″...and a double cheeseburger, add chocolate syrup.”
“You said a double cheeseburger, add - chocolate syrup.”
The cashier suppressed a gag, and so did I, but she seemed entire natural.
“Yup, that’s core-ect.”
“Alright, $15.34 is your total.”
“Sheet, I forgot my pennies! Be right back.”
She ran out the door, and I died a little on the inside as I looked at the crowd waiting behind us.
“Here’s a twenty.” I said.
“Thank you very much, sir. We also have a survey you can fill out, and we’ll give you a free coupon on your reciept. It’d really help us out a lot.”
“Ok.” I shoved it in my pocket. It sure wouldn't help me a lot.
The next customer was heading to the counter as she ran back in breathless, boisterously announcing her acquisition of four cents, before finally listening to the cashier for enough milliseconds to understand that it was already over with.
“I’ve got money, ya know.”
“Just figured I’d speed things along.”
“They can all wait a few seconds! Oh, here’s our order!”
...and she’d already opened all the wrappers before realizing that it wasn’t our’s, and she’d just groped someone’s lunch.
“Oop, sorry sir.”
The grungy hispanic landscaper behind her didn’t look sorry, but he seemed to have already lost any sort of expression. So would I, by the time this ordeal was over.
I could’ve walked out of all this right then, but I was practical, and I’d at least get the food I’d paid for.
“Soooo, got anything good there?” She said, popping her head over to look at my phone screen. I quickly switched apps from WritePad so she wouldn’t see my latest embarrasing project, just to land on an illegal anime-download site with porn ads all along the sidebars. Smooth move, me. I turned it off and shoved it in my pocket.
“Well, okay then. Oh, here’s our order!”
I wondered how many times she’d say that before it was our order. That chocolate syrup would take a long time to make, what with the kitchen crew having to throw up every time they saw it, and all.
Finally it was done, and we took a seat.
“Ooooh, this is gonna be sooooo goooood! Want some?”
“Nah, I’ll pass.”
“Aww." She clapped her hands together and squinted her eyes shut, tilting her head to the side in a little performance she went through every time we were eating together. "Itanakimas!"
She'd started doing that around me after finding out that I was "into anime", misunderstanding that I wasn't into that anime. Nobody says anything like that in Space Runaway Ideon! But of course she couldn't understand the subtle distinctions there. To her, I could just as well be watching Naruto. Yack! Just the very thought of it makes me shudder.
Still, I couldn't help but feel my heart race as I looked at her squinty, oblivious smile, and I knew that I wouldn't be leaving soon. Her innocence was something I needed in my sordid, empty existence.
"If you were a vegetable, what would you be? I think I'd be a... banana? Fruit's are all really vegetables, so I can do that. What about you?
"I'll be a horseradish." Half my psyche was screaming not to engage such pointless things, but I didn't listen. I needed this kind of senseless interaction to give purpose to my ever-sensible life.
"Hmm, there's a combo I gotta try! Next time we go shopping, we should get some and try it out! I can't wait to bring together our spirit-vegetables and see if we're a perfect match!"
"I think I'll pass..."
"But I'm sure they'll go great together, just like us!"
I laughed (or rather smiled while snorting) and looked sideways.
"Just like us." I said.
"You're the horseradish to my banana, the basil to my strawberry..." she sang.
"The chocolate sauce to your hamburger."
"Nah, that'd be too much of a compliment. Gosh this is good."