“A MATTER OF TASTE” by MATT LEE

Through the bulletproof glass, I gave the man my order: two-piece fried chicken with a biscuit, the cheapest item on the menu.

I pushed a few wrinkled dollars into the tiny slit at the bottom of the window and the cashier took it without saying a word.  He rang the order into a beaten register then disappeared to the back.

Stepping aside, I leaned against the wall, which was sticky with grease.  I scanned the adjacent wall, studying the various framed photographs and certificates, old write-ups from long defunct magazines, advertisements promoting the latest and greatest chicken-based consumables.  I had not eaten all day.

One photo in particular caught my attention:  A famous rapper wearing the same emblazoned uniform as the man who had just taken my order.

It seemed the famous rapper had grown up in the surrounding projects, grim and ancient hi-rise block apartments, row after row of cheap brown buildings where the dealers sheltered from the hawkish gaze of the mobile police watchtowers that were posted on every street corner. Continue reading