions were going to lose insurance coverage under the ACA, and that David Bowie was still dead.
“This wasn’t supposed to happen,” she said to herself, farting. “What are we going to do. What are we all going to do?” she cried to herself as her phone finally ran out of battery.
As she sat there in silence, with no distraction, she could hear the girl outside the door making fun of her. “She’s been in there forever. Someone better call the health inspector.”
As she finally finished she wiped and stood up to walk outside. The sink in the bathroom was broken. Typical.
Jessica left the bathroom and passed the group of snickering teenagers.
“Ain’t she going to even wash her hands, damn!” said one to her friends.
As she walked out of the McDonald’s she recoiled from the smell of oily fries and tried to once again put all of the awful things she had been hearing and reading about out of her mind
“Is the world really this bad,” she asked herself. As she stepped outside the nice breeze once again smacked her. “No, it really isn’t that bad,” she thought, readjusted her knitted beanie, and said out loud, “I love Miami in the Winter.”