DammitJanet Two days ago, Martin was a very excited man. He's had quite a few bad years, 11 to be exact, and the ball is finally rolling. He's moved out of his parents house at the ripe age of 32, into an appartment right down town. He has two roommates, Phil and Dave. They were okay guys, he met them down at Hess Village one night, and the three soon became regulars. Getting wasted together night after night bonded the three men. They started meeting outside of the bars, and soon hatched the plan to get a place together. With all of their minimal incomes together, they'd be laughing. They found a resonable place, with not too many cockroaches and thin walls. The water wasn't brown like the last appartment, and the floor hadn't rotted through. This was thier best bet for now. The main window faces Lake Ontario, not too close to it mind you, but if you look hard enough you can make out the blue of the water and the smoke from the factory pipes. To the right amoung all of the tall grey and beige buildings is a faint orange "C", although up close as anyone knows, this large "C" is actually two c's forming one. Copps Coliseum.

As a child he went there with his mother for Disney on Ice. It was a ritual for a few years, some of the best years he can remember. Everything was simple then, the only problem he had was the new shoes his mum bought him that night hurt the back of his heels. But he'll never complain of it, even lie if his mum asks why he's walking funny. He never got new shoes, and he was so proud of the shiney black plastic and the click on the tile. This was a special night, just Martin and mum, and he wasn't going to let anything ruin it. As a teenager he went to Copps for concerts, and now, for hockey games. But nothing was as good as Disney on Ice.

Martin even got a job. Yes, it was only Burger King, but that was quite an accomplishment. Martin hadn't worked in 11 years. During highschool he used to joke to his friends that he won't need a job. He'll just live off welfare and disability, and make some money on the side. He had it all planned out. Get a job as a landscaper working only for cash. Keep the money in jars at home, and apply for any government funding he can. And lie his head off on the applications. It was funny until it practically happened. And there was no need to lie.

The next day he'd be back at work, flipping burgers and taking orders. His boss, Joe, was watching him though. He'd been late once too often and Joe said he's losing his patience with Martin. He's doing him a favour letting him work there, and any other employee who acted like Martin would have been long gone. Martin's lucky. But he can't afford to lose this job too. Since he got a real job the government stopped sending those nice cheques, and the guys aren't going to let him go too long without paying his way. He was already short on rent last month because he spent too much money on booze. And on Lola. Lovely fire engine red haired Lola, the most beautiful girl he's ever seen. The way she dances up on that stage makes him feel 17 again, makes him forget the past 11 years.

But the next day it's back to Burger King he goes, the only noble thing he's done in a long time. He's determined to make it in this world, to finally do something with his life. And if this is where he starts, so be it. So Martin started at Burger King. It could be worse. He got up late this morning, so late it was no longer morning, and he was still tired. He throws on his uniform which was in dire need of a wash and heads out the door to catch the bus. It wasn't too long of a ride, but to Martin it felt like forever. This day felt different. He didn't know whether it was good or bad.

DammitJanet Joe met him at the door when he came into the staff office. They had a chat about his appearance and how frustrated Joe was getting. Martin kept apologizing, promising to smarten up, and went out to the kitchen. Even though it was only a 4 hour shift, he knew it was going to be a long night. Burger King never got that busy, even on the weekends. At first that was why he chose to work here, he got to be lazy and do nothing. But he soon realized that it's worse when it's dead. The night was boring and dragged on, minutes felt like hours.

Joe was heading home, gathering his papers from his office. He called in Martin as he cleaned his desk. It appears that Joe had tried to call him, but the number was out of order. Martin apologized again, it seemed like that's all he ever did around Joe, and explained to him why the phone company cut off their phone. It wasn't his fault, the phone company was being difficult. It was never Martin's fault. But the three roommates had taken care of it and borrowed money to pay the large bill, made weak promises to eachother not to call too many people or chat lines, and got a new number. Martin wrote down his new number for Joe. He made sure he remembered it. They just got it yesterday and it seemed easy enough. Then Joe left and Martin went back to doing nothing. He mopped a bit, poked at some burgers, snuck out back for a smoke. On his way back in, one of the snot teenagers who always made fun of him, told him he got a call from home. It was Dave. Something about his mom being in the hospital, she'll be there for a few days, but it was nothing serious. Martin wanted to call him back, but there were customers. There were actually line ups to the door at Burger King. He had no time to get to the phone, and couldn't for the next 40 minutes. Of all the times for people to want to eat there! Martin was a bit of a worry wart, a compulsive worrier if you will, and was panicking the entire time. Nothing serious. What did Dave consider serious? If a person had a heart attack and lived, was that not serious?

He finally got to the phone in the back room and dialed his own number. He was in such a panic he didn't even listen to the greeting on the answering machine. The fact that it was female voices didn't even register. He left a panicked message about him going straight to the hospital from work. Joe was gone, can Dave call Joe tomorrow morning to tell him he won't be in? You need to call Joe, Dave. You need to call Joe. Martin hung up the phone and flipped some more burgers. Only 15 more minutes of his shift, then he can go.

He caught the bus just in time, and was on the way to see his mum. He tried to calm himself down the entire way, telling himself she was only there for a stupid reason. She worried about something not important and made the doctors say she had to stay for a few days. That's all it was, just something stupid.

phil my name appears in red, one time, one crummy time. I tell ya what... that's a most provoking thing. 030412
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