I’m in the heart of the white middle-class Eastern suburbs of Melbourne
I’m only here because my wife has a photo shoot at a pilates studio around the corner.
I haven’t fucking slept much due to having to feed the cats early after staying up late writing an article about how I couldn’t sleep. So I’m sitting here with my lonely cloud thoughts and considering whether to eat the bacon or go for the wholesome yet reflux-inducing oatmeal with miso glazed nuts and a spunkberry reduction.
My heart chooses the oatmeal.
“I’ll have the bacon and eggs,” I say to the waitress, who seems to have caught some smiling disease.
I order a soy chai and examine the barister for the usual look of contempt, but there’s no way to tell because the barister has a permanent look of contempt — that’s what happens when you get paid working-class wages to serve chai latte to middle-class knobheads.
My bacon and eggs comes out with two giant fucking slices of toast.
Combined, the two slices are bigger than my buttocks, and the eggs and bacon combined are probably no bigger than my testicles. My hospitality anger flairs up at this lack of correct food ratio and is further enflamed when I realise that these giant football fields of processed white bread are totally dry — devoid of any spreadable fat.
There are two schools of butter thought. Some people like butter on their toast, and some deranged bastards like to eat giant slices of dry toast without any relief.
For me, any toast eating always begins with hiccups. I googled it and found that it has something to do with the dry toast hitting a sensitive sphincter. I was confused when I first read this, as if WebMD thought I was shoving toast up my arsehole. Later I discovered that there is a sphincter in the throat, which I figured might explain that movie Deep Throat. I have an underdeveloped throat sphincter. I’ve never given a blow job, but I’d probably kick arse at it. It’s why I always threw up on my siblings on long car journeys, but I’m sure it would also easily take a thick cock.
“Can I have some butter?” I ask the waitress. She is smiling like the Joker from Batman.
I see her go over and ask the chef. The chef shakes his head and throws down a plate. Then he goes to the fridge and cuts off a slice of butter like a sulking child.
I quietly butter my giant toast and eat tiny bacon and eggs before paying at the counter. Then I approach the kitchen.
If my wife were here, she would say something like:
For fuck’s sake. Leave it alone, Frank.
But she ain’t here. So Im left alone with my mad desire to right the meaningless wrongs on this planet.
I look around this house of gentrification, and I am struck by the whiteness of the place
Sixty white people all discuss their real estate portfolios and how they got a bargain four new tyres on the Volvo for only $1600. I notice the only non-white people are the chefs, and it makes me angry. Some people might say it’s a coincidence. But it isn’t. Its a hangover from years of —
‘Why did you shake your head when I asked for butter?’ I ask the chef in what I believed to a neutral tone because this ain’t about race. This is about butter.
“I don’t believe in butter,” he says.
“You don’t believe in butter? As in, you think butter is a myth?”
“I don’t like to put it on toast.”
“Yes, well, do you only like to serve customers who like what you like? Or do you think you are some kind of street cafe Gordon Ramsay who objects to customers changing your Michelin star eggs on toast?”
I never wanted the conversation to get aggressive. But I haven’t slept, and no one is here to stop me. Now forty-eight middle-aged white women in yoga pants are staring at me like I’m some kind of racist.
“You’re the fucking racists,” I yell at them. “You sit here sipping your fucking matcha lattes and discussing what colour of splashback you want in the kitchen on your third investment home while Crusty Chris, the local tramp, freezes his brazil nuts off on the street corner there, and these young Asian men serve you your chia seed quinoa.”
I realise no one said anything. They are all whispering to each other now. This has gone much further than I meant it to. I was triggered forty-eight hours ago by watching aboriginal people get paid to do a smoke ceremony for the auspicious opening of a new housing project while white people sat there with their glasses of wine and clapped. White people are so fucking bad at inclusivity. We even turn equality into some kind of racism.
And now I look like the racist because I have pointed out that all the chefs are Asian people serving middle-class white people. But so what? It was already implied within the situation.
And besides, this was never meant to be about race. It’s meant to be about butter. I feel a hand on my shoulder and spin around to see an athletic-looking man with a ferocious sun tan and a North face jacket.
“I think it’s time you left now, Mate,” he says to me like he is some fucking security guard.
I push his hand off my shoulder.
“Stop fucking showing off for everyone, you macho prick,” I shout at him.
I feel my anger starting to boil. In my head, I’m Jason Bourne, and I spin him around and smash my foot into his leg from the side, shattering the bone. I pick up a pot plant and crack it over his head. Everyone starts screaming.
“Call the Police,” says the waitress. She isn’t smiling anymore.
In reality, you can’t risk a fight with a stranger these days. There’s just too much information out there on Ju Jitsu and Muay Thai. The chances of getting whipped by a stranger have gone up considerably. I examine this prick. He looks like the type that goes to the gym, does Ju Jitsu, watches Joe Rogan and takes testosterone supplements.
So I just leave instead. I need to get some sleep.
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