Catharsis

I sit in my local Starbucks, scrolling through twitter and sipping on my mini white mocha frappaccino, as one slightly preppy, middle-class white girl would. I see a post on twitter that reads, “Got beer. ne 1 wnat to party?” I sigh just low enough that no one will hear me over the coffee machines and late 2012’s music, can’t people find a better way to let off steam than drinking and using drugs? I put my phone down and silently observe the people sitting around me, looking out the window every so often to make it seem as if I’m waiting for someone to show up. Of course no one is actually coming, but I wouldn’t want someone to just assume I’m being a loner. I notice a middle-aged dude directly in front of me fiercely tapping the keys on his computer; to the left of me is a group of 3 older women talking about their child’s latest achievement. One of them looks pretty normal, with a t-shirt and jeans. The other one is wearing a tank top 2 sizes to small with a bra 2 sizes too big, and the other with hair piled on top of her head so high it could be mistaken for a beehive. “My daughter was just nominated to be class president.” The beehive lady says. She has a smug look that says,I raised my daughter better than all of you.  The lady with wardrobe issues says,”Well, my son is being nominated for home-coming king.”
“My daughter made honor roll this year… Again.” Says the fairly normal looking one.
“That’s wonderful!” Says the beehive lady, “but my son is being offered a position in the NHS. Do you girls know that stands for? N is National, H is for Honors, and S is for Society.” She says this last part slowly, like the others were 5 and didn’t know what an acronym was. I look away, slightly annoyed that these women think they’re kids were the shit compared to every one else. They probably have orgies and do drugs when you’re not home, I think to myself, rolling my eyes. My eyes finally land on the chubby worker who just sat down diagonally from me, in front of the 3 ladies. He immediately grabs his phone from his apron, furiously scrolling through his social media like there might be some very important news in one of the posts. He has 3 drinks in front of him, a water, a frappaccino, and an iced coffee. No doubt drinks that were messed up, and not able to be given to the customer. He also has a blueberry muffin that he hurriedly picks at with his left hand. He can’t seem to stop shaking his legs and frantically snapping his left hand fingers after every bite he takes. He must be OCD. Or possibly have social anxiety. What other explanation is there?
After a while I stop looking at him, the most interesting thing he did was switch his phone from his right hand to his left. I began to daydream, thinking about what my future apartment would look like, what my next dogs name should be, what was on my to-do list that day, nothing extremely important or interesting for that matter, when I noticed that there was another low groaning sound that sounded like a chair was being drug across the hardwood floor. I looked up to where they make drinks, but everyone was just standing around talking. I looked around slowly trying to figure out where the noise was coming from. Was it a flushed toilet? But no, it kept going and going, getting louder by the second now. Something was different about my surroundings, I was sure of it. I looked at the people around me but no one seemed to notice, or care. HNGGGGGGGGGGGGGGGGGGG. It was really loud now, and people were starting to look over their shoulders to see what the noise was. There, seated diagonally from me, was the chubby barista who had now stopped moving all together. His head hung low, but i could see that his lips were parted every so slightly and eyes squinted as if straining. People were starting to freak out, wondering if this random guy was mentally retarded or having some kind of episode. The lady with the beehive hair stood up and walked over to him, no doubt trying to act like the good citizen that saves the day.
“Honey, are you okay?” No response.
“Do you need some air? Or some water?” Said the fairly normal woman, but again, no response.
The noise had risen now, almost a scream.  People were starting to crowd around this guy, wondering if they should help, but never would out of fear of being “That person”. I stayed back, slightly scared, but I wasn’t going to leave because I wanted to see what would happen to this guy.
All of the sudden the dude jerks his head up and stares straight at the ceiling, he stops screaming but says in a faint voice,”Finally free.” His whole body relaxes, urine soaking his pants followed by a foul smell. There was a small squeak from the back of his throat, and then there was blood splatter everywhere. A small chunk of flesh with what looked like half an ear and some hair hit me right in the chest falling into my lap. Another piece flew into my cup, knocking it over. This one covered by hair completely. These chunks were everywhere, in the beehive lady’s hair, on the laptop of the fierce typist… just everywhere. When I looked up at the guy, his body was slumped against the table, only his entire head was missing. There was only a hole where his neck used to be. It was almost as if a bomb had gone off inside his head, ending all his frantic emotions for ever. That is, unless, he believes in reincarnation.

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