Grocer and Writer Inspirations

On June 30, 2019, it will be five years since I began writing my infamous “Grocer and Writer” stories. I have caught both flack and praise for writing them and yes I’ll admit that they are quite polarizing. In 2016 and 2017, I had written offshoots of them, trying to be less offensive, but I haven’t been able to elaborate on them as much as the original stories.

In this piece, I will try to document every source of inspiration that I drew from in order to create these stories.

It is a love story between a mildly Autistic young man who is a twenty-two/twenty-three year old Grocery clerk and his girlfriend, a plus sized seventeen/eighteen-year-old honor student turned high school dropout. I know that in and of itself brought a lot of flack due to the high amount of controversy, but I was only trying to teach that everyone deserves to be loved.

I will say that I met my girlfriend over four years after beginning writing these stories, but as I got to know her more and fell in love with her, I realized that there are many ways she reminds me of the young lady in these stories. She reminds me of other good female characters in the stories I write as well. And not only that, when I read them to her, she smiles at me from ear to ear and stares at me intently and with great focus. She is never offended or disgusted like so many others were when I presented those stories to them.

These weren’t written in chronological order, by the way, they were written as the inspirations came to me.

On June 30, 2014, I wrote my first piece of the series. I had previously worked as a grocer for a company I had hated, but this was 2010-2011 and there were no other jobs available, little did I know that working for this said company would cause me to draw so much inspiration. The piece takes place in January and starts off with my male character whom I now will name Garth Cooper getting off of work from his God awful grocer’s job. The name of the store where he works is known as “The Downtown Grocer” and its location is based on the New Orleans Central Business District. He fires up his old car, a 1989 Toyota, and heads to his girlfriend, an honor student turned dropout, whom I have now named Samantha Abbott, parents’ house in the suburbs which are based on Metairie/Old Metairie (a suburb directly West of New Orleans.) He brings her to his house, which was based on my Maternal Grandma’s house located in Metairie, but instead his neighborhood is based on Mid City, New Orleans.

In early July 2014, I wrote a piece on how they met. It is Thanksgiving and Garth Cooper is in the municipal park, writing stories in a composition book. He has the day off and uses it to focus on his passion, writing love stories. The park is based on New Orleans City Park, but also Central Park in Manhattan, New York City. The fictitious city in which they reside is inspired by a combination of New Orleans, New York and Detroit and their respective suburbs. While Garth is writing in the park, Samantha takes a walk to the park to get away from her arguing parents. She first notices him and is attracted to him. She is able to get him to allow her to sit with him, even though you, the reader, will find out that she is seventeen and he is twenty-two. At first, he is reluctant but realizes no one else wanted him. They exchange phone numbers and he reads to her, making her want him all the more. The end up a couple and sit together until the sun and Mercury go down. He drives her home, concluding the piece.

In either July or August of 2014, I wrote a piece consisting of a day at Garth’s God awful job, which is based on some personal life events I had previously experienced and Samantha’s miserable home life, which was done by observing others I had formerly known. It takes place on The Winter Solstice. As mentioned before Garth’s job at the Downtown Grocer, which is located in a neighborhood based on the Central Business District of New Orleans and Samantha’s parents’ house takes place in a neighborhood, based off of Old Metairie, which is a suburb to the immediate west of New Orleans. Garth is on a break along with the male janitor and the female cook. He is texting Samantha when the janitor sees the bliss in his eyes and wants to know if he is talking to his girlfriend. Garth says he is and talks about how he loves and reveres her. The cook then starts badmouthing Samantha as she cannot stand to see a happy or chaste couple. Garth stands up to the cook and to which she threatens him with an edged weapon. All in all, Garth threatens to record her making the threats and turn the recordings over to the police to which she quiets down. Then the break is over, to which Garth begins stocking the shelves. A gentleman asks him to help him find the remoulade sauce and then helps him get some fresh fish from seafood. Garth takes care of his customer, who we later find out is none other than Samantha’s dad. The assistant store director chews Garth out for conversing with the gentleman, to which the gentleman backs him up. The assistant store director comes down harder on Garth and the gentleman overhears to which he cancels his revolving account and says how neither he nor his business partners will ever shop there again because of the way they treat their employees. Garth is forced to stock the boxed gelatin from now on. Meanwhile, Samantha is in her room listening to one of the music channels. Her pill-addicted mother is woken up by the music. She accuses Samantha of stealing her Xanax and threatens to beat her. Samantha calls her dad, to which he intervenes and tells his wife to look under the sofa for her stash. She then takes the Xanax and crashes. I wrote another piece following this where Garth gets off of work and goes pick up Samantha, then brings her to his home, which his neighborhood is based on Mid City, New Orleans. They tell each other about all that went on during the day over a simple dinner of oatmeal. Both contemplate only in their minds that they should live together as soon as Samantha turns eighteen. Then they discover their synchronous thoughts. The piece concludes with Garth looking at the clock on his dining room wall and realizing that he has work tomorrow. She tells him how she doesn’t want to go home and be around her mother. So he lovingly tucks Samantha into the bed in his extra bedroom, then goes to sleep in his bedroom, concluding the piece.

In August of 2014, I wrote a piece consisting of their first time being intimate with each other. It takes place on Christmas Eve, and Pachelbel’s Canon in D Minor had a lot of inspiration for it. Yes she is seventeen in he is twenty-two, and while they didn’t fully realize that she was legal they lovingly had sex anyway. Since the location of these stories is mostly based on Louisiana and the age of consent in Louisiana is indeed seventeen, no laws were broken. The piece begins with Garth getting off of work then going pick up Samantha from her parents’ house. He then drives her to his house and they sit on the sofa. He offers her virgin egg nog, to which she says she shouldn’t drink because she is so fat. He reassures her that he would love her no matter what size she is. Garth then turns his television on, to where he learns of several murders that occurred over the past twenty-four hours and he also learns of the world preparing for global conflict. Samantha suggests that he turn the television off and that they focus on each other. She then confesses that she wants to be intimate with him. He doesn’t know that seventeen is legal, so he is hesitant. She convinces him that they are not guaranteed tomorrow and they should make tonight worth it. She says how she wants him so badly because he accepted her when everyone else she was interested in so cruelly rejected her. Eventually, he agrees and they go to bed together and deflower each other, falling even deeper in love.

Later in 2014, I wrote a piece of their first date together. It takes a place a week and a day after they met and became an item or a week and a day after Black Friday. Prior to this they had been religiously texting each other and getting to know each other. He calls her and says how he’d like to take her on a date to a place that is based on The Riverwalk in New Orleans. She agrees, and as the phone call is finishing up they exchange those three little words! She gets dressed then texts him that she’s ready. He comes to pick her up and they go to his job to pick up and cash his check. They hold hands in the store until his boss the assistant store director orders them to stop holding hands. He cashes his check and pays the $5 cashing fee, then they go to the Riverwalk. They eat breakfast at a restaurant based off of Cafe` Du Monde, then they have lunch at a fish and chip shop, based off of the Louisiana seafood restaurant Spahr’s, which doesn’t have a presence in New Orleans. He then buys her a Casio Baby G watch at a gift shop. Afterward, they walk until the sun goes down and he takes her home. They plan to see each other again on his next day off.

