April 21, 2009

Angela Carlton

Hamburgers, French Fries and Love

We met, usually on Wednesdays, escaping the hum-drum office environment for hamburgers and fries by the fountains. I always loved the sound of the water rushing as we sat in the open air, me, getting a little closer to your mystery.

I'd nibble on a pickle or a tomato while you talked about your adoration for other women. There was always a Stephanie or a Carrie or a Jennifer involved. Each one, sad little victims of your greatness: the piercing wit, the depth, the charm. Most of the time, my food would get cold, soggy on the plate.

I often had trouble finishing my lunch, but there was one Wednesday, this one rainy Wednesday, when we were forced to sit inside, that you did make a fuss about it. Laughing too loud, you told me to try something else on the menu. “Switch it up, Sophia, do something different, Babe.”

But I didn't. Sweat forming on my brow, I still couldn't. I never could speak up.

For there is this odd sense of comfort in knowing that hamburgers, french fries, a deep kind of adoration, this quiet love for you, is all. It’s all it can ever be.


Angela Carlton's work has appeared or is forthcoming in Fiction at Work, Every Day Fiction, Longstoryshort, Pindeldyboz, The Dead Mule, among others.

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