Steve Busts a Nut in the Flagship Jack-in-the-Box
Karyna McGlynn

Steve says he's "real sorry," so he takes me to the flagship Jack-in-the-Box in San Diego. At first I'm skeptical, but as soon as the revolving doors deposit us in the lobby, I understand that Steve is making the "grand gesture" if you will. The place is fucking posh. There are chandeliers and fainting couches, and the whole place smells of peonies blooming in vats of holy oil. It takes us about 15 minutes just to get to the counter because with every step we sink deeper and deeper into the wine-colored plush of the carpet. By the time we get to "Hello! My Name Is MINETTE," the counter girl, we're in it up to the waist. I try to order a Sourdough Jack; Steve and Minette laugh gently, condescendingly. Minette insists that the closest approximation they have is the Pistachio-Encrusted Tilapia Ciabatta Jack with Avocado in a Beurre Blanc Reduction. She insists that this is all Jack-in-the-Box has ever had. I blink. It takes me a minute to regain my bearings because who'd have guessed that Ala-BAM!-a Steve was a goddamn Emeril-watching foodie? Steve and I wait for our food on this crushed velvet divan which looks (and feels) like a field of goldenrod on a foggy morning in 1923. We're the only ones in the dining room, and the employees keep turning off the lights to give us un peu d'intimaté. Steve's making advances in the dark and I can't help but suspect he's rented out the place for the evening. Steve pours me another glass from our bottle of ironically-named 'Wine-in-a-Box.' He places his hand on my upper thigh and his breath blooms in my ear like a hothouse flower. When he lies on top of me I feel like I'm falling down a glass staircase. "Now do you want your future?" he says. I nod. We start over.

Karyna McGlynn is the author of Scorpionica (New Michigan Press, 2007) and Alabama Steve (Destructible Heart Press, 2008). Her micro-fiction has recently appeared in Unpleasant Event Schedule, Quick Fiction, La Petite Zine, and the Open Face Sandwich.

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Photo detail on main page courtesy of Zokete.

Read KM's other story, "My Movie-Making Workshop with Steve Guttenberg."

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