An assignment to kill a couple who were staying in a cheap motel: this was given to me days before my arrival in a quaint town dotted with wineries and used book shops.
I went to the waffle shop to pick up one of their famous waffle sandwiches that I had heard so many praises about. As I entered the diner, a plywood sign jingled above my head. On it, someone had painted a dancing waffle who was wearing glasses and wielding a cooking knife. Two slices of buttered and toasted sourdough bread, mayo, shredded iceberg lettuce, syrup, tomato, and a big, round waffle in between: that was the waffle sandwich. The cashier wrapped it in wax paper and I took it to go. Although I wanted to stay in the vinyl-clad diner to see the local flavor of this place, that waffle man sign was really creeping me out.
I could not tell if I was a man or a woman. I was feeling very androgynous and a bit nervous about the whole thing. Unable to find a solution to this quandary, I just ate my waffle sandwich - after removing the tomato - and waited for the bomb to blow.
It blew. I saw the dying man laying by the front door of his hotel room. The pain that lingered on his face and in his muffled moans had been recorded and looped in my mind. At that moment, I remembered how someone had said that you are never the same after you have killed someone. Your existence is nullified in return for the deed, and your mind can never stop the looping of the cries. I stood motionless as the loops filtered through me in small undulations, and I knew that what that wise man had told me was true. Now, I was obliged to look at my life as weight sinking slowly to the bottom.
After I ran in to make sure his girlfriend was dead, I noticed that books filled with pictures of me were scattered around the char-broiled room, some even hung on the ash-laden walls. My face was basically imprinted on the entire crime scene and I had no time to grab the photos as the fire trucks were already screeching toward the scene.
I let my photograph linger above the shattered window. I left them to burn and to burn my presence into what I had done.
Wrapping my head in a scarf, I walked away, across the street, to a new city.