Wednesday, July 25, 2018

Shelf Stability

“Does pancake batter go bad?”
she asked me uncertainly.
She sniffed the container and shrugged.
This did not fill me with confidence.
I’m not much one for one-night stands to begin with,
and her apartment isn’t the cleanest,
but it didn’t matter as much last night
when it was dark, and I was drunk.
She’s making a lot of noise in the kitchen now,
pots and pans clanging,
something drops with a metallic clatter.
Her male tabby cat eyes me with quiet disdain
and licks its paw.
If you want to leave, the cat tells me,
just leave.
She’ll hardly notice.
No, I tell the cat,
that is not how I want to conduct myself.
I’ll eat these pancakes,
I’ll eat them and say they’re delicious.
These ready-made batters,
they’re probably made to survive a nuclear war.
It’ll be okay.
I’ll eat these pancakes and tell her I need to get going,
but I had a wonderful time,
and we should get together soon.
I mean, outside of work.
Of course we’ll see each other at work tomorrow!
But I mean, besides that.
Like dinner or coffee or something.
She emerges from the kitchen,
wild-haired and apologetic.
“I burned the pancakes,” she admits,
“But I found this bottle of whiskey.
Wanna shot?”
Um, okay?
She brandishes a bottle, a quarter full.
It’s not a label I recognize.
Is the bottle made of plastic?
There’s a burning in my chest,
and I wince as I gulp it down.
“Let’s go take a walk, cowboy.
Put some clothes on
and let’s go get some doughnuts.”
This is framed as an order, not a request.
I’m going to have to pay for them too.
She did this all last night,
didn’t carry a purse or a wallet
and seemed surprised that she had no money on her.

1 comment:

  1. Fun fact: this prompt involved typing two random words into Google and basing the poem on the results. My words were "pancake" and "shelf."