Even later in 2014, I wrote a piece consisting of the night before Samantha’s eighteenth birthday and her moving in with Garth. It takes place in early February. It starts with him getting off of work and heading to the suburbs to pick Samantha up. It is a very cold evening. She is waiting for him on her parents’ driveway. His headlights illuminate her stature. He gets out of his car then opens the door for her and she gets in. He drives her to his house and they settle in. He asks her what would she like him to order her for her birthday dinner. She says something Asian. He begins to look through his telephone directory, to which she replies how she has an app to order it on her phone. She orders and soon the delivery man comes. Garth takes the food, pays him then escorts him back to his car. Afterward, they eat dinner in the dining room, to which Samantha says how the food made her sleepy. They go to bed, this time in the same bed and cuddle, soon falling asleep in each others’ arms. They are awoken by the loud noises and subsequent explosions of a train derailment. Since this series takes place in New Orleans, but in the future almost, I had written it to where the Norfolk Southern Back Belt line was actually rerouted from Old Metairie to Mid City, though this has yet to take place in real life, a little over four years later. The train derailment knocked out transmission power lines and caused a blackout. Samantha looks at her phone and sees how it is midnight and she is now legal to stay with him. A few minutes later, however, there is a knock at the door and a policeman, I haven’t decided if it was a state trooper, a railroad special agent or a city cop, orders them to evacuate.

At another point, sometime before July of 2015. I wrote the piece which takes place in the early morning hours of Samantha’s eighteenth birthday. They are complying with the policeman’s orders and leaving the city. Traffic is very dense as they discuss where should they go. Samantha says she doesn’t want to be with her mother. Garth says the only other option is to go to his parents’ house which is five hours away. She agrees. Traffic is still at a standstill. Finally, traffic begins to move. At some point, Garth calls his mother and explains the situation to her. He tells her that he also has his girlfriend with her. The route I planned to have them take is based on Interstate 10 from Mid City, New Orleans to around Gonzales, Louisiana with its junction with US 61/Airline Highway. They continue towards Baton Rouge on US 61 then west on US 190 until its junction with US 71, between Port Barre, Louisiana and Krotz Springs, Louisiana where they head North. They stop at a diner for food and fuel in a town based on Bunkie, Louisiana. Garth goes to pay for the gasoline, but Samantha insists that she will pay instead and that he can repay her “all night long.” She then hands her debit card to the cashier, to which she says how she thinks they are so cute. In July of 2015, I once met a cashier at the Race Trac in Paradis, Louisiana, who very much reminded me of the cashier in this story. As they explain the situation to the waitress, she gives them free food and a thermal mug with the company name on it. These two pieces were inspired by the Country song “Callin’ Baton Rouge.” In fact since Garth Brooks covered that song, I named my male character Garth, his surname Cooper comes from Dr. Sheldon Cooper on Big Bang Theory, since they are both on The Autism Spectrum, but still high functioning. By the way, Samantha also got her name from that said song and she is indeed “A strange combination of a woman and a child.” The last name Abbott comes from the Abbott family on “The Young and the Restless” since her dad is a business executive and reminds me of a combination of Jack Abbott and Victor Newman. I already had created a character with the last name Newman in another story I wrote, so that is why I used Abbott. I did watch Y&R a little before creating this series, but I didn’t watch Big Bang until years after creating it. You will see that Garth’s mother is also a lot like Sheldon’s mother, which was totally by accident. Anyway, after eating and talking with the waitress they get back on the road. The diner was partially based on “The Highway 71 Sandwich Shop” which was located in Bunkie, Louisiana, but I don’t think is any longer in business. They continue North, at some point deviating from what is based on US 71 and ending up on the Northeastern Louisiana Delta at Garth’s parents’ soybean farm. They are greeted by his mother.

In June of 2015, I wrote a piece taking place on the Sunday after their first date. Samantha texts Garth and asks to come over. He is just waking up but gladly accepts. So he drives to her parents’ home and picks her up. He then drives her to his home for the first time. He warns her about his shady neighbors and states that his home isn’t the best. She states that it doesn’t matter to her. After they enter he reads to her from his computer until he hears her stomach growling. He asks if she is hungry. She replies about how she is and that her mom went on an eating binge and ate all the food in their house. So he feeds her some pork n beans, the only food he has in his house. She wolfs them down. Afterward, they watch Breaking Dawn parts 1 and 2 on broadcast television, while they snuggle on the sofa. After watching the movie, they eat rice pudding and drink a coffee, chicory and milk blend then he takes her home.

Sometime in the Summer of 2015, I wrote the piece which takes place on Christmas Day. It starts with Garth making a breakfast of French Toast for Samantha. She is sitting on the bed doing research on her smartphone and finds out that she is legally at the age of consent, despite still being seventeen, in their state (which is based mostly on Louisiana where seventeen is indeed the age of consent), unbeknownst to Garth. He serves her breakfast and they awkwardly eat. She says how he should meet their parents since it is Christmas Day. There is freezing rain but they head out. During the car ride, Samantha says that she did some research and found out that she is legal. Garth is confused and asks what do you mean. She explains that seventeen is the legal age of consent in their state and that he didn’t break the law. She then confesses that she is afraid he won’t feel obligated to stay with her now that he knows this. Garth assures her that there isn’t anything in creation that could cause him to leave her. She asks him point blank what if he got her pregnant. He then said how he would then marry her and that he already wants to, its just he cannot afford a ring on his low wages. Samantha brightly beams after hearing this. Her dad then calls wanting to know where she is. She explains who she is with that he is good to her and that he does indeed love her. She then says that they are headed to the house at the moment. Upon arrival they ring the doorbell and Samantha’s dad answers, saying how they’ve met before. Samantha is confused and wants to know how. Her dad explains how he waited on him and The Downtown Grocer and took very good care of him, but was punished for talking instead of working. Garth says how he is on thin ice because of that incident. Samantha’s dad says how he can easily get him a better job but wants to make sure that he is committed to Samantha first and then asks how did they meet. Samantha interjects and tells the story and goes on to say that Garth is the only one who accepted her despite her weight. Her dad then says how she has an underactive thyroid gland and the weight is not her fault. He goes on to say how it tore him up seeing her rejected and lonely all the time. Garth despite being Autistic looks him in the eyes and says how he knows rejection too and that Samantha is the only one who wants him despite his quirks and awkwardness and that he would never dream of breaking her heart. Her dad then says how he is holding Garth to that statement and knows people who could tar and feather him. He then invites them in for Christmas Dinner, which is Asian takeout since he refuses to shop at The Downtown Grocer anymore. Samantha’s mom enters the room and asks Garth who the hell are you. Samantha replies that’s my boyfriend mom, don’t embarrass me. Her dad quickly says, let’s all eat, it’s Christmas and it should be peaceful. Thus the piece is concluded.

On November 7, 2015, I was sitting in the Paradis, Louisiana library and wrote the piece on when Samantha meets Garth’s parents while evacuating from the train derailment. After being greeted by his mother, she suggests that they must be tired from their trip and that Samantha can have his old bed and Garth can sleep on the sofa. Samantha becomes very distressed and Garth says how that is not necessary because they are both adults. Garth’s mother asks Samantha her age, to which she replies how she just made eighteen and she was in the process of moving in with him. This upsets Garth’s mother even more because they aren’t married. Garth’s dad wakes up and walks into the kitchen, wanting to know what is going on. Garth tells about the terrorist attack. His dad curses the terrorist groups. His mother commands him to explain the rest. Garth says how his mom is angry because he and Samantha want to sleep in the same bed. His dad tells her not to be so hard on him and they thought he wouldn’t ever find anyone because of his condition. Samantha gets very upset and wants to know what condition he has because she thinks it is something life-threatening. Garth’s dad says that he is mildly Autistic. Garth then looks at her and says how he was afraid to tell her because he thought she would leave him. Samantha replies reassuringly how she never would leave him because he loves her and reveres her. She then goes on to say that she is so fat anyway. Garth tells her that he likes her beautiful curves and that he feels bliss holding her at night. Garth’s mother then sharply commands him to watch it. Garth’s dad suggests that they all hit the sack. Garth’s mother walks to her liquor cabinet and takes a shot of whiskey, then another and tells them to do what they want. Garth’s dad shows them to the bedroom.

