A short story revolving around a rapper named Jonathan who wrote a song about linguine.
Thunder rumbles in the distance.
A clock ticks away monotonously.
Jonathan lays on a soft mattress, looking at the dusty ceiling fan above his head. His eyes bloodshot and blackened, his colourful hair, dry and brittle.
Jonathan sits up and looks around the bedroom.
A small room, reciting a level of cleanliness unlike his home. A widescreen television situated in front of the bed, a tabletop desk with a sign, 'No Smoking'. The walls were a dulled yellow and had a subtle spade pattern to its wallpaper. The air was stuffy but clean, like any hotel room. Beside him, a sleeping beauty, who he had hooked up with from the club the other night.
Jonathan moves his legs out of bed and sits on the bed. He feels something soft beneath his feet and looks to it.
A gray shirt. He then notices two sets of clothes strewn on the floor, indicating a wild and fun night.
Jonathan stands up slowly and feels his mind wobble from the hangover. He dizzily makes his way to the bathroom. As he closes in on his destination, he picks up the pace and prepares himself for the upcoming battle. Jonathan dives straight to the toilet bowl and starts puking out his dinner.
As he was finished, he mutters to himself incoherently and wipes his mouth. He flushes down the vomit and walks to the sink. Jonathan flicks the tap open.
Cold water gushes out of the tap. Jonathan looks up to the mirror and inspects his features. A disheveled man. His eyes were droopy, his beard unshaven, a man of 25 wearing the mask of a hardened veteran who had just lost his job. The tattoos imprinted onto his body have long been past its prime stage. The large tattoo in the middle of his chest was vivid reminder to his past mistakes.
Jonathan splashes the cold water onto his face. He turns the tap off and his eyes stray to a medication bottle on the sink's counter. He picks up the bottle and checks the label. Citalopram.
Jonathan pops the cap on the bottle and shakes it. Two pills roll out to his hand. He swallows them whole and exits the bathroom.
Jonathan reaches for his clothes on the floor and begins to dress himself, as he does, he could hear the distinct sound of noisy shuffling at his back. He turns his head and sees the woman on the midst of waking up.
"There's some money on the table, use it to get home. I'll be going off now."
Jonathan finishes buttoning up his shirt and walks off to the door.
"Wait!" A tired yet worried voice spoke.
"Will we see each other again?"
Jonathan pauses and ponders the thought. He turns his head and gives a sad smile. The woman acknowledges the smile and looks away sadly. Jonathan opens the door and closes it silently.
The sun shines brightly on a Friday morning. Jonathan parks at a familiar Italian restaurant. He walks up to the entrance and peers into the restaurant. The restaurant glows a scarlet red with makeshift chandeliers hanging from the ceiling. Picture frame of Italian chefs, pasta, pizza and customers of the restaurant are hung on the reddish walls. The restaurant is devoid of life, except a few customers eating their famous linguine and the employees using their phones to pass the time. Jonathan enters the restaurant, alerting the nearby waiters. The waiters scramble to their feet and greets him.
"Welcome sir, how many are with you today?"
Jonathan looks to the waiter and smiles pleasantly.
The waiter nods.
"Right this way, sir."
The waiter shows Jonathan to his seat and brings him a menu.
Jonathan thanks the waiter and opens the menu. The menu has a pristine black cover with a vintage looking sheet of paper as its menu. On it, an assortment of Italian food images could be seen on the paper. Jonathan flips the pages of the menu and finds the food item that he wants. Jonathan calls for A waiter.
A waiter scurries to his table.
"One Linguine with clams and shrimp please."
The waiter jots down the order and thanks Jonathan. After which, he takes away the menu and walks off.
Jonathan looks around the restaurant, admiring its vintage dor. Just then, a voice from the kitchen echoed through the restaurant.
Jonathan turns to the voice and finds a greasy, chubby, yet somehow posh, old man raising his hands in the air.
"My boy! How have you been doing?"
Jonathan smiles and greets the old man in kind.
"Uncle Fabian! Good to see you!"
The two of them reach in for a hug.
After the hug, Fabian places his hands on Jonathan's shoulders and gives a bubbly smile.
"You look well, my boy! How has the industry been treating you?"
Jonathan answers with a sheepish smile.
"Its been great, Uncle! Been hitting those numbers ever since my debut!"
Fabian laughs heartily.
"That's good to hear! I'm sure your father would be proud of you!"
Jonathan forces a short laugh.
Fabian sits at Jonathan's table and Jonathan follows suit.
"Uncle, how is business doing?"
Fabian stares at Jonathan, expecting him to ask that question, and sighs.
"Business has been slow, not many customers come around these parts to taste my pasta."
"I'm sure they'll catch on to the restaurant, your linguine has always been delicious!"
Fabian hangs his head.
"This old restaurant is well past its prime. I am not sure how long we can keep up with our competition..."
In a morbid silence, Jonathan looks down at Fabian, concerned about his uncle.
Suddenly, Fabian jolts his head up and smiles.
"Enough about my business, I won't disturb you any longer, please, enjoy your meal."
As he says that, a plate of linguine appears before them. Fabian stands from his seat and makes his way to the kitchen.
Jonathan stares at the plate and smiles sadly.
Jonathan picks up neatly arranged utensils from his table and savors the taste of Fabian's delicious pasta.
As he was done, he calls upon a waiter to get him his bill as he ponders a thought that had crossed his mind.
The linguine was delicious. The quality of pasta, its smooth yet starchy texture, a brilliant blend of the oils and spices, and lastly the freshness of the seafood that came with it. It was a delectable dish, second to none he had ever tasted in his life. It boggled his mind as to why many other restaurants were outcompeting this humble little place that was his uncle's livelihood. There had to be a way for him to give back those years of fatherhood his uncle had provided him with.
So, there he was. At the center of the restaurant, Jonathan rose up, paid his dues, and left the restaurant. His eyes focused on one objective from the day forth.
Jonathan reaches for his car and mutters a single line.
"Never forget from whence you came, no matter where you're at."
Jonathan rode off into the horizon, towards the direction of a studio he had bought.
Jonathan enters the studio, determined and driven. The studio was empty, a perfect environment for the artist. He grabs a pen and paper from a shelf and begins jotting down a series of phrases. For hours on end, Jonathan will begin voicing out the lyric phrase by phrase, attempting to create a song of sorts. However, Jonathan knew only one way to convey his words into any sort of meaning, and that is to rap out the words in a violent and obnoxious manner. Nevertheless, the man had to try; to create a song that will help his uncle's business.
As dusk begins to settle on Jonathan's hometown, Jonathan had managed to write the first draft of the lyrics. Fatigued and famished, he calls it a night, and closes the studio doors. He leaves the piece of paper on a desk held by a paperweight.
The lyrics were not as amazing as anyone would think. It was your average violent and obnoxious hip hop lyric that would turn anyone's brain to mush. However, in it held Jonathan's own frustrations, sadness, happiness, failures and regrets in the only way he knew how to convey those sentiments. In it were words that described Jonathan as a person, yet somehow would be acclaimed to be just another modern hip hop song.
It was not just a meaningless song to him, it was his life story, and that story began with the title, "Linguine".