The Boy with the Cinnamon Raisin Swirl

Phoenix Thorwall12/23/2021December 2021


#From the field

I make my presence known, even though it’s already been detected by the deli staff. I was on the line first.

I step closer to that thing, you know the thing in the deli, it’s not like a counter, there’s glass and it protects the food. Protects it from me. AND THEN YOU CUT ME FROM THE OTHER SIDE. You don’t even step up to the goddamn glass case. You just shout your order over me. All you ask for is a dry cinnamon raisin bagel. Who even eats that? What are you doing with that bread that can’t be done by the deli staff?

But it’s fine, I’m no Karen. It’s just one bagel. You’re an imbecile to believe you can ruin my mood with your little line-cutting antics. I bet your mommy told you it was cute when you skipped people in line. Your mommy lied. “Um, actually? Could I get two?”

Um, actually, you know what? Screw you. There is a pause. I’m about to order AGAIN. You were waiting to ask for that extra-crusty bagel. And then it dawns on me. You’re getting a rise out of this! I bet you’re the kind of guy to repeat a joke louder and get all the laughs. 

I look at your outfit, your scraggly clothing and unkept figure. I look at myself in the reflection of the glass, I’m definitely more attractive than you. You may have won the battle but I’ve won the war. I have many friends that I can complain to you about. I have friends that will Insta-stalk you and ruin your life in an instant. You have no one but your scraggly clothing and crusty bagel. But if I have it all then why do I care? You’ve left a cinnamon raisin swirl imprinted in my mind's eye. You are a national problem, a disruption in the divine order of the universe we live in. But I can change you. I can fix you. Every week I’ll stop by that deli, waiting. What’s your routine? How do you tick? Maybe you’ll never show again. Will you get sick of dry cinnamon raisin bagels? Will I spend too much money on paninis at a deli to keep up a facade? Doesn’t matter, they’re good paninis.

At least I won’t have people cutting me on deli lines anymore. I’ll miss what we had though, that brief passionate moment, fanning the flames for a sophomore to write an article for Brooklyn Tech’s first worst and only satirical newspaper.

Do you think of me? Who am I kidding, 2 bagels means you’re already seeing someone.

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