In March of 2016, I wrote the ending piece [but not the final piece.] Garth has now become a famous writer, so he fixed up his house, bought a new truck, a new computer and an engagement ring for Samantha. He then drives to her parents’ house to pick her up. He had asked her dad’s permission to marry her the previously to which he happily agreed. Garth then opens the passenger door for her and helps her in. He then drives her to the park. After they arrive, he suggests that they go sit on the bench where they sat when they first met. After sitting for just a moment, Garth gets down on one knee, pulls out the ring and proposes to her. Her eyes swell with tears and she happily says yes. The cook from his former job is in the park with all of her illegitimate children. Garth stands on the bench and says how he just proposed to the girl of his dreams and she said yes. Everyone in the park claps and cheers. The cook then starts yelling to the crowd how Samantha is fat and Garth is retarded and that they will be on disability and all of them will have to pay taxes to support them and any children they have. Garth then stands up to the cook and says he actually got a job as a romantic novelist, but that probably means nothing to her. He then says that either she leaves them alone or he will call the police. The cook pulls out a revolver and shoots Garth dead. She then aims for Samantha but several people wrestle the gun from her. Samantha sees Garth dying and her heart explodes. She then collapses on top of him and dies as well. The cook in these stories is based on several women whom I had the unfortunate experience of being acquainted with over the years. She is basically violently jealous of Samantha because she is only intimately known to one man, Garth, who exceedingly loves and reveres her at that, whereas the cook has children for several different men all who used her. The piece was also inspired by Meghan Trainor’s song “I’m Gonna Love You Like I’m Gonna Lose You.” That song was popular around that time. I actually caught a lot of flack for writing this, especially from my then wife, now ex-wife. After writing this, I decided that the series was too offensive and the world wasn’t ready for it, so I decided to start writing other series, “A Train Conductor Meets a Disabled Writer”, which I haven’t had much success with.

In November of 2016, while sitting at the Raceland, Louisiana library, I wrote two more pieces covering the time Garth and Samantha spent in the country while they were evacuated from the train derailment. It starts off with Garth and Samantha waking up in his old bed at his parents’ house and finding out that the heater isn’t working. Garth turns on his flashlight that he had packed (a vintage First Alert Ready-Lite that came with his house) to check the thermostat but then the bulb burns out. Samantha calls for him to come back to bed, which he does until they are both overtaken by the hunger pangs. So they walk to the kitchen where Garth’s mother is putting pancakes and bacon on the table. They eat, though there is great tension in the air. Garth says how the heater is broken. His mother corrects him and says how it is just out of oil. She then tells him to make himself useful and to go to the hardware store and get more oil. Garth says he plans to go there anyway to get a new bulb for his flashlight. Quickly they leave the house and go into town. They arrive at the hardware store just as it is opening up. Other customers are being waited on, so Garth and Samantha walk around the store. Garth meets the owner’s son and a former classmate of his while Samantha takes a call from her dad and goes into a corner. The owner’s son was once a football star but ended his career in college from an injury. He says how he now tries to be the best hardware salesman he could be. Garth explains how he is in town because the city he lives in was evacuated because of the train derailment and he needs bulbs for his flashlight and oil for his parents’ heater. The salesman looks in the computer and says there are five bulbs left. Garth says he will take all five of them, then says he’ll be paying cash for the bulbs but to charge to oil to his parents’ account. The salesman suggests he buy a Mini Maglite LED flashlight because the power might be back on to charge his flashlight. Garth says he doesn’t have enough cash for both the bulbs and the Mini Maglite. The salesman says to charge it to his parents’ account. Garth says they would be livid if he did. Samantha comes out of the corner from her phone call and says how she will gladly buy the flashlight for him like she bought gasoline for him at the truck stop. She goes on to say how he can pay her back all night long. Several people point and stare at them, then whisper amongst themselves. Garth charges the oil to his parents’ account, pays cash for the bulbs and Samantha buys him the Mini Maglite LED with her debit card. At the time of writing this, I had never been to Northeast Louisiana, in fact, the first time I had gone there was in mid-April of 2018. The hardware store reminded me of one I had worked at, in Houma, Louisiana, just in a more rural setting. It also reminded me of one in Thibodaux, Louisiana. Earlier in April of 2018, I went to a rural hardware store in Napoleonville, Louisiana, and purchased a Mini Maglite LED just like the one featured in this piece. I was trying to recreate and live out these stories in my own weird way, I guess. The piece concludes with Garth opening the car door for Samantha and then getting in the driver side. His mother calls him on the phone wanting to know why he and Samantha were acting lewd in the store, because of her saying he can pay her back all night long for the flashlight. She then commands them to hurry and come home because it is freezing there. This scene was based on a campaign speech I heard from Mike Huckabee where he stated that he lived in a small close-knit community and if he did anything “wrong” several people would have already called his parents to tell them, before he even got home. Also, I grew up in a small town and lived in another (Raceland, Louisiana and Mathews, Louisiana) where the people there are a bunch of nosy busybodies. I have yet to bring my girlfriend around these towns in public because I know that everyone there will see that I am not with my ex-wife, despite my divorce being final since October 11, 2018, and that there will indeed be a lot of pointing and staring. Quite a few phones would probably start ringing as well. The second piece of this begins with Garth driving Samantha back to his parents’ house and explaining to her that the people in the hardware store called his parents’ house about the comments she made about him paying her for the flashlight and that he is not angry with her and that he indeed will pay her back all night long, but she needs to be careful what she publically says and does in a small town. He comforts her by saying that she probably never went to a small town and didn’t realize that “everybody knows everybody”-a line from a certain Tracy Byrd song about living in the country and that small town people are busybodies. They soon arrive at Garth’s parents’ house to which he hands his mother the tank of oil then they go to his bedroom. Garth installs a new bulb in his flashlight then opens up the packaging of the Mini Maglite LED and installs the batteries and turns it on. He is impressed by the brightness and reminds Samantha that he will indeed pay her back all night long with tips and interest compounded nightly. His mother is secretly listening to the conversation, then barges in and wants to know from Samantha how long have they “been screwing out of wedlock.” Garth tells her she doesn’t have to answer that. His mother says for them to find another place then. Samantha breaks down and says, how they first had sex on Christmas Eve. Garth’s mother gets angry with him and accuses him of charming Samantha. Samantha said how he didn’t charm her, that he does write beautiful stories but she wanted him before that and he was the only one who didn’t reject her, despite her size. Garth’s mother then insists that if they will live like a married couple then they will have the responsibilities of a married couple. She orders Garth to help his dad on the farm and Samantha to help her cook and clean. She even forbids them from sharing a kiss before going to work. Garth sulks, walks to the barn and enters, turning on his new flashlight. His dad is impressed by the brightness. Garth says how Samantha bought it for him. His dad says she is a keeper and that he had been praying that he finds someone. Garth says how his mother isn’t happy about the relationship to which his dad says she just doesn’t like seeing him all grown up. Garth says how his mother wants him to work on the farm for as long as he stays there. His dad then asks him to help change the fluids in the tractor, then to organize the barn, as he used to when he was a child. He has said that it has gotten into disarray since he moved out. Garth’s dad is loosely based on Noah Calhoun’s dad from “The Notebook.” Garth spends the day organizing the barn until the sun goes down. Samantha helps Garth’s mom cook and clean then she also reads some of Garth’s older stories, falling even more in love with him. Finally, the day is done, Garth and his dad come in and are served green beans and seared chicken breasts. As they are eating dinner, Garth and Samantha get alerts on their phones that the evacuation order is lifted. Minutes later, the assistant store director calls Garth and tells him he has twenty-four hours to return to work or he will be terminated. Garth’s mother makes a comment about them going home and screwing. Garth’s dad walks them to the car and suggests they get married.

