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Thursday, February 17, 2022

Microstory 1824: Red Meat Cute

Over a decade ago, I moved to a new city with big dreams. No, this wasn’t Hollywood, or New York. I didn’t think I was going to become rich and famous. What I thought was that I was going to get a fresh start. I wanted to—no, needed to—get away from my hometown where my grandfather closed the plant, and ruined the local economy. To be fair, it wasn’t entirely his fault. The business was failing, and this was the only option. It happens. Still, it didn’t feel safe to stick around with my last name, so I escaped. I didn’t know anyone in the area, so I went out at night, hoping to meet some cool people. That’s when I met the girl who would become who I thought was my best friend. She took me under her wing, and showed me how things worked around here. One thing in particular she introduced me to was this app that lets you order food from various restaurants, and have it delivered right to your door. I would later learn that she was kind of playing on my naïvete by making it look like us dumb farm folk hadn’t learned about this newfangled technology yet, when in reality, the city belonged to the test population for an entirely new industry sector. Nobody had this yet, I wasn’t behind the times. The app didn’t even have very many restaurant partners at the time. Anyway, I knew what my new home address was, and I knew how to use a smartphone, but I’ve always been just a little bit careless. I entered 56th Street when I really meant 56th Terrace. So I’m waiting for my food, and watching the estimated time approach, and then I see the app claims it’s been delivered. I look on the porch, in front of the garage, even on the roof, like an idiot. No, it’s not there. That’s when I realize my mistake. I call the app, and the restaurant, and they both tell me that it’s not their problem. So I take a walk.

I went to the bad address, and rang the doorbell. The guy who answered was drinking my strawberry milkshake, and I could smell the burger and fries. I explained to him what had happened, and he was apologetic, but also not? He acted like he was just an innocent bystander who had done nothing wrong. I asked him where he thought it came from. Apparently, when a stranger showed up at his door, and handed him unasked for food, he didn't stop to think that maybe someone else would be missing it. Well, I was none too happy, and I let him know as much. He apologized some more, and offered to pay for it, because he was really hungry, and had already touched everything. Instead, I showed him what app to download, so he could reorder for me, and then we would call it even. I turned to leave, satisfied with this result, when he stopped me. Actually, he didn’t instruct the app to deliver to my house, but to his own again. If I wanted it, I was going to have to stay and share the meal. Okay, I admit, that was kind of a cute way to ask me to lunch. As we were waiting, we got to talking, and long story short, we were together for eleven years; married for eight. Today, I discovered that he has been cheating on me, for what’s probably been just about the entire time. I’m sure you’ve guessed, I’m talking about my best friend. I realize now that I should have seen it coming. The signs were all there. She always thought I owed her for helping me get my bearings in the city, and he always felt entitled to take whatever he wanted without considering other people’s feelings. It was a match made in hell. To make matters worse, on my way to confront her at her work, a freaking loose brick falls off of the façade of that first goddamn restaurant I had delivered, and strikes me in the head. I guess I really wasn’t cut out for this city.

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