Day 039: Marc Throws A Bagel

Marc woke up late again. He could tell based on the light shining through the curtains. He really should’ve gotten up when Gloria woke him to tell him that she was taking MJ to school, but in his dream state, she was merely reciting what happened on an episode of Monday Night Raw that never happened. How late it is, he doesn’t want to know. It’s best to just be cool and proceed the morning like normal. His job today is down in Brooklyn. There’s going to be traffic. He’ll get there when he gets there. The house is quiet, but he can still smell the remnants of breakfast. Breakfast. He needs to get some breakfast.

On his way to the deli, he notices a new dent in the van. Fucking kids. A few more dents and he’ll look like a kidnapper. Then maybe the kids will stop messing with it. That’ll be the day. To Marc’s dismay, he doesn’t sense anything when he walks into the deli. There’s no aroma of bacon or the sound of sizzling or music blasting. Victor must’ve gotten too drunk last night. He settled on a cold bagel with cream cheese, because that’s all that Sammy is willing to muster the energy to sell him.

Traffic on the West Side Highway. Of course. Hot start. He rolls down his window, sticks his arm out to get it some sun and unwraps his bagel. Cinnamon Raisin. Fucking Sammy. In no universe should anybody assume that the standard bagel to go with cream cheese would be cinnamon raisin. He really needs to find a new deli. Or maybe a new neighborhood. One where he can have a driveway, free of people messing with his van. Traffic starts moving a little faster. It’s go time. Marc focuses back on the road and in a lapse of logic, chucks his bagel out the window. He can hear it splat on the windshield beside him. Why in the hell did he do that? Might be about time to get out of dodge. He can still hear car horns behind him when he exits to the Battery Tunnel. Plausible deniability. If he doesn’t look back, he won’t look guilty. Just keep driving.

The job is in a large apartment building in Flatbush. Just a simple light installation. The wiring is already done. He doesn’t know why they wanted him to install these tacky track lights. They don’t really go well with the feng shui. He also doesn’t know what feng shui is. He just hears it a lot. But regardless, the bulbs emit a small and harsh light. Might be good for a furniture store, but not for an apartment. Also, it requires bulbs that you can’t just buy at the grocery store. You have to go to an actual lighting store and play an arm and a leg for. The owners are swindling the new tenants. They’ll easily have to pay over a hundred dollars in light bulbs every year. But who is he to say anything? He’s just getting paid to install the lights and look busy.

He was just finishing up the last track in the bedroom when his phone starts buzzing. It’s Gloria. She never calls him when he’s on a job. Wait, isn’t she working, too? It must be important. And it is. MJ got in trouble at school. Him and his girlfriend got in a fight. He threw a bagel at her. He needs to be picked up. Like father, like son. The light track was drilled in crooked. Perfect. He calls the school, tells them he’ll be there when he can and studies the track for a minute. It’s just…a little crooked. They might not be able to notice. It’s not like anything else in the place is symmetrical. The lights work. That’s all that matters.

On his way to the school, Marc keeps craning his neck to ensure he’s not being followed. Surely, the cops are aware of his bagel throwing. But how was MJ aware? Obviously, he wasn’t, but the scenario is perplexing. Is it possible that they threw their respective bagels at the same time? Was his cinnamon raisin, too? Is this a glitch in the universe? Is it going to start raining frogs? Is this all a trick to get him to face justice? Did he somehow hit the girls mom with the bagel? What are the odds? Probably in the thousands.

A couple of teachers gave Marc a dirty look as they left the school. They both had their heads down, trying to not make eye contact. They didn’t speak on the drive home. Marc could very well admit that he did the same thing today. They could laugh it off and head to Concourse and take in a baseball game. Gloria wouldn’t have to know. But instead, they said nothing and headed straight home. Once there, MJ sheepishly asked if he could play his Gamecube. Marc thought about it for a minute, exhaled harshly through his nose and nodded. As the sound of go karts emitted from the living room, Marc turned to the game on the kitchen radio and started marinating some chicken for dinner.

In the end, everything turned out okay. MJ made amends with his girlfriend, who Marc will never meet before they break up again. Marc never encountered any trouble from the bagel throw or the crooked light track. Maybe the track wasn’t crooked. Maybe the bagel recipient deserved it. Maybe they had kidnapped somebody and stuffed them in the trunk. Maybe throwing the bagel saved their life. He’ll never know. What he does know is that life goes on. Seasons change, kids grow up and light bulbs burn out.

We don’t use most of the track lights anymore. Just the ones in the kitchen and the bathroom. I got sick of constantly having to replace the $20 bulbs, so we got a bunch of matching floor lamps from Ikea. They may not be in use and they may not fit with the feng shui, but a week doesn’t go by that I don’t stare at them and think about the person that installed them. There are so many stories within your home that you just don’t know about. So you might as well write them yourself.

– TeeCoZee