Casey Fagan: Dairy Queen

I get a job at the Dairy Queen on McLoughlin Blvd.
because I think I would like to talk about how I work at Dairy Queen. 
At Dairy Queen there’s a strict number of treats you can take home a shift. 
After shift number one, I’m allowed one ice cream sandwich. 
You write it in a book.  Ice cream sandwich. 1.
But I am bad at cash registers and can’t get the twist right.
I get it lopsided.  My coworkers are in high school. 
But I am on scholarship and it stops in the summer. 
My roommate is also and starts making pornography.	
She lounges on our puke green thrift store armchair
like a star of stage and screen and tells me what they have her do
step by step in full on Arkansas drawl.  She thinks it’s cute. 
I think she is a viper.  I am a little bit in love with her.
In the bathroom, she hangs her artistic pictures
taken at the nude beach by men she meets on the internet. 
Milk white breast, pink bathtub mold, party conversation starter.
What do you do?  I work at the Dairy Queen. 
An ice cream parlor trick.  I find a really good loose-knit
peach rayon half sweater that falls off the shoulder
in a box on the street and start wearing that all of the time.
After a couple of weeks, I get fired from the Dairy Queen. 
I decide it’s because everyone knows I am wearing a wig
even though it is a really attractive 1960s airline stewardess style wig
and you can hardly tell.  My roommate says don’t worry,
the first part of getting somewhere is looking somewhere. 
This is easy when you are a teenager
and think talking about ice cream and making dirty movies
is totally avant garde.  We think we are so great
all we’ve got to do is take off our clothes
and down will come Phil Spector’s Wall of Sound
complete with backup singers and handclaps
a money tree, whistles, a little rattlesnake castanet, 
and then there will be a close-up shot forever after that
where we can afford better haircuts, buy garter belts,
get culture like tooth veneers, moon around.


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