Obviously, the sandwich could hardly be blamed for the fact that the pickle that adorned it was homemade, and as such, Glorious.
But still, the simple fact of the matter was that it was. Homemade that is. Crisp, and hard, and green. And deliciously so.
And this made the remainder of the sandwich – all of the contents sans one of course – very jealous indeed.
The pickle for its part simply sat there, in full knowledge of how good it was. Relishing if you will in the fact that of the entirety of “meh” contained in the remainder of the bite, it alone was the splash of “YES!” that would have the eater’s taste buds leaping up eagerly to attention.
Against the processed meats, preformed bread, packaged lettuce and pumped up and out mayo, the pickle alone was the only thing that was truly real; the only portion of the meal that was original, singular, and created with love.
And even had the pickle tasted like shit (and it indeed did most definitely NOT), that alone would have made the sandwich as a whole well worth the gastronomical adventure.
A bit convoluted in tale, the pickle stood out. Not because it fit in, but rather because it refused to. It refused to be anything other than what it was. It refused to – as pickles are oft to do – sacrifice its own unique flavor in order to be “dumbed down” by the remainder of the more bland-taste citizens that shared it’s space and existence. And the entire sandwich, processed meats, preformed bread, packaged lettuce and pumped up mayo be damned, hated it it for that very reason while at the same time being enhanced by its mere presence.
So, is all this set up of a cautionary tale simply a combination resulting from having an actual homemade pickle provided by a dear friend, plunked daringly upon an otherwise “pedestrian” handheld bite, and an overactive imagination in halftime overdrive? Or is it something more?
He sits there, drink in one hand, small unseen food product in the other.
I know it’s food, because he holds it gingerly, like it means something more than the size of it would normally let on. He sits in his chair, chewing. Possibly peanuts. Not to be confused with a food-chewing analytical expert, but to me his mouth definitely did seem to swish in the sort of fashion that you’d think it would, had he been chewing on nuts.
Anyway. He sits, eyes casually glued to what turns out to be a television screen. And he does so while she leaves, seemingly unnoticed, from the room. Walking briskly away in her white blouse and black slacks. A look very similar to what you’d expect Bebe Neuwirth to wear on the set of “Frasier,” though this specimen is NO Bebe Neuwirth. No bother, neither am I. Neither are any of us, really.
But alas, I digress.
So he sits and chews, as she sashay’s from the room. And though the poetician in me wants to say that the two were in perfect sync and beat with each other, for whatever reason they were not. And that, my friends, is all the story that there is to tell. Are they happy? Are they sad? Are they in love with each other? In love with someone(s) else? I’ve no idea. I only spy them through their front bay window and make a mental note as I pass along.
Another bay looms into view as I stroll along. It’s a very Polish town, Buffalo, and many of the post-war “cookie cutters” reside here, all storeys single, all front windows bay. Maybe for ambiance, maybe for budget. Maybe just for passersby to have a tale to tell. But this second window provides none. The lights are all lit, but oddly. That weird sort of odd, where the owner was trying to leave just enough on to connect one room to the other, in an effort to traverse them when sauced. But not so many on as to blow their National Grid bill while they were out, getting sufficiently loaded for the experience.
The third looks similar, but buried deep within the kitchen – oh yes, in these houses, every room is viewable from the bay – is a woman hurriedly speaking on the phone. I don’t know if it’s a sign of the times, but I do notice that something is wrong with the phone. Wrong, but right. And then I see it – she’s wrapping her finger round the phone’s cord.
Have I stumbled upon the Smithsonian? No, just a person who knows better than to believe every advertiser who says that your way is dead and the next way is king. She’s wringing the cord like she’s nervous as she speaks anxious-eyed into the phone. Is she? I’ll never know, as I’ve already passed her by.
The final window I look into shows no communication, no companionship whatsoever. I suppose you could say, the sort of window I fear of one day owning myself. In it, is just one elderly woman, sitting alone in a televisonless, phoneless, and decidedly Bebe Neuwirthless room. Spilling over her comfy chair almost as if she and it are slowly morphing into one. I would normally compare her to a sloth, but honestly, I can’t think of a single sloth that has ever looked so forlorn. So alone. She sits, looking into her lap at something. Looking into her lap at nothing. If not rejoicing over avoiding It so long, hoping that Death would hurry up and come already. And in either case, dreading what she’ll offer It to drink when It finally arrives. The bleak scene deadens me as well.
So I continue on.
I continue on, but decide that my window-gazing is done for the night. Their stories will be forever unknown to me anyway, and I’m a mere shadow to them. A whitened-shave legged aging ghost walking in an effort to stay attractive to no one in particular at the moment. A wanderer who knows the path all to well from taking it almost every single night, though finding something new on each and every pass. A nobody who is only noticed – if at all – by the cloud-covered moon hovering brightly above. A moon that most likely sees – should he be paying attention – only a spindly armed pot-bellied dreamer peeking into worlds that he really shouldn’t be visiting in the first.
I continue on and am able to avoid what – had I still been window-gazing, would have surely stepped upon – a colony of ants. I spy them as they all toil furiously, together and in earnest. In one big and shameless heap of achievement. And I wonder, are they like that because they are not as smart as us, or are they like that because a long time ago, they in their wisdom decided to refuse to build windows?
Windows that would have kept the outside world outside, windows that would have kept them trapped?
Windows that would have allowed each to look into – ever-so slightly – each other’s souls?
I read your “As Long As I’m Singing.” It really moved me (as all your writings do.) You truly have a God-given gift to share your thoughts in a mind-provoking way!
I hope you continue to write and share with the world. It would be nice if you could get your works published. Please don’t pooh-pooh the idea. Give it lots of thought.
Love & very proud,
I’ve been delinquent with this blog as of late. And I apologize. I’ve been delinquent even with responding to comments – a much larger sin than the first, if you ask me – and I am sorry for that as well.
My life – after a long dry spell of being emotionally bullied, financially destitute, and legalistically put-upon, is at long last coming ’round that damned dark corner and back into the Light. I need to start sharing that, and I need to do so here.
Sans pooh-poohing, of course.
Thanks for your patience. I love you all more than you maybe know,
A smattering of a truncated thought. A portion of a one-way conversation, held in 100 words or less. The last remnant of a topic that no longer needs be discussed, here or elsewhere. Inspired by a reality more surreal than fiction, my latest prompt mash-up – this one being between 100 Word Song and Light and Shade Challenge.
As always, I hope you enjoy…
“I’ll always love you.”
A white lie, one eventually bloomed to black.
“Whatever. You never listened to me.”
Listened? My very life was a response to your words.
“I wanted you to be free.”
Than why’d you cage me?
“Shut. Your. Mouth! Without me, you’d have crashed.”
With you, I did.
“I’m doing this for you.”
More white lies, a wedding cake’s full.
“I know you’re ‘unhappy…’”
This isn’t going to make me so.
“I know you’re gay!”
It wasn’t me who left our marriage-bed for another man.
“Whatever. I’ll always love you.”
A white lie. One no longer worth holding true.
Light And Shade Prompt:
She tells enough white lies to ice a wedding cake – Margot Asquith