"TGIF" by Josh Olsen

Josh Olsen


I sat in my car eating egg salad while my colleagues and coworkers returned from lunch, drunk with laughter and bellies full of sushi or tacos or pizza.

I convinced myself that I had no interest in their reverie, but I wasn’t invited in the first place.


I sat in my car eating chicken salad while students milled about in the parking lot, discussing their classes and homework.

They’re undoubtedly smarter than me, future engineers and innovators, but when I overhear them swearing and complaining about professors, and see them vaping cotton candy e-juice and riding longboards, I’m reminded they’re the same age as my daughter, and hence I’m old enough to be their dad.


I sat in my car eating a handful of pistachios while two maintenance employees smoked cigarettes behind the dumpster.


I sat in my car eating cold meatballs while I watched a family who live across the street.

The woman arranged a load of wet laundry upon her porch and simultaneously wrangled a crew of children as the man shared a joint with the driver of a white minivan idling in their gravel driveway.

It was scorching hot, and everyone across the street was in a state of joyous undress, regardless of their body mass index or questionable choice of tattoos, and in that moment, I wanted nothing more than to strip off my sweat-dampened shirt and ask for a hit off that joint.


I sat in my car eating braunschweiger and onions, crying as I listened to Shania Twain’s “Still the One,” thinking to myself, Thank God It’s Friday.

Josh Olsen is a librarian in Flint, Michigan, and the co-creator of Gimmick Press. You can follow him on Twitter @_WorkingStiff.

Art for this piece was provided by Jack F. Cipher.

Josh’s piece is a selection from issue one of Beer Money, which is available now. All profits are divided evenly among the editors and contributors.