*500 Words. Originally published on Wattpad (since removed). Warning: this story sloppy eating. Please don’t read if graphic depictions of masticating gross you out. 😉

“Stool for One”

© Jane Bled


Shoveling the forbidden puff pastry of gluttonous gluten into my maw, I close my eyes in anticipation of a flavor-burst that should induce salivation. Raw, uncooked dough pastes itself onto my tongue like that white coating your dentist reminds you to scrape off after a vigorous tooth brushing. To ensure my brain isn’t tricking me, I sample another bite. The second serving: equally repugnant. Disappointment stings like a yeast infection post-urination. Undigested bread morsels amble toward my gag reflex; unlike deep-throating a baguette, I can handle it.

For the third time, the bartender asks me how I want my drink. I grimace and repeat myself twice in hopes of leaving a lasting impression. With mumpish resolve, I tear off another mouthful of bread and dip it into the accompanying maple-honey butter — as if adding another layer of flavor will disguise the wretched taste. Nope.

By the time my drink arrives, condensation weeps down sides of the martini glass like the tears I shed at 4 AM while watching a re-run of The Bachelor. I sip; it’s fifteen-minutes-out-of-the-fridge cool. FML.

Pretending I’m a lush without a sense of taste and texture, I down it in a swell of belch-suppressing slurps. Who needs a refined palate when you aim to drink until your eyes narrow and your legs uncross? Not the chick sitting next to me! She’s rocking the butch-ified hairstyle Angela’s mom wore in My So-Called Life. Yow! Wire-rimmed spectacles sit on the bridge of her nose like an inebriated pelican. I want to tell her there’s a solitary hair reminiscent of the ones you find in your nether regions dangling from her chin, but it won’t matter (I may even get backhanded for daring to point out an honest-to-goodness anomaly in her otherwise bald face).

“Beamer sucks cock,” she mumbles in my general direction.

Laconic: my ideal barroom conversationalist. I do my best imitation of a tough-guy nod.

“Damn straight.”

My sandwich arrives. It looks like the line cook dropped it on the floor, stepped on it, and then returned it to the plate. In between staggering bites of what must have been Aunt Mildred’s cremated remains given the form of a portabella burger, I discover Angela’s mom’s lookalike digs graves for a living.

“You don’t say.” I shovel more dead-person-masquerading-as-vegetarian-cuisine into my greedy maw. Balsamic dressing dribbles down the side of my mouth, so I sop it up with a shaky finger; slurping and slurring my way through a pointless conversation with a stranger I’ll never see again.

Ignoring the backwards-cap-wearing dude sitting on the corner stool, shooting surreptitious “I want to rape you” vibes my way, takes less effort than bringing the lipstick-stained martini glass to my mush-mouth without spilling a drop.

“How’s the burger?” Angela’s mom’s doppelganger asks.

I look down at the double-vision on my plate. “That cow was D.O.A.”

She raises a bushy eyebrow. “But it’s a fungus.”

There’s probably mushroom stuck in my teeth. I grin anyway.

“Potato, pot-ah-to.”

She buys my next drink.



Bread © Vladimir Nenov | File ID: 19976406 | Dreamstime Stock Photos

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Join the conversation! 2 Comments

  1. Excellent – wish it had been longer! Feels like the opening to a meatier story (no pun intended!).

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