Past Food: a short story


Staff Writer
Every day, around lunchtime, I like to take a break and take a small stroll down the street to get some food. The walk itself isn’t much to write home about. Imagine your standard affluent southern California semi-urban development and you’ll know what I mean. That’s unimportant. What is important is where I end up.
It was Sunday.
At least, I think it was Sunday. I’m not entirely sure. Being the most important day of my life, you’d think I’d remember. But no. I’m not positive it was Sunday. It’s funny, I can remember everything else except the date. I mean, in the long run, is the date really that important? Even the Romans couldn’t get their dates straight until after the fact. And if the Romans are exempted, I ought to be too. Right, let’s just call it Sunday.
Moving past the uncertainty of the date, I can recount everything else perfectly. Picture this: An average run-of-the-mill Southern California day. The temperature just about average, a balmy eighty-something degrees. A cool sea breeze bumbling softly through the air. The type of listless carefree atmosphere that most surfer bros would find “chill”, but I can personally do without. It’s a Southern California staple, I suppose. This unmotivated lazy excuse of weather.
Don’t get me wrong, there’s nothing wrong with these kind of days. It’s just not for me, y’know. I’m more of a gloomy-overcast-thunderstorm kind of person. Those kind of days that come straight out of Wuthering Heights. It may be no coincidence that my name happens to be Katherine. Meaningful names and all that jazz, right?
Well, anyway. That’s when I first met him. It was in a small shopping center with a few choice eateries and other shops which appeal to the youth. I am a youth, therefore they appeal to me. But not now. When I’m at lunch, there’s only one thought that’s appealing to me: food from Five Guys.
I’m not the biggest fan of Five Guys. It wouldn’t make much sense for me to like Five Guys, I’m a vegetarian. The only food thing I can really get from the menu are the fries. Even then, I think those are just alright. No, the real reason I like going to Five Guys is because of a certain someone who works there. His name is Jeff and he is just-
You know the feeling that can only be expressed by saying “ughh”, but not like in a negative way. It’s like a positive, blissful “ughh”, like more of a sigh almost but it’s slightly guttural. That kind of “ughh”.
Jeff is ughh, and I can’t stop visiting Five Guys just to see him. I pretty much have his work schedule memorized. He works Tuesdays through Fridays, except for the third week of the month where he only works Monday, Thursday, and Sunday. When he’s not working, he’s replaced with the worst person ever.
Is there anyone worse than Geoff? God, how can anyone even stand Geoff? He drives his pompous little self around in a BMW draped in this awful camouflage wrap. Christ. He’s awful. How could Jeff even work in the same place as a guy like Geoff? If I were manager I’d promote Jeff to co-manager and deport Geoff back to wherever he came from. Jockville, probably.
Forget Geoff. He’s ughh. The negative version this time.
I just glare at him and hope something bad happens to him. Maybe he’ll catch on fire or burn himself on grease. Something exciting like that. Something devastating. Kinda like how Jeff devastates me when he leaves me with Geoff.
Oh, Jeff. Why must you do this? Why do you tantalize and beguile me so. I love it when I hear you say, “Just the fries again?” My heart stops and I wonder if it’s because you’re here or if my cholesterol’s acting up again.
Jeff. Please don’t leave me with Geoff, ever. I couldn’t stand it. I know you have some exciting and above-average life; and sometimes you have to take your leave. But still, think of me sometimes. Jeff and Jeffyne. Wouldn’t that be great?