In 2017, I had rewritten most of the series, but also began working on another replacement offshoot, known as “A Disabled Electrician turned Writer” which was supposed to have similar themes as these stories but without so much controversy. I had slightly more success than my previous offshoot but haven’t written any more of it since 2018. Also in 2017, I began writing “Two Foamers in Love”, yet another offshoot replacement, but haven’t gotten much of it done.

On September 4, 2018, I wrote my latest piece of the series which actually is/was a prequel to the whole series. From Garth’s perspective, he is stocking salad dressing at “The Downtown Grocer” and how he hates his job and wishes at twenty-two he would have done so much more with his life. He thinks about his loneliness and how if someone loved him for him, he would love her immensely in return and treat her with the utmost reverence. He then thinks about his writing and tries to remember all of the inspirations coming to him in waves. Tomorrow is Thanksgiving and he will be off, to which he plans to go to the park and write. He works late into the night, sweeping the warehouse and taking out the trash after the store is fronted and blocked. He gets off at 11:02, goes home and goes straight to bed not realizing that tomorrow he will meet the love of his life.
Meanwhile, from Samantha’s perspective, her mother just took several Xanaxes and then has crashed into a deep sleep. Samantha then goes into the kitchen and eats some canned fruit and drinks some milk. She says how she hates her life and how it isn’t like most seventeen-year-olds. She talks about her underactive thyroid gland and her weight problem and how she has liked many boys but they all reject her. She says how she wishes she could find a boy or even a young man who would love her for her and how she would treat him like a king. She says how she dropped out of school because she cannot get a ride to the private school she was attending because her mom is always loaded and because of her weight, she knows she would be tormented and harassed relentlessly if she began attending the public high school in her district. She contemplates suicide, by taking all of her mother’s Xanaxes at once. However, a voice in her head tells her not to give up. She goes into her room and watches “The Notebook” on demand. She watches until she can no longer keep her eyes open. Her mom then wakes up from a deep sleep and is belligerent. Samantha hears the voice again, saying just a little while longer. Her dad then comes in and argues with her mom all night long. Samantha goes to bed and dreams about those little encouraging voices, little does she know that tomorrow she will meet the love of her life…

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God Awful Job-Grocer and Writer (Guy’s Perspective)

NOTE:

This is a modified version of the original.

The original version was much too offensive and I’ve only shown it to people whom I trust.

Hopefully, you will forgive me and enjoy this version just as well.

Here it is without further ado:

I’ve been working hard all day, but finally, it’s time for my fifteen-minute break. Happy to have a little relaxation, I clock out and walk to the covered terrace in the chilly December weather.

As I sit down on my break, I ponder to myself, “Why did I take this God-awful job in the first place?”

Then after a half minute of pondering, I check my Go Phone for text messages.

There are two:

The first one reads, “It’s the first day of Winter, my favorite season. I think Winter is so romantic, especially now that I have you in my life.”

The second one reads, “Come get me when you’re done with work. I love you so much, baby.”

So, I reply, with the utmost honesty, “I love you too, baby and I count the hours when we are apart.” I send another message, “I’ll come get you as soon as my work is done, but I don’t know when that will be.”

Within a matter of seconds, I get a reply, “Just as long as you come get me, I’ll wait all night if I have to.”

My coworkers notice the bliss in my eyes.

The janitor, listening to foreign music on a portable world band radio, lowers the volume and asks, “Talking to your girlfriend?”

I nod at him.

“Is she pretty?” He continues.

“She is absolutely beautiful. I’m so grateful to have her in my life.” I tell him with much assuredness, then show a picture of her and I standing by the river.

He looks at the picture then says, “Wow, she sure is pretty! You and her could make beautiful children.”

“No, I haven’t been intimate with her yet. She deserves my utmost reverence,” I tell him soberly.

“You’re a good man.” The janitor says, smiling as he pats my hand.

The deli cook, also on break with us, has been quiet, up until this point. Now she is ready to pick a fight.

She looks up from her smartphone and remarks, with anger and contempt, “I bet she’s really nasty, but just pretends to be innocent with you.”

I try to keep calm and simply reply, “Nope. Actually, she is a virgin. And so am I.”

The cook continues, asking, “How old is she?”

“None of your damn business. How about you get a life?”

The cook pulls a box cutter out of her apron pocket and says, “You better not be disrespectful to me.”

I still try to maintain grace under pressure and say, “Why harm me because of someone whom I love with all my heart and who loves me in return?”

I then point to the security camera with a sign below that reads, “Every move you make is being recorded on video.”

I then say, “You’ve already committed assault with a deadly weapon and it was all caught on video. Smile for the camera! I suggest you leave me alone.”

“This isn’t over little boy! I know why you won’t tell me her age because she’s jailbait. I should call the police on you!”

“Whom are they actually going to believe? I’m not known for going around threatening physical violence upon whomever I disagree with but you are. Furthermore, I haven’t done anything illegal with her because, not only do I love her, but I also have great reverence for her. Do you the men in your life revere you? Probably not.”

The cook gets angry again, pulls out her razor and says, “I’m gonna get you and that slutty girlfriend of yours!”

Finally, I lose my temper and say, “Prove that she is slutty. You can’t. And since you can’t, that means we can sue you for defamation of character, but you probably don’t have a penny to your name, anyway.”

The cook is speechless but angry.

The janitor, though trying to hide it has a wide smirk on his face.

He turns his radio back on, until the cook says, “Turn off that old, outdated, boring racket-it’s offensive to me.”

“It’s a free country; I don’t have to,” The janitor protests.

“Turn it off or I’m going to bust it over your head,” The cook threatens.

I get angry and then tell the cook, “I believe that’s considered aggravated criminal damage to property, which carries a sentence of up to fifteen years in this state. You’d probably catch an aggravated assault charge in addition to that because you’ve been flashing that razor blade of yours. It was all caught on camera but I’ll gladly testify against you as well!”

“Y’all are ganging up on me!” The cook says with ignorance and hatred.

“No, we just want you to leave us alone. Go back to looking at whatever meaningless garbage you were looking at on your phone and don’t talk to us again.”

“You are going to pay for disrespecting me like that.”

Finally, I activate the voice recorder feature on my Go Phone and say, “Go ahead, keep making threats because everything else you say will be recorded and turned over to the cops.”

The cook finally quiets down, after showing me the middle finger.

My watch’s timer feature begins beeping indicating that my fifteen minutes are up. As I leave the break area, I tell her off “Well, I can’t argue anymore with you because I have to get back to work. You ruined my break, but I’m sure you’re proud of yourself because you delight in bringing misery to everyone you meet.”

The janitor follows me from far behind. Then, he puts the radio in his assigned locker and on his way back to the warehouse, he tells me, “Thank you for standing up for me, my friend, I don’t like her either.”

“Does anyone like her?” I ask.

The janitor laughs heartily and then, says, “You remind me of a younger version of myself. I love my wife like you love your girlfriend. That’s why I took this disgusting job so I can support her and my unborn child.”

We resume our working and I think about the janitor’s words.

I stock the shelves with dry goods diligently trying to keep my mind off of the potentially serious threats from the cook. My mind is filled with anxiety, until a gentleman comes up to me and asks, “Excuse me, young man, where might I find the remoulade sauce?”

“It’s hard to find, sir, so let me show you.”

“Thank you, I appreciate it.”

I locate it for him and he places several jars in his cart.

Afterward, I ask him, “Is there anything else we can help you find this evening?”

“Yes, actually I need to make an order in the seafood department for my meeting tonight, but no one is there right now. There are plenty of fresh fish under the glass that I want to purchase.”

