1.21.2011

american swiss

He was sent to the store with a list of provisions for New Year's. Her reubens required tempeh, rye bread, sauerkraut, thousand island dressing, Swiss cheese. He knew he'd hafta peck all over the store for that shit, not usually on the list. And it said right there, a pound of Swiss cheese from the deli.

He managed to gather everything plus his healthy supply of Vitamin Water and headed over to the deli counter. And there she was, his old friend from high school. His new friend from Facebook. Working the counter.

"Hey." She was a little tough. Blunt. Not unfriendly. Okay, more than a little tough.

"Hey there. Happy New Year!"

No response.

Now what? "I guess I'll be needing some Swiss cheese, a pound?"
 

"Yeah. What kind?"

What kind of Swiss cheese? What did she mean, what kind of Swiss cheese? He consulted the list. The list said Swiss cheese, one pound, from the deli. He was unprepared for this.

His mind began to swirl with dread.

He took a breath and dug down deep for his answer. The same answer he gave to waitresses when they asked him what kind of cheese he wanted on his burger because he never listened to the choices. This answer always worked.

"American?"

American. Yeah.

His friend's head turned back in slow motion and her face was troubled.

Gruffly, just audibly, her low voice rumbled, "Fuck, American Swiss he asked for."

Uh oh. Wrong answer.

Swimming around in his head now, grasping. What was he supposed to say?

She saved him from himself: "A lot of people like Finlandia. You'll have that."

Yes, please. Let him have that.

8 comments:

  1. You I worship.
    This is just so...
    do this more and again.

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  2. you know me so well. my favorite thing to hear or say is what?
    DON'T STOP.

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  3. So perfectly earnest and goofy-sweet.

    Love. You.

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  4. perfectly crazy is more like it.
    love. you. more!

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  5. This reminded me of the kind of scene David Sedaris would write about, especially the man's uncomfortable Swiss cheese ignorance.

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  6. david sedaris!
    that is a very nice compliment, eric alder. thank you.

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  7. The ending is perfect. People know about what you have written about so sweetly. Nice.

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  8. thank you, Carl. just a teensy snapshot.

    ReplyDelete