Changing Things Up


CONTEXT: I am 24, my sister is 25. We both live at home in Staten Island with our parents.

My Mom, Dad, Sister and I were driving in the car tonight. We were returning home from my Level 4 Class improv show in the City.

“Where are we going?” I asked my Dad when he drove straight instead of turning right towards my house.

“We need milk,” he told me.

We headed to the corner deli.

This occurrence has happened a countless amount of times. We will be returning from a night out and need milk or eggs or bread. My Father or Mother usually run inside the store while my sister and I sit in the back and “like” photos on Instagram. Instagram is a photo uploading App on the Iphone. An “App” is an abbreviation for “Application”. An Application is a program you can download on a smartphone.

I wanted to change things up. I wanted a new experience. I was bored of sitting in the back seat.

“Do you want me to run in?” I asked. I never am the one who runs in. I had a feeling my Father would say, “No, it’s ok.”

“Sure,” he said. “Get a loaf of Italian bread too. But only if the expiration date is far away.”

My Dad handed me a $20 bill.

I went into the Deli.

There was a young man behind the register. He wore a trucker hat. There was another man behind the deli counter. He wore a white apron. There were four male customers at various locations throughout the store.

I walked to the milk refrigerator in the back of the store. I bent over and reached for a gallon of 1% milk. I walked past all of the aisles to the front of the store. I couldn’t find bread.

What is this store gets held up at gun point?” I thought, eyeing the man ordering a grilled cheese at the deli counter. “What if he shoots me?”

I imagined that after hearing of my death, people would cry, “The ONE time she went into the deli. The ONE time!”

I walked again to the back of the store. I saw the bread aisle. I found a loaf of Italian bread with the expiration date of March 15th. I looked at my Iphone to check today’s date. It is only March 4th.

I walked up to the register. “Right here hun,” the cashier said to me pointing to the counter. To be polite, I smiled.

“$5.69,” he informed.

He put the milk in a brown plastic bag. He put the bread in another. I enjoyed watching him do this. Watching him open the bags was unexplainably relaxing. If there was a television show with the premise of this man bagging groceries, I’d DVR it.

I handed him the $20. He smiled and opened the register.

I looked at the roll of Lotto tickets. I thought of buying one. “What if I get the Million Dollar Ticket?” I thought. I imagined that after hearing of my winnings, people would shout, “The ONE time she went into the deli. The ONE time!”

I didn’t buy a lotto ticket.

The cashier counted the dollars in a very cool, suave way. He did it very fast. It reminded me of when a person moves a pen from one finger to another and it looks so easy but you try to do it yourself and the pen keeps getting stuck between your knuckles. Do you know what I’m talking about?

This man was talented at counting money. He should become a dealer in Vegas where he could get recognized for his skill.

He handed me the counted money.

“Have a good night,” he told me.

I walked out of the deli and into the car’s backseat.

“Thanks Beck,” my dad said.

I handed him the change.

We drove home.

As I got out of the car in front of my house, my sister grabbed the bag of bread. “Oh that’s so nice she is helping. I went into the deli and now she’s carrying the bags into the house.

She moved the plastic bag aside just to get to her own purse. She got out of the car, leaving me with the bags.

I carried the bags into the house.

I felt very accomplished.

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