Tag archive for "Boston Local Literature"

Reaching A Limit, Then Breaking Through

Reaching a limit, then breaking through (The Third Movement)

No Comments 18 October 2011

In what seemed like hours his hands finished sliding down his face, then his arms flopped to the sides as he stared at them. I’ve never seen a look like that before. Dejection, anger, misery, rage all supported with a lingering sense of motivation.

“I don’t know” he hissed. “This is a deli. You come here, tell me what you want, and I cut. End of story. How do I know what is sausage spicy”. As he said sausage he fingers went up indicating quotation marks.

“I’ve got customers waiting, and you’re holding up the line”. As he mentioned the customers he looked at me and nodded. I nodded back acknowledging I hated this bitch and her antics as well.

We had bonded.

Sally Shithead and her bonehead boyfriend were mortified. Mouths hanging open, they were scared stiff. Not to mention that the girl had been gnawing away on something that was now sticking out of the side of her mouth. It took a few seconds but they came to.

“Fine, forget it. “ she said in a huffy way as she shuffled away. In the distance I could hear them talking about how rude he was and how offended they were. There’s a ridiculous notion…being offended by someone telling you what is actually happening. Being offended when the reality you have created is actually brought to your attention.

Here I was face to face, eye to eye with the man that had haunted me for months, completely in awe of his moxie. He looked at me for a second.

“These people. They come here and have all these questions. How the hell am I supposed to know? You tell me what you want and I cut. I’ve got customers waiting that know what they want. Do you want to spend an hour at the deli counter waiting for someone to make up their mind?”

I shook my head.

He looked off in the distance as the couple made their way past the frozen meat section then looked back at me. In that look we shared a sense of communal suffering that comes with the march of life. We connected. I knew that suffering and felt it often. My hatred melted away. I realized that he and I were the same. He’d just been worn down a little more by life’s erosion. Who’s to say I won’t either?

I ordered my turkey breast and when he heaved it at me I didn’t even want to order a half pound of American cheese even though he lingered.

Reaching A Limit, Then Breaking Through

Reaching a limit, Then breaking through (The Second Movement)

No Comments 14 October 2011

When he finally heard your order he’d take his sweet ass time getting it. And he never remembered how much you wanted.

“How much d’ya say?”
“A pound”
“What!” cupping his hand.
“A pound”.
He grunted.

I wouldn’t say he was deliberate because he definitely did a half-assed job. But it seemed like every movement, every breath, contributed to his collective, ever-growing misery. When he was done with the order he’d walk up to the counter and throw the package up there, often times forcing you to catch it as it slid over the front. In an uncharacteristic move, after he launched your order, he’d quickly dart to the back of the deli before you could order anything else. My cheese intake has slowly waned based solely on the fact that I couldn’t get the order in. So I would just eat bread and turkey for lunch. Every day. Every time I took a bite out of my cheese-less sandwich there he was, in all his squatness, lurking in my mind. The miserable prick.

I hated him. I hated how I had to think about him every day. Even if I was having a good day, I’d get to lunch time take a bite of my sandwich and exhale sadness as I chewed. The stringy tendrils of lunch meat holding my life together unraveled with every cheeseless bite, even if my digestion could have used the lack of dairy.

I tried going to other grocery stores in the area but its not the same. I had a routine. I had a system. Toilet paper, paper towels, chicken breasts, bread, rice, fruits then the deli counter. With a new market there’s a new order. Even a new odor. It’s like having a great pair of pants that fit in all the right ways. Then, one day, you get a new pair of pants and, yes, all the parts are there – pockets, zippers – but there’s a pervasive sense of dissonance. So I went back. Besides, I wasn’t going to let this douche disrupt my routine.

Screw him! I’d go toe to toe with him just to see who folds first. Then it happened.

Yesterday I was on my weekly trip to the market. I’d gathered my things and made the final march to the deli counter. I was second in line. Ahead of me was a girl who possessed that amazing ability to piss off her entire surroundings simply by her presence. I was pissed off she and I had to breathe the same air. You know the type. Self-perceived entitlement, severely overweight yet somehow finds a way to justify spandex pants and a tight tank top. She talked  obnoxiously loud to her moronic boyfriend that was just happy to be there. I heard all about their weekend plans. They were having a get together with so and so, and fuckface from the cape was coming up for the party. Real annoying shit. The great part was they were picking up some lunchmeat for the shin-dig and she wanted to sample before she bought.

So there she was asking for a taste of this, or just a thin slice of that. I watched him behind the counter. Blood boiling and rage seeping out of his pours like stale beer smell after a decent bender. He was a powder keg ready to blow and there Sally Shithead was asking the difference between capicola and salami. This was going to be good. The final straw came after this line:

“ I want something spicy. But not like spicy spicy. Something like sausage spicy. Do you have anything like that?”

With his elbows up on the counter he let his head drop and released an exhale of category 5 hurricane proportions. He took a step back and put both his palms over his face. As they slid down his face, excess pieces of cut lunchmeat caught in his stubble. He let out a groan like I’ve never heard before. The gross couple took a step back from the counter. I was watching intently.

The Written Word, Analyzing Albert

Analyzing Albert III

No Comments 08 October 2011

III

I used to stand at the baggage claim for hours. Waiting. Watching. Trying to pick my next escape. If I liked someone, or they seemed remotely interesting I would try to match their luggage to the person then make my move. I don’t do that anymore. I didn’t like the certain so called ‘destiny’ aspect of it. I wanted the whole process to be completely organic. If I wanted to play God I would have just stayed home and masturbated all day.

Now I walk in, make my way to the front of the herd and pick the first bag I see. The entire ride home I listen to the local oldies station and think about old TV shows that I used to watch. I think about all the characters that I used to want to be. I think about how I used to make decisions in my life based on how those characters might act in a certain situation. Then I get depressed and realize its no wonder why I’m at where I am. That’s what they call rock bottom. Usually around that time I want to veer

the car into on-coming traffic and do myself, and society in general, a favor. Eventually I get home and the excitement begins.

I race into the parking spot barely letting the car come to a stop before throwing it into park. I grab the suitcase from the backseat make my way up the walk rushing to the bedroom.

There’s a rush of emotions when I open the suitcase for the very first time. Its very similar to the feeling kids get when they open presents at Christmas except moreso. At least those kids have youth to look forward to. An entire life spreads out before me. I rifle through everything neatly putting this persons life into all the cookie-cutter categories I’ve already defined in my mind. Where they work, who they know, how they take their eggs, if they’re married, how old they are, if they sleep on they’re left side or right, left-handed or right. Right handed people always pack their shirts on the right and the right side of their shoelaces is always a bit longer than the left.

I try to understand every person. But not just understand them, I want to understand those deep, dark thoughts hidden in the bowels of their mind. The sick stuff. The types of feelings that you only think about for a split second every once and awhile then neatly tuck them away again. And even if you wanted to communicate it to somebody you’d never be able to find the right words to make yourself not look like a creep. But the thing is I get these emotions and that’s where the bond begins. I understand they exist in all of us. As I walk down the street everyday I feel this deep, almost primal, connection to everyone I see. I have no idea what they’re feeling, just that their feeling it. I feel it too, and that’s why I do what I do.


© 2021 The Shade. Powered by WordPress.