“Safeway Experience” by Jesse Prado

Safeway was going to be making cuts to their deli menu.

The guy working behind the counter said this to one of his co-workers after he had just finished telling Melissa that they had run out of their special sauce. Melissa didn’t think much of the special sauce or about how much her mother really needed the special sauce. In reality she had no idea how her mother would actually feel about the absence of the special sauce.

For all Melissa knew, that special sauce could’ve been the number one reason as to why her mother had been sending her down to Safeway’s deli everyday for the last week. Felt like she done right by canceling the tomatoes when another clerk approached the counter to help another customer waiting behind her.

The man waiting in line behind her had a look about him which put her at ease because it suggested a position of neutrality that could go either way.

The look she gave him was meant to be inviting, and if he would’ve taken her up on the invitation, he could’ve done anything he wanted to her because she was willing to pay for his sandwich right now. However these circumstances were nowhere near that point of desperation to keep that first look fixed upon him, so she averted her gaze, just before he noticed. Returning her gaze to the sandwich, fresh out of the microwave, the clerk gave her a weird look after she decided to skip the avocado.

Just outside of the exit, next door to the entrance of this Safeway, a charming panhandler holding a clipboard stopped her to talk for five minutes about some ballot initiative he needed so many initials for. Something about the internet, and how much information google actually had on all of its’ users, when she saw the man waiting in line behind her coming out of the same exit. Watching him, hurry like that to his car, made her want to follow him.

Thought about the diversion her conversation with this panhandler created for the both of them and damned it for being that way. With the both of them trapped within the confines of this conversation, the man waiting in line behind her wouldn’t have to talk to either one of them. No matter how badly either of them wanted to talk to him.

Felt distracted in ways that ruined her Safeway experience, while enhancing the panhandlers, who made off with a little something more than her initials.

Profile: Jesse Prado

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