Reaching A Limit, Then Breaking Through

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

0 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.

- who has written 512 posts on The Shade.

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