Friday, March 29, 2013

Story # 39: "Brand-Name Popcorn"

I've been sitting on this intriguing potential title for awhile, trying to figure out what kind of story might come from it, and I finally came up with something that I liked. Hope you'll enjoy reading it at least half as much as I did writing it.  ~  JH


This is what you've reduced me to. Scavenging the couch for spare change, clipping coupons, and shopping at Sav-A-Bunch.

What other choice do I have? When I lost my job and you called me a loser who didn't deserve to have a job much less you and kicked me to the curb like yesterday's milk carton I had nowhere else to turn.

I can barely afford this rat-infested hole of an apartment – I had to borrow from my last-and-soon-to-be-ex-friend to pay the deposit – and even if I could afford better, I'd probably still live here, because you were right all along. I am dirt.

I don't make grocery lists anymore, which saves some time but makes me miss the way it was. There's no point in making a list when the only things I can afford are the deep discounts (closeouts are a Godsend), even if the components don't always gel so well. Last night, I had frozen peas (mostly thawed) with a side of pork rinds and half a can of Ocean Feast cat food. Really. I know I'm dirt, but dirt gets better scraps than these.

I wish I could say I miss you as much as I do real food, but that would be a lie. Sometimes I think about your laugh and I laugh to myself; then I think about bacon and start to cry. Every now and then I think about your smile and it makes me sad; then I think about Orville Redenbacher and it makes me even sadder. I'm lucky to get Pop-Time popcorn these days, and only then if I have a coupon.

Congratulations! You won the heart of a loser, stuck with me through the good times, and when I was proven to be less than stellar in the Everything Department, you dropped me like a hot plate of fajitas. I miss fajitas, too.

They say you are what you eat, and I guess that's true. For breakfast this morning, I had a dirt sandwich – the dirt was free, the bread was on closeout.

I hope you're happy, because I'm not. I wonder now if I ever was. So here's to a long and happy life for you and whomever you choose to spend it with, and all the popcorn you can eat. Brand-name, of course.

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