ravi mangla

I'm tired of sleep and seek other forms of restoration. It's three a.m. and I'm at a Friendly's in a town I've never heard of. I order the lumberjack breakfast. The wheelchair-stricken waitress asks if, perhaps, I wouldn't be better off with something more my speed. I change the order to a sundae off the kid's menu, you know, the one with the cone-hat and candy face. My sundae arrives with no nuts, but I'm not bothered (only nuts eat nuts – right? – ha ha). I flag down the waitress and ask her where the ketchup is. She tells me I won't be needing it. Not tonight. I get to work on the lobotomy. My incisions are severe and precise. Knife, I say. Fork. Cream. Sugar. Sutures. Sutures? Nurse? The waitress apologizes, says she gave her set to another customer. Is she kidding? I can't tell; I don't have much experience with the sarcasm of the handicapped. She asks me how it is…the sundae. I look down at it, face swollen, pooled in hot fudge, cone-hat dangerously askew. I tell her, I don't think he's going to make it. I was afraid of that, she says. I ask for the check. Don't worry, she says, it's on the house. You tried your best.

Ravi Mangla
Everything Ravaged, Everything Burned
Wells Tower