A quick note from M.M. Carrigan (Editor Grande Supreme of TBQ):
Sometimes we tell a collective story. Rejection Letters tells a story of outsiderness, rejection. These stories exist outside TBQ, outside RL, outside any journal. They exist in your space. They’re your stories. They’re you. Period.
Share that shit whenever, wherever.
If my brother wants to pretend he’s Mr. Big Shit well he can go right the fuck ahead and see if I even care. Mr. Big Shit’s always thought he’s something special but guess what motherfucker, he isn’t. I never gave two good goddamns about all those times mom said Mr. Big Shit was the next best thing to Jesus H. Christ until he got promoted as a goddamn assistant manager of the goddamn Taco Bell. Mom goes, see how your brother actually pulls his weight around here, Tommy? See how he works his tail off? See how he still gets straight A’s and dates those pretty girls and doesn’t go around, like you, punching no vice principals or taking no pills or cheating on no tests? So I go, he ain’t that great and he’ll fuck up one day, too. Just watch and you’ll see. I guaran-fucking-tee.
So Mr. Big Shit decides now that he’s assistant manager of the Taco Bell, he’s going to save up his money and buy himself a car so he don’t have to take the bus like me to get around no more, except I don’t take no bus because Skunky has a van and I get rides from Skunky. What Mr. Big Shit also don’t know is that I know where he hides all that cash he makes as the new assistant manager of the Taco Bell. I got street smarts and sneak smarts that no school is going to teach and no fuck-nut like Mr. Big Shit can learn. It’s evolutionary. Seeing as how I know where all this cash is, I decide one day to pay Mr. Big Shit a visit down at the Taco Bell. I call up Skunky and Troy and Tripp and Damon and Alonzo and Carla with the fat ass and her little sister and I go, dinner’s on me tonight fam. So we pull up and there’s Mr. Big Shit behind the counter giving me the screwed-up eyeball look and I’m giving him the eat-shit-and-die smile and I tell everyone to order whatever they want while Mr. Big Shit rings it up at the register. Skunky orders three Crunch Wrap Supremes. Carla and her little sister who also has a big ass each order Nachos Bell Grandes and some Diet Pepsis. Troy gets some Cheesy Gordita Crunches. Damon and Alonzo get a shitload of Nacho Cheese Doritos Locos Tacos. I walk up last and I go, give me ten packs of Cinnamon Twists. Well, Mr. Big Shit’s face is as red as some Diablo sauce and he goes, where’d you get the money from, Tommy? I tell him it don’t matter and he can piss right off if he knows what’s good for him. I give him the cash that’s actually his and tell him I want my change back in ones seeing as how we’re going to the strip club later and I need that shit for my boys. That’s when Mr. Big Shit loses his shit. He sees that the twenties and tens and fives are all the same twenties and tens and fives he’s been hiding underneath his bed in a Reebok box and he goes, what the hell is this Tommy that’s my money, you can spend my money, I worked hard for my money. I laugh because he starts getting all crying like when I go, that money belongs to the Taco Bell now, bitch, so give us our goddamn grub. I turn back and give a smile and wink to the sisters with the fat asses and they smile back and that’s when Mr. Big Shit catches me by surprise when he yanks me by my shirt collar over the counter and I go flying through the air and smack straight into the ready and wrapped Crunchy Tacos and Soft Taco Supremes and Mexican Pizzas.
Mr. Big Shit is throwing fists and crying and screaming and I got my hands up trying to block his punches because he’s actually a lot stronger than he looks and I haven’t worked out or gotten into a fight in a long time so I’m not really ready for this. Finally, I see an opening and kick Mr. Big Shit between the legs and he stumbles back and knocks over all the cups for the Mountain Dew Baja Blast Freeze and the Strawberry Skittles Freeze and the Electric Blue Raspberry Freeze. But before I can make it up and get into fighting position, Mr. Big Shit throws himself at me and spears me like Bill Goldberg does on the wrestling and I go down and hit my head hard on the ground. I hear Skunky going, get up and kick his fucking bitch ass, Tommy! The fat ass sisters are laughing and pointing and I see them out the corner of my right eye and then I see them look all scared and that’s when everything went black in that eye.
For a second it gets real quiet and I think Mr. Big Shit’s realized he’s pretty much won the fight and it’s over but then I feel this real bad pain shoot through my skull like I just got shot or something. Except I didn’t get shot. What happened was Mr. Big Shit picked up a pen that I had knocked to the floor when he yanked me over the counter and he stabbed me right in my fucking eye with it. Mr. Big Shit starts going, oh shit oh shit oh shit, and Skunky and the girls are going, oh shit oh shit oh shit. So I try standing up and Mr. Big Shit and Skunky and the boys rush over and help me to my feet and that’s when I see it sticking out a little past my bloody nose – a black BIC pen with the cap stuck on at the end. I look in the glass that they use to protect the food like Quesaritos and Beefy Frito Burritos when they’re ready for customers to eat and I see my face with that fucking pen stuck into my eye socket and blood covering the whole right side. The room starts spinning and I pass out.
They took my eye and I got arrested for getting in a fight at the Taco Bell. But now whenever Mr. Big Shit starts thinking he’s something special I just remind him that it was me who got his ass fired from the Taco Bell and it was me that took his money so he’d still have to take the bus and it was me that showed mom that he wasn’t so great and he fucked up that day just like me.
D.T. Robbins has stories in Hobart, Maudlin House, X-R-A-Y, Bending Genres, and other places that are fucking rad as hell. He loves Taco Bell, and Taco Bell Quarterly. This is not a paid message. He’s founding editor of Rejection Letters.