I was standing in the queue at McDonald’s,
Running things through my mind,
Life and death, God, Heaven and Hell,
The predicament of mankind,
When a girl said, ‘Can I help you?’
I looked up at Annette.
Her smile reduced me to rubble,
And my heart beat with regret.
There’s more meaning in the memory
Of her slender waist,
Than the sum of all man’s knowledge
And the truth that he’s embraced.
Her eyes made the search for the Grail seem absurd,
Mocking philosophy’s pen
And Christ must have died on the cross for her chest,
For which I said to myself Amen.
It may not be deep to dream and weep,
While you’re munching Shergar,
but I saw the light, like a troglodyte,
For the cost of a King Burger.
'Let's get this straight, this, this is your suicide note?' said the man.
'Yes, the light being self-annihilation. Life without love is meaningless. I’m just too deep and sensitive for this world. I think it captures well the essence of a tortured soul, the desolate world of a poet, artist, thinker and yet, the everyman, don't you think?'
‘It wasn't my first thought, no! I still don’t understand.’
‘I was walking back down the stairs after my Big Mac meal, and I looked back over the counter. Annette looked up at me and smiled pulchritudinously. It could have been an encouraging smile or an employee-customer smile, I couldn't tell, but its beguiling ambiguity haunts me. I should have walked over and told her how I felt, shunned the twin evils of embarrassment and rejection but I couldn’t find it in me. I went back several times, I don’t even like McDonald’s, I’m a vegan, mostly, and those Big Mac meals don't half add up. She was never there and that’s when I decided to end it all.'
‘It’s been a while hasn’t it?’ said the man.
‘Since you’ve been out with a girl.’
‘Try telling that to the hot… yes.’
‘So you’ve bought a bottle of whisky and found some paracetamol in your cutlery drawer, past their use-by date?’
The man shakes his head and says,
‘And again, so I get this straight, you’ve bought a budget blended whisky from Lidl?’
‘Your point? Haven’t you heard there’s a cost of living crisis?’
‘And when do you plan to do this?’ asked the man.
‘Tonight, after Strictly. Anyway, who are you? And how did you get into my kitchen?’
‘I’m from the future. Your future self sent me. He says that Mandy Bamford from accounts will shag you.’
‘Yes, time travel becomes possible in the future though it’s heavily restricted and no one is allowed to meet their past selves.’
‘No, I mean about Mandy Bamford.’
‘Yes, apparently “she’ll shag anyone after three large glasses of Chardonnay.”’
‘Really? Three large glasses? That’s a whole bottle. That would last me a month.’
‘Your future self says don’t be such a tight-arsed pretentious drama queen and get out there and live. He also says to put all your life savings on Wales winning the Rugby World Cup 2023. Toodlepip.’
And with that, the man was gone.