“I’ll take care of that right away sir, just follow me.”

We walk to the seafood department. Upon arriving, I activate the public address system, and speak into the mouthpiece, “Customer service is needed in seafood.”

The gentleman and I converse while waiting for the seafood clerk to arrive.

He tells me, “Thank you for assisting me, young man. I wish everyone else was helpful like you.”

“Thank you for your kind words, sir. I find helping customers to be more rewarding than just putting up dry goods all day and into the night.”

“They should promote you.”

“They never will. The good jobs here are given to those with connections, not competence.”

“That’s a shame man because you’re a good worker.”

“Thanks, that means a lot coming from someone like you.”

The gentleman smiles. We shake hands and continue conversing while still waiting for the seafood clerk to arrive.

Suddenly, the assistant store director begins yelling at me, “Get back to work! This company does not pay you eight dollars an hour to run your mouth with customers.”

I pat the gentleman on the shoulder and tell him, “I’m sorry, sir, but I have to go. The seafood clerk will arrive shortly.”

However, he stands up for me and says to my boss, “No, that’s not right at all. This young man is very helpful and took care of me-unlike anyone else. I think I’ll change my mind on making such a large seafood order tonight.”

The assistant store director pulls me aside and says, “You are most definitely getting written up for this incident and for disciplinary action, you will stock the entire boxed gelatin aisle all by yourself from now on.”

The gentleman overhears and is even angrier on my behalf as he says pushing away his loaded shopping cart, “Oh really, since you are going to treat him that way, I’m canceling my revolving credit account. Take me to customer service immediately!” The gentleman then tells me, “Good luck young man, I wish you could serve me again, but I’m not shopping here anymore and neither will any of my business partners.”

The store director looks at me with anger and says, “This disgusting incident will not be forgotten, I promise you that. Because of your subversive behavior, I’m going to make your life here a living hell. And if you quit it would greatly pleasure me to watch you struggle to find a job elsewhere in this economy.”

I sulk, then begin to stock the boxed gelatin filled with even more anxiety, not only about violence from the cook but also job security.

At dinner time I clock out and buy a cup of Senor Rico rice pudding and a pint bottle of Borden Milk. I sit on the terrace and think about my girlfriend. For once, I have the break area to myself but am so filled with anxiety to enjoy the peace. All too quickly my dinner break ends and I clock back in.

The work is difficult and tedious, but finally, I have the shelves stocked. Now I need to front and block the whole aisle.

I see the janitor walking by and he tells me, “Go home and spend time with your girl, I’ll do this for you.”

“Don’t you have a family to go home to?” I ask him.

“No, I’m in the country all by myself, but I need to send all the money I can back home, so my wife can eat well and our baby will be healthy.”

He then shows me a picture on his phone of his pregnant wife in a nightgown and says, “Isn’t she beautiful when she glows? I can’t wait to be a poppa.”

I nod, then say, “All right, you may front and block for me.”

“Good, because the boss man went home for the evening, so this will be our little secret. Just remember to always love your girl and treat her right. If you do, she will bring you plenty of joy.”

I nod. We shake hands and I go clock out.

Finally, I leave the store, fire up my old Toyota and head to my girlfriend’s parents’ house in the suburbs.

Upon my arrival, we embrace and kiss under the glow of a street-lamp.

“Let’s go to your house,” She says looking at me with puppy dog eyes.

My job may be God awful, but the love my girlfriend gives me is worth it and so much more…

Back to “My [Non-Offensive] “Grocer and Writer” Pieces”

A Sunday Spent Together-Grocer and Writer (Young Lady’s Perspective)

My mom ranted and raved all night last night but finally, she crashed.

It is in the wee hours of Sunday morning and I want to see my boyfriend so badly.

He promised that he would spend the day with me and I hope he keeps that promise.

I text him, “I hope we can still hang out later today. My mom has been on a rampage. She finally crashed, though.”

Hours pass. He’s probably sleeping.

I’ll get dressed just in case.

There I’m nice and warm.

While I wait for his reply, I listen to music on my phone with earbuds attached.

Finally, I get a reply text, “Of course we can hang out. I’m just waking up, but would you like me to bring you to my house?”

“Sure, that would be wonderful.”

“Say no more. I’ll come get you right now.”

“I can’t wait.”

“Let me just get dressed.”

“I love you, baby!”

“I love you too!”

I go wait on the driveway in the cold. It’s worth waiting in the cold.

Finally, he pulls up and steps out of the car.

I embrace him then say, “Let’s get out of here.”

He kisses my forehead and replies, “Your wish is my command!”

My boyfriend then opens the passenger door for me and I step in.

He then enters from the driver’s side, starts the car and we leave.

“Now my house isn’t the best, in fact far from it,” He tells me.

“That’s all right. At least you have a place of your own,” I reply trying to reassure him.

“Now I have to warn you about my neighbors-they are shady. Please don’t talk to them, don’t even look at them.”

“They’re that bad?”

“Yes. They are on drugs.”

“Like my mom?”

“Worse. They’re also in a gang. I don’t think your mom would kill someone for a yes or no.”

“Oh, my.”

“This is what I mean when I say I wish I would have better researched the neighborhood.”

He then tries to comfort me by saying, “They never made trouble with me. Of course, I have to overlook a lot of things they do.”

“Like what?”

“Like not call the police when they are blaring that loud vulgar music or parading the streets when they are drunk or high. I just stay inside anyway though, unless I am getting the mail or cutting my grass.”

“Then I’ll stay inside too.”

We are now entering his run-down neighborhood.

He drives up to a railroad crossing just as the gates are going down.

I tell him soberly, “I guess this is where the railroad line was relocated. My dad and other people in my subdivision fought to have the railroad taken out of our area and moved to the less fortunate part of the city.”

“It doesn’t bother me that much. In fact, if the economy wasn’t so bad right now, I’d try to get a job with the railroad. The hours would be just a little worse, but the pay would be exponentially higher.”

“We wouldn’t get to see each other as much though. Just let my dad get you published as a writer, he has the connections.”

“You’re right. Then I would be on easy street.”

“Just make sure to always make time for us.”

“Don’t worry I will. I mean if I didn’t how would I have any inspiration?”

The train has now passed and the gates went back up. Cautiously my boyfriend crosses the tracks.

We drive through his neighborhood and parks his car against the curb.

He escorts me out, then unlocks the gate to his hurricane fence.

Together we cut across his front yard then go up the steps to his porch.

He gets his house key and unlocks the deadbolt on his front door and we enter his house.

“This is it,” He tells me humbly.

He then walks to the master bedroom and switches the thermostat on. Seconds later his floor furnace lights up.

I look around the house and tell him, “It’s not so bad.”

I then see his desk with the computer and composition books.

“Is this where you write?” I ask him.

“It sure is,” He replies.

“Could you read your stories to me?”

“I would love to.”

He gets a chair from his dining room and hands me the swivel chair.

We sit at the computer and he reads to me.

My stomach growls loudly.

I wonder if he can hear it.

The gurgling continues.

He looks at me and I smile at him.

“Are you hungry?” He asks me.

“Yes. My mom went on another binge eating episode and I didn’t make any more groceries yet.”

“Let’s go to my kitchen and see if I can feed you something.”

We walk to the kitchen and he looks through the cabinets.

He retrieves a can of Always Save Pork ‘N’ Beans.

He shows it to me and says, “I hope this is all right with you.”

“It’s fine. I would eat anything.”

“Then I’ll heat it up for you.”

He takes a Swiss Army Knife from my kitchen drawer and uses it to open the can.

Then he pours the beans into a saucepan and lights his stove. We wait for them to get hot.

