Illustration by Christina Zhang

Rehearse the line
A million times
Over and over and over again.
Have to say it right
Just relax, messing up is not a crime.

“Hi, sir,
Could I get a cheeseburger?”
That’s it, just a simple phrase
Couldn’t be much easier.
This time make sure no mess-ups occur.

“Hello, how are you today?”
He threw a curveball, make a smooth play.
You idiot, you moron, all you had to say was “I’m ok.”
Shrug it off, so he doesn’t think you’re insane.

“I mean, uh, me good, you too?”
Wow, that was really smooth.
Well, obviously this interaction has failed.
This kind of thing is not what normal people do.
This is why no one thinks you’re cool.

“Um…. could I get-”
Forehead’s starting to sweat
A cheeseburger, that’s all you want.
Just don’t say something you’ll regret.
Hurry up, others haven’t ordered yet.

“Just uh, a cheeseburger, please.”
You did it, now you can finally breathe.
So much built up anxiety.
You’d think you could say a sentence with ease,
But it’s so difficult with everyone staring at me.

Honestly, why does this feel so hard?
It’s like I’m playing chess in this game of cards.
My own brain’s the one tearing me apart
Can everyone hear my beating heart?

I just wanted a cheeseburger.