by Marcus Jonathan Chapman
Swiss on rye with pickles. That’s that I ordered. What the deli worker gave me 25 minutes later was ham with mustard, mayo and a single piece of lettuce.
Fuck it. I was starving, but I looked at the price and saw it was the same amount, so again, fuck it.
Then I checked out the dollar store to see if they had any Maruchan soup for 29 cents a package. I could live for month on those for about 20 dollars.
On to the rite-aid for some ice cream, a scoop with a cone for a dollar a some-odd cents. A pretty good day. I felt like I had lived like a king.
On my bike ride home, I passed a house with a row of roses. I stopped and leaned over to stick my nose in the red petals. You know that old saying, I don’t remember how it goes but it meant something like taking time to appreciate life or the small things. Something like that.
Starting to pedal the bike again, my legs felt heavy. Probably due to the ham and the rocky road digesting in my body. Most likely not the preferred diet of Lance Armstrong, but then again, I also wasn’t on steroids. These thighs were all natural.
I got home and locked up the bike. Walked into my dark apartment, making my way by memory to the lamp in the corner of my room. I pulled the chain and a plastic stocking-ed leg lit up. Above the leg, a red lamp shade. You know, from that one Christmas movie with the kid that gets his tongue stuck to a frozen pole on a dare. It was a movie about Christmas, I can remember the title.
I turned on some Seinfeld and filled up a cup with ice. Then poured myself a glass of vermouth. I drank in bed until I passed out. The last thing I remembered thinking was, don’t forget to smell the roses. Well, that day, I had.