He also brews some CDM coffee and chicory blend.

“We can have some cafe’ au lait with some rice pudding for dessert.”

“Thanks, but I’m already so fat and I shouldn’t eat sweets.”

“I think you’re beautiful; body, heart and soul and I would want you no matter what size you are.”

“I wish I could be skinny, but it’s such an uphill battle.”

“Well just know that I love you, no matter what size.”

I passionately throw my arms around him and exclaim, “I love you too!”

The beans are now warm and he places them on a plate for each of us. Then he pours some Best Choice Creme Soda.

We then sit down and eat.

I’m so hungry that I scarf down my food.

After we are finished eating, he asks me, “What would you like to do?”

“Snuggle together.”

“Well let’s go sit on the sofa and watch a movie. There’s usually one that plays on Sunday on one of the local TV stations.”

I follow him to the living room then wrap my legs around him as we cover up in a blanket.

He turns the television on, pulls up the guide feature and reads the Breaking Dawn 1 and 2 are playing back to back.

We sit and watch, holding hands.

After the movies are over, he asks me, “Would you like some dessert? I know you are worried about your weight, but I like to spoil you.”

“I guess I’ll take some. I do have a sweet tooth, maybe that’s why I fell for you.”

With that, he pours the coffee and chickory blend then add some milk and sugar.

Afterward, he gets us each a cup of Senor Rico Rice pudding from his old refrigerator.

We sit on the sofa and eat, smiling at each other blissfully.

After we are done, it is now dark.

“I hate to leave, but I need to get home before my parents realize I’m gone.”

“I’ll take you home, but I’ll definitely miss you.”

So we leave his house.

We walk to his car and he opens the passenger door for me. He’s so sweet.

He then enters on the driver side and starts the car.

Sadly we drive through the December night until we arrive at my parents’ house.

“I can’t wait to spend time with you again,” I say, kissing him good night.

“Hopefully, it will be in just a few days.”

“I love you so much!”

“I love you just as much!”

We kiss once more and then I go inside.

Back to “My [Non-Offensive] “Grocer and Writer” Pieces”

Black Friday-Grocer and Writer (Young Lady’s Perspective)

My mom has been asleep for the past few hours.

It is now late in the evening.

I am wondering if my newly found boyfriend is clocked out yet.

I’ll try calling him…

He answers, “Hello, baby.”

“Hey, you!” I reply.

There’s a reluctance in his voice as he tells me, “I’m glad you called, I really am. But I have to conserve my minutes for work.”

“Oh. I see.”

“I’m so sorry, but I’m low on minutes as it is.” He pauses then continues, “I have unlimited texting and would be willing to text you all night long if you wish.”

“Yes. I can do that. I’d really love to hear your voice more, but I’ll text you if it means we can keep in touch.”

“I know I’ve found someone wonderful if you’re willing to put up with that!”

“You’re making me blush!”

There’s an awkward silence, but then I say, “Well let’s hang up so we can text each other and you don’t run out of minutes.”

“Okay, baby.”

“All right. Bye for now.”

“Bye.”

I then get a message, “I’m definitely happy you’re understanding of my situation and I want to get to know you more.”

I quickly reply, “i wnt 2 get 2 kno u 2”

“Then ask me something.”

“ok how did u end up n the city?”

“I wanted to get away from my parents and found work and cheap real estate. The Downtown Grocer hired me on the spot, the same day I applied in fact. The people who sold me my house were all too eager to get rid of it.”

“i lik how u use good grammar wen u text. no 1 els i kno does that.”

“Thanks. I want to be a writer you know. You should try using proper grammar when you text as well.”

“Okay, I will from now on. You know you write beautiful stories.”

“Thanks. That means plenty coming from you.”

“I would know. I was an honor student before I dropped out and English was my favorite subject.”

“Why did you drop out?”

“Because there is no bus transportation to the private school I was attending and my mom is always loaded.”

“Oh, okay.”

“Yes, and I would be tormented horribly if I attended the public school in my district because I’m so fat.”

“I think you’re absolutely beautiful, but I know how cruel high school students can be. So I can’t say I blame you.”

“You’re making me blush again.”

“I wish I could see your pretty blush.”

“You can. I’ll take a selfie and send it to you.” “Let me walk to the bathroom mirror.”

“You are so darn cute!” He tells me, then continues, “Did you ever have a boyfriend before me?”

“Nope. I just had crushes on a lot of boys but they all turned me down because of my weight.”

“Well they were such fools to do so, but that makes you even more special.”

“Why? Because I’m a virgin?”

“Yes. If only you knew the reverence I have for you.”

“Lot’s of people mocked me for being a virgin.”

“Well don’t worry about them, because they don’t even matter.”

Then he says, “It’s cold in here. I have to turn my floor furnace on. I’ll be right back.”

I send him a message, “I wish I was there to keep you warm.”

“I would be honored to sit next to you wrapped up in a blanket. But, what would your parents think?”

“I don’t think they would mind once they see how sweet you are, but if they did, they can only control up until February 4th, because then I’ll be eighteen.”

“Still, I’d like to stay on their good side.”

“You wouldn’t see them much anyway, my dad is always working and my mom is always loaded on pills and booze.”

“What does your dad do for a living?”

“All I know is that he is a business executive, but he puts his job before everything else. He chases that money but money isn’t everything, you know.”

“It makes life easier.”

“But it’s not worth tearing up your family, nothing is.”

“That much is true.”

“Promise me, no matter how successful of a writer you become, that you’ll always make time for me.”

“I don’t think I’ll ever be successful.”

“Just promise me. My dad knows people who could get you published.”

“You’re right. I promise and swear to you that you’ll always be my top priority. I’m just thankful you put up with me and this God awful job I have now.”

“It won’t always be this way, things will get better. Just be patient and have some faith.”

“Thanks for the encouragement!”

“Anytime. Now I have to go. My mom just woke up and she is very belligerent.”

“Okay, text me when you can and hopefully soon I can take you out on a date.”

“That would be wonderful! I can’t wait ’til then. I guess I’ll tell you good night.”

“Good night, baby.”

I plug my phone in then prepare myself to deal with my mom.

It is going to be a long night.

Back to “My [Non-Offensive] “Grocer and Writer” Pieces”

How They Met-Grocer and Writer (Young Lady’s Perspective)

My parents are fighting again. My dad always tries to be a good provider but I think he works too much. My mom resents the fact that he puts his career before her and uses pills to fill the void that his affections once occupied. My dad loathes my mom’s pill habit and avoids her like the Plague.

Earlier on in the school year, I made excellent marks. I was even an honor student. Now that my mom is always loaded and my dad is gone for weeks at a time, I cannot get a ride to school. There is no bus service to the private school I attend and I would endure hellish torment if I attended the public high school in my district. So, I dropped out. My dad is slightly bothered, but he doesn’t do anything. My mom doesn’t care at all.

It’s Thanksgiving and my dad is home, for today at least. You would think we could celebrate as a family, but my parents are at each other’s throats. It may be cold and sunny outside but there is a nasty storm brewing inside. I do not want to be hit by their flying debris, so I go to the park. I watch the brown Sycamore leaves fly around in the breeze and go exploring.

Suddenly; I see him, sitting there, writing something in a composition book. He’s greatly focused on his work. I watch him for just a little bit. He’s very cute so I smile at him. He smiles back. I walk past him, feeling giddy. He actually noticed me. I wonder what he is like. I have no one at all. My family is a mess as I have already said. Could he possibly be a friend, maybe even a lover? I surely need love in my life.

So I begin to pace up and down the walking path, looking at him each time I pass by. He notices me.

So, I say to him, “Hi.”

“Hello,” He replies.

“Could I sit with you?”

