Max watched Darla enter the restaurant. Her hair was frosted to perfection, shimmering as it draped over her shoulders. Her oversized sunglasses perfectly enhancing her golden tanned skin. She smiled at him as she approached his table.
‘Hi, have you ordered?’ She asked, slightly out of breath, setting her bag on the table as she sat.
‘I was good’, he assured her, ‘I waited.’
‘You will not believe the people I had to deal with today on social media.’ She moaned.
‘I don’t know why you bother, Dar.’ Max shook his head, ‘why get yourself all worked up. It’s just a waste of time.’
Darla stiffened. ‘Waste of time?’
He opened his palms toward her. ‘I just mean, you know, maybe some people are just set in their ways. You can’t change everybody.’
Darla tongued her molars with indignation. She quickly shook her head. ‘Max, you’re full of shit. I am an activist, and you know goddamn well it’s wrong!’
Max held up his hands and pushed them down quickly. Her raised voice grabbed the attention of people seated closely to them, and several heads turned their way.
Darla leaned in toward him, ‘Max.’ She whispered, coaxing his agreement.
‘Yeah.’ He finally said, ‘I never said it wasn’t. That was kind of where I was heading. It is wrong, ergo why waste your time fighting with people on twitter or Facebook that are in favor of it?’
‘So, what? I’m supposed to just ignore their lies?’
Darla reached into her bag, ‘You do realize that most of these fuckers spread propaganda,’ she waved her phone, ‘they spend time convincing people it’s perfectly acceptable behavior.’ She hissed.
‘Everyone knows they don’t have the capabilities to organize and speak out in their own interest.’ Max insisted.
‘That’s not the point. Even when people know, the propaganda still plants, like’…she shook her head quickly, ‘like demented seeds. Some people even start to question what they actually believe.’
Max watched her as she began scrolling her iPhone, her finger furiously flicking across the screen.
‘Yes, here is one, look.’ She said, holding the phone out for Max to read. His eyes read her post. It said that they were innocent, undeserving of such cruelties inflicted upon them.
‘You know I agree, Dar.’ He said folding his hands.
‘Keep reading.’ She insisted.
He looked back at the screen, one reply was in all capitals “STOP THIS YOU SICK FUCKS!”
He frowned as he leaned back in the chair. ‘Don’t you think extremists like that,’ he motioned to her phone, ‘screaming ‘stop you sick fucks’ are hurting the cause?
Darla’s eyes widened like a hot pepper had just been shoved up her ass. ‘Don’t be stupid, of course not. They are just impassioned.
‘But obviously screaming & swearing isn’t going to get them to stop, especially when they so obviously enjoy it’.
‘Do you want me to vomit on this table, Max?’ Darla glared at him, her stomach dropping the moment his words were spoken.
He shook his head apologetically. He knew she tried hard to be a voice for the voiceless. He didn’t want to add to her stress. He paused in thought for a moment, then asked, ‘Well, what if, for example, they collectively agreed to not do it on Tuesday’s?
She glared at him. ‘What possible good would that do, Max?’
‘Well, it might help educate’, he shrugged, ‘you know, help get the message out there in a more…positive way. Not everyone is ready to hear the truth.’
‘What more of a message is there to get out?’ She made rabbit hears with her fingers. ‘Everyone knows it’s wrong to exploit & oppress others.’
‘Obviously not.’ Max stated matter of fact, ‘but, you have to start somewhere.’ He nodded toward the waiter approaching their table, motioning for the conversation to pause. He didn’t want to involve the waiter in such a controversial discussion.
‘What can I get for you?’
Max gestured for Darla to order first, welcoming the distraction.
‘What’s the special?’ She asked as she quickly scanned the menu.
‘Bacon cheeseburger with your choice of two sides.’
‘I’ll have the special, medium rare, with fries and cole slaw.’ She handed the waiter the menu.
‘I’ll have the pulled pork, with baked potato. Can I get sour cream on that?’
‘Sure thing, and would you like cole slaw or macaroni & cheese?’
‘Hmmm,’ His mind ran, ‘cole sla…actually, no, Mac & cheese.’ He said at the last minute.
Darla smirked, jokingly rolling her eyes at his indecisiveness.
The waiter nodded, smiling as he took Max’s menu. They watched as he made his way back toward the kitchen.
‘Excuse me, I hope you don’t mind, but I couldn’t help but overhear your conversation.’
Max and Darla both turned to see a woman approaching their table. She had been sitting at a table close to theirs.
Darla gushed, ‘oh, I’m sorry! I just get so…caught up, you know.’ She waved her hands in the air emphatically.
The woman’s expression was that of confusion. ‘You know this isn’t a vegan restaurant, right? I mean, they do have options, but it isn’t really vegan.’
Max’s forehead wrinkled as he looked a Darla, who was equally nonplussed.
‘That burger you ordered will be real ground up cow, real melted cow milk,… with real fried piglet flesh.’ The woman motioned toward the kitchen.
Max slightly smiled, still bewildered, ‘yeah?’ He drew out, looking at Darla incredulously.
‘And, the pulled pork will be real dead pig.’
‘Is this a joke?’ Darla asked, looking around the restaurant quickly.
The woman paused, looking at them both. ‘You aren’t animal rights activists?’
Max snapped his head quickly, ‘no.’
‘The conversation you two were hav…’
‘Oh!’ Darla exclaimed, laughing as she cut the woman off. ‘No, that was about pedophiles.’
A loyalty to one’s own kind sets menacing precedents…
& I got tarred with the epithet ‘traitor’ to my own species….
I was also told that animals ‘cannot vote’ & they don’t ‘pay taxes’….apparently that makes it okie doke to exploit them.
Kids don’t vote, don’t understand laws, are ‘innocent’…like non human animals….
So we protect them from predators, we try our best to….
Dig Out Your Soul