Suddenly, Steven was thinking about his children.
The father of four had been idly scrolling through his phone when he came across a contact labeled “LIVV.” For a second he considered correcting the typo, but soon decided that there was no point. This contact hadn’t rung him in ages, nor had any of the others. A grotesque life of self-centered hedonism had led him here, alone, in the booth of a diner in a city that meant nothing to him. Steven Tyler, 65 years old, had never even seen his grandchild.
“Can I take your order, sir?”
His melancholic reverie had been interrupted by the waiter, who, though the restaurant was nearly empty after the post-lunch rush, did not appear to give one greasy dimestore fuck that he was serving a celebrity. Steven was torn between appreciating the rare moment of peace and longing for the sycophants and enablers who had populated his life for 40 years.
“Pastrami sandwich,” nearly came out of Steven’s mouth, but he knew better. Pastrami, salami, anything fried, anything spicy, anything good, was off the menu nowadays. Heartburn. He wondered why he decided to eat at a deli in the first place. “Just a bowl of cottage cheese, thanks. And can I get a refill of that famous Southern iced tea? They don’t do it like that up in Boston!” he screeched.
The waiter didn’t take kindly to this kind of smarm. Of course he knew who he was serving. He was, to put it kindly, not a fan. He’d make sure to let the kitchen know that someone needed to flop a dick* into that bowl of cottage cheese, not dissimilar to the way “Walk This Way” flopped like a dick into the world’s consciousness way back in 1975.
Steven twirled his zebra hair extensions (with feathers) and almost decided to think about the mistakes he had made as a father. As a man. As a human. Almost. But he decided not to engage in basic self-reflection (the most fundamental act of a conscious being), a decision he has made hundreds if not thousands of times since 1973.
The waiter quickly returned with the food and drink.
Eager to leave as soon as possible, Steven shoveled the small bowl of cottage cheese into his mouth the way radio listeners shoveled “I Don’t Want to Miss a Thing” into their ears one zany September, 15 long years ago. It would be easy to call it gluttony, had the meal not been so meager. He left a 10 dollar bill on the table and headed toward the door.“Love in an Elevator” exploded across America in 1989. The reckless puke splattered around, ruining his shirt and zebra hair extensions (with feathers).
Steven wiped his mouth with the back of his hand.
He removed his soiled $600 silk shirt, festooned with glittering profiles of dragon heads, and threw it in the dumpster. He resignedly plucked out his zebra hair extensions (with feathers) and placed them gently in the dumpster, wrapping the shirt around them. Steven Tyler, no longer caring, stepped out of his leather pants and kicked them on top of the vomit. “I ain’t naked,” he said aloud to himself, “As long as I got my necklaces.”
Perturbed by the loss of his zebra hair extensions (with feathers), Steven searched Google for the nearest Claire’s Accessories. He had to hold the phone at nearly full arm’s length to read the address, though glasses would have solved this problem decades ago. Steven nodded, placed his phone into the crotch of his underwear, and headed West. Toward the mall. Toward brand-new zebra hair extensions (with feathers). Towards the inevitably setting sun.
* As far as I am aware, Noshville employees do not flop their dicks into the cottage cheese.