“Sure, I guess,” I am so happy, he is actually letting me sit with him!

“You’re cute,” I tell him as I smile from ear to ear.

“Thanks, I guess.”

That’s all?

Maybe he isn’t attracted to me. I wish I could be skinny like all the other girls I know. There’s only one way to find out what he really thinks about me.

I’ll ask, “Do you think I’m also cute or am I too fat?”

“I think you’re very beautiful and don’t let anyone tell you otherwise.”

He is so sweet to tell me that. I want him even more now! “Good. You make me feel special!”

There is a quick silence, but then “I’m very happy that you want to sit with me, but don’t you have a family to go home to?”

“I do, but my parents are fighting like cats and dogs and Thanksgiving was canceled.” What will he think of me now?

“That’ awful. I’m so sorry you have to go through that.” Wait, what is he doing now? He hugged me!

“What about you? Don’t you have any family?”

He replies “I do, but they’re all far away from me. I can’t afford to travel to them and they can’t afford to travel to me.”

Why can’t he afford to visit his family and they can’t afford to visit him either?

So, I ask him, “Do you work?”

“Yes. I’m a stocker at The Downtown Grocer, it’s a God awful job. I can do so much better if only I had the chance.”

“How can you do better?”

“With this.” He shows me his composition book and continues, “I am trying to become established as a writer.”

That is so awesome. My dad knows people who could get him published. Maybe he would love me if I could make him successful.

I would love to see what he writes about as I always enjoyed English classes.

“Let me read.”

“Sure,” He says and hands me the book. He actually hands me the book.

I begin to read. These love stories he writes fill me with all kinds of wonderful feelings. Oh my; I am now blushing.

“These are beautiful. I love them!”

I know what I’m going to do; I’ll give him my phone number.

So I ask him, “Could I borrow your pen?”

“What for?”

“I want to write something for you.” I wonder if he can see me blushing? My face feels so warm.

“Here you go.”

Quickly; I write down the ten digits and say, “That is for you.”

He’s blushing. Now he is slightly distressed. Did I come off too strong?

He then asks me leerily, “How old are you, anyway?”

Why is he asking me that? I know how I’ll handle this. “It’s impolite to ask a girl her age, but that’s all right because I think you are nice. You’re cute, too, but I told you that already.”

He seems unfazed, then says, “So, I will re-state my question; how old are you?”

Humbly, I reply “I’m seventeen if you must know.”

“You’re young,” He tells me cautiously. Well, of course, I am young. He is young too, right?

“I may be young, but you seem like a sweet guy.” I know what I’ll do. I’m going to kiss him-just a quick peck on the cheek.

He is shocked and seems cautious.

“You know I am twenty-two and I can get in plenty of trouble.”

Oh no, I hope I didn’t blow it. Let me see if I can salvage this, “Wow, I thought you were my age. I still like you, though.” I tell him. There is a silence, so I continue “You don’t have to worry about getting in trouble because I won’t make you do anything illegal.”

“Are you asking me out?”

“Yes.”

It is quiet now. I want him so much.

“So, will you be mine?” I ask.

He’s now staring at me. What is he thinking right now? If he rejects me; my heart will be broken. Can he see the tears I am holding back?

Finally, he says, “Yes. I’ll be yours because love knows no numbers. Forgive me for making you wait, I’m just nervous that’s all.”

“Don’t worry; I forgive you. Just know that you don’t have to be nervous around me.”

“I’ll try not to be.”

He still seems leery. I am going to kiss him, this time I won’t hold back. Oh my, now he is kissing me too. My heart is singing!

I want his number, too. Let’s see if I can get it from him, “Could I have your phone number as well?”

“Sure.” Oh my he is actually calling it out. Now we’re programming each others’ numbers into our phones. Slowly our faces and lips are meeting. We’re going to kiss yet again! I hope this never ends. I snuggle next to him on the bench and he reads to me. We sit there for hours until the sun sets and the temperature drops.

“Shouldn’t you be home?”

I know I should and I had better get there before my parents realize I am gone. So I ask him, “I guess. Could you walk me home?”

“I’ll drive you home instead.”

We walk to his car, an old Toyota. It starts up perfectly, despite its age. I wish I could somehow get him a better car. I know if I can help get published through one of my dad’s connections, he would be rich and then he would love me for it. I think he would love me anyway or at least that is my hope. I sit next to him and give him directions to my parents’ house. He holds me with his right arm. We are now in my parents’ driveway.

I give him a long goodnight kiss and say “Call me.” Oh, how I hope and pray that he will. If not; I will call him. I look at him from the window and wave as he drives off into the night.

Back to “My [Non-Offensive] “Grocer and Writer” Pieces”

The Prequel-Grocer and Writer (Young Lady’s Perspective)

My mom is in a deep sleep.

She took several doses of Xanax, then ate almost all the food in the house and crashed.

I just have a few cans of fruit to eat and a half gallon of milk left.

Tomorrow is Thanksgiving and hopefully, my dad will be off.

I hate my life.

It is nothing like the life of most seventeen-year-olds.

I have thyroid issues which make me completely unable to lose weight. There are many boys whom I have had crushes on, but they all reject me then mock me with such cruelty when they find out I like them. They call me either a cow or a pig and make the noises of those respective animals whenever they see me. I wish I could find a boy or even a young man who would love me for me. Just because I am fat doesn’t mean I don’t have a heart. I do have plenty to offer and if I ever did find someone, I would do everything in my power to keep him. I would be faithful to him and him only and treat him as my king.

I also dropped out of high school, because my mom is constantly under the influence of either Xanax or Vodka and unable to drive. There is no bus transportation to the private school I was attending and because of my weight I would be tormented and harassed relentlessly if I began attending the public high school in my district.

I’m unable to drive because of my size, so I’m stuck in this house most of the time, while my dad works.

He makes really good money, and we have very comfortable lives, but he neglects my mom emotionally and she either takes it out on me or turns to pills to fill the void.

Sometimes I consider stealing my mom’s Xanax and taking as many of them as possible at once to end my life.

However, something keeps telling me not to give up.

Tomorrow is Thanksgiving, but I feel I don’t have much to be thankful for.

At least there will be some good food that my dad will buy from The Downtown Grocer.

I sit in the kitchen and eat a can of Del Monte` Bartlett pears in heavy syrup.

The clock on the microwave oven says six forty-one.

It’s chilly so I raise the temperature on the thermostat.

I finish my can of pears, then go to my bed and wrap up in my blankets.

I watch “The Notebook” on demand, just hoping that someday soon I can find someone to love and love me like the couple in that movie loves each other.

It keeps my undivided attention until I am too sleepy to keep my eyes open.

It will hopefully be a good day tomorrow and I hear that voice telling me not to give up more than ever.

I’m still cold so I raise the thermostat even more, then wrap up in my blankets and go to bed.

I’m now settling into bed when my mom wakes up and starts ranting and raving.

It’s going to be a long night because my mom is extremely belligerent. Now I have to keep a constant eye on her to make sure she does nothing foolish or dangerous.

That voice telling me to not give up is stronger than ever and is getting me through tonight. The voice also keeps saying, “Just a little while longer.”

It is the only thing that gets me through the night.

Finally, my dad comes in from work and my mom begins arguing with him.

I go to bed, finally. It is near midnight.

Like most other nights I go to sleep to the angry words my parents are exchanging.

Finally, I am asleep and I dream about the words told to me by those little encouraging voices…

Back to “My [Non-Offensive] “Grocer and Writer” Pieces”

Their First Date-Grocer and Writer (Guy’s Perspective)

My girlfriend and I have been together a week and a day. Religiously we text each other. Today I want to take her out on a date. If she agrees it will be the first time we physically see each other since we met.

First I get dressed, then eat my simple breakfast of buttered toast and orange juice. I won’t eat much, just in case my girlfriend agrees to go out today and we can eat at a restaurant.

Now, it’s time to call her.

I hear it ring, but then she picks up, “Hey you!” She says.

“Hey. How would you like to go shopping and eat out with me on the river?”

“That would be wonderful. I’d love to.”

“How soon can you get ready?”

“Well, I’m in my night clothes right now, but give me about forty-five minutes.”

“Awesome. I need to get ready as well.”

“I can’t wait to see you.”

“I’m going to throw my arms around you.”

“And what else?”

“Well, I’d kiss you, too, that is if only you wanted me to. I feel such a reverence for you and don’t want to overstep my bounds.”

“Of course I’d want you to kiss me. In fact, you better kiss me!”

“Then yes, I will kiss you with immense passions.”

“No one else wanted to kiss me.”

“What fools they were. They have no idea what a wonderful and beautiful person they rejected.”

Suddenly the phone signal cuts out.

“Baby, did you say something?” I ask her.

“I, told you before and I’ll tell you again, I love you!”

My God. She just told me she loved me. I am in shock and awe, but I also feel the same way. I’ve felt this way about her almost since we’ve met.”

She then asks, “Do you love me as well?”

Assuredly, I answer her, “Yes. I definitely do. It’s just I’ve been too afraid of scaring you off by telling you.”

“You don’t scare me at all. I trust you! Now let me get ready so we can go out together.”

“Okay. I’ll get ready to. You know what, baby?”

“What?”

“I love you!”

“I love you too!”

We both then hang up and I finish getting ready.

Not long after I get a text.

It reads, “I know you need to conserve your minutes, so I’ll text you when I want you to pick me up.”

I sit in my living room, watch my television and wait. I adjust the rabbit ears and scan the channels, but there are mostly talk shows and soap operas on right now.

I decide to watch a soap opera as they had been inspirational to my writing in the past.

Now the television has my undivided attention.

Finally, just as the episode concludes, my phone alerts me of a new text message, “I’m ready now, so please come get me. I love you so much!”

I reply, “I’m coming right now and I love you too!”

I place my phone in my pocket, then walk out the front door, locking it. The weather is bleak and dreary, as I walk down my steps, across my front yard, and to the curb. I shut my hurricane fence, then get in my car. Thankfully it starts right up. I leave my neighborhood and get on the Interstate. I drive until I come upon the exit for her subdivision and take it. As I approach her house, where she is standing in the driveway eagerly waiting for me.

I see her beautiful face and step out of my car. We embrace, then stare into each others’ eyes. Passionately we kiss. She moans with pleasure and excitement. I pet her hair and she rubs my buttocks.

We smile lovingly at each other, then she says, “Let’s get out of here before my mom wakes up and confronts us.”

“Good idea baby.”

So we walk to my car, then I open the passenger door for her, to which she steps in and kisses me.

I then sit down in the driver’s seat and we leave the suburbs.

As we are driving, I tell my girlfriend, “I have to go to my job and pick up my check first, then cash it.”

“That’s fine. Just as long as we can be together.”

She then leans against me as we head downtown.

I park my car in the parking garage of The Downtown Grocer, then step out. I open the passenger door for my girlfriend and we walk into the store hand in hand. She holds herself close to me with her head close to my shoulder and her hand in my back pocket.

Suddenly, my boss, the assistant store director confronts us and angrily yells, “If you want to continue working here, you will stop the lewd behavior this instant. It disgusts me and the customers.”

Knowing I need my job, I humbly reply, “Yes sir,” Then we let go.

I walk to the service counter then pick up my check. An indifferent cashier reminds me of a five dollar cashing fee.

I consent to cash it anyway because I need my money.

After I am handed my cash, my girlfriend whispers, “It’s horrible how they treat you here.”

“I know, but where else could I work?”

We then walk back to the parking garage and I unlock my car, then open the passenger door for my girlfriend. She steps in, then I sit in the driver’s seat and we leave.

“Let’s try and forget about this miserable place and focus on each other. I know I want to.”

“Good idea.” My girlfriend says, then rests her head on my shoulder.

We drive through the city streets then finally make it to the river.

We walk into the shopping area and I say, “I dare anyone to tell me not to hold you out here!”

She kisses me and we walk together

We come upon a coffee shop.

“Are you hungry?” I ask her.

“Yes, I’m starving. My mom went on an eating binge yesterday and ate all the food in the house.”

“Well let me feed you then.”

She kisses me sweetly then we enter the shop.

I order us each a cup of hot cafe’ au lait and a big plate of beignets, then pay the cashier.

She scarfs down her food, but I think she is so cute.

After we are finished with breakfast we continue to walk, holding hands.

Though the weather is still bleak, I tell her, “There is something about this city at this time of year that inspires me to write.”

“You write beautiful stories, I’ve never read anything like them.”

I then tell her, “You know, you are like someone straight from one of my stories. It is as if you came into existence just from what I dreamed and penned. Hopefully, you will always be mine and give me even more inspiration.”

She strongly grabs me, steals a kiss, then says, “Not just hopefully, but most surely I’ll always be yours. You are so perfect for me!”

I kiss her with such a loving passion in front of everyone on the walkway.

The people smile at us, for the most part at least.

We walk together for a few hours until we are hungry again.

There is a fish and chips shop right in front of where we are standing and I ask her, “Would you like to eat here?”

“I would love to, but I’m already so fat and I’m just going to get fatter.”

“It wouldn’t matter to me, I would love you no matter how big became. Yes, I am madly attracted to your body, don’t get me wrong, but I’m also deeply in love with your soul! Besides, with your mom eating all the food in the house you need some nourishment, so let’s get you a hearty meal.”

She tightly embraces me and shouts, “Oh, I love you so much!”

“And I love you just as much!”

We walk in and I order us a large platter of deep fried cod fillets and deep fried potatoes along with coleslaw, hushpuppies, tartar sauce, cocktail sauce and lemon wedges. Then I order us each a large cup of Pepsi.

After I pay the cashier, we are served and we sit down to eat.

We happily eat. I’m glad I can give her a decent meal.

Soon the platter is empty and we continue on our walk.

There is a cruise ship passing on the river and sounding its horn. She pulls out her smartphone then takes a selfie of us with the ship in the background.

“Baby, please Bluetooth this to my phone so I can have it as the background.”

“Sure. And I’ll make it my background as well.”

She then transfers a copy of the picture to my phone.

We continue walking until we come upon a gift shop.

I buy her a Casio Baby G watch.

I then place the watch on her wrist and say “I wish I could buy you something more elegant than a Casio Baby G, but this is all I can afford.”

She smiles then says, “I know you want to get nice things for me, but you don’t have to. Just give me your time and your affections.”

“Baby, I will give you all the time I can, but I just want you to have things to have and think of me.” I pause then show her my watch and say, “I wear a Casio G-Shock too. It’s so I can keep track of time while I work.”

We continue to walk up and down the walkway.

“At least we’re burning all those calories from breakfast and lunch.” My girlfriend says.

I nod but then reply, “Yes, it’s a good idea to exercise, but I love you just the way you are. I longingly imagine how wonderful it would feel to hold you at night.”

We both blush, afterward then share another kiss.

The sun begins to set on the river. A flock of birds takes off in flight. The street musicians are playing their harmonies and melodies. My girlfriend and I get lost into each others’ eyes as we caress one another.

The moon is now up in the sky.

My girlfriend says, “I have to get back home before my parents realize I’m gone, but I am going to miss you so much.”

“I’ll miss you too, but we can do something again on my next day off.”

“When will that be?”

“This Sunday.”

We kiss once more, then leave the river. After we get