I threw a tantrum yesterday. I knew it was coming, had known it for quite some time in fact. It had been a while since I’d had one, I was about due I noticed. About a week ago when I was picking up my morning bagel at Bageltown it came to me like a word from above. A switch flipped and the currents changed inside of me, warming my nerves and preparing them once more for the inevitable. I looked down at my cinnamon raison bagel with lox cream cheese and asked it, will today be the day, bagel? The bagel said no, so I breathed a sigh of relief before biting into its poor little body.
The next day I inquired of a toasted buttered everything, it too shook its head in reassuring negatives. The next no came from a croissant, and I ate it quickly thereafter because I started to hate it. The next day’s bagel must have sensed my animosity because it remained poised and still in the face of my interrogation, still managing to give off a negative vibe. It wasn’t until yesterday that a saucy looking plain bagel, naked as the day it was born, showed no signs of response and immediately I knew, today is the day. It’s funny I should know without confirmation from my breakfast, but miracles happen every day, you know. I waited for three or four minutes before dressing and devouring my fortune-telling friend, hoping the world would explode in the meantime or I would go into septic shock or have a stroke or a heart attack or something evasive like that.
When the clock struck three minutes I gave in and ate it, hole in the middle and all. After that, I was peaceful. The world brightened, sharpened, touched me all over. My skin tingled. I felt the ghosts of bagels past riding on my shoulders, spectators in the sport they knew I would play in a short time. I smiled to the bagel guy standing behind the counter as I pushed open the door, bells tinkling their goodbyes as the sun shone into my eyes. I squinted. The world focused, I breathed a little.
I turned on my heel, shoved my right hand in my pocket and walked down the far left edge of the sidewalk, dodging oncoming traffic as my left hand slid over storefront windows. I watched my shoelaces to ensure they stayed tied, checking my back left pocket from time to time to confirm the presence of my wallet. The presence of my wallet is always comforting in times such as these.
Finally, after what felt like forty days wandering in the desert of the sidewalks of my city, the sliding doors of the supermarket opened at the touch of my absent-minded left fingers. I stopped. I squinted. I pirouetted and heaved a shallow sigh. The doors slid closed. I tapped my right foot three inches in front of me. The doors slid open. This time I didn’t let them close on me, and I thanked them as I passed.
I followed the familiar lines between the tiled floors with my feet and my eyes, marching my way, head down, to aisle nine. No one stopped me, and if they tried I didn’t notice. I forgot my basket, I murmured as I entered the pasta aisle. I checked my watch, realizing there was no time for my basket anyway. Slowly, almost dreamily, I lifted my eyes to the sight of blue and yellow boxes, filled with who knows how many starchy mini-statues. I stepped closer to the farfalle, my nose grazing the plastic that revealed the bows to my wondering eyes.
And then I was on the floor once more, covered in yellow bows, yellow sticks, yellow tubes, even some red ones, cardboard under my feet, my head, my elbows.
“Clean up on aisle nine!” a voice from heaven called. I started to giggle. I checked for my wallet, still there. My eyes closed as I listened for the old familiar pattering of rubber-clad feet coming for me.
This has been a story brought to you by one of Wesley’s recent free-writing sessions. Just a little peek into what goes on in her mind when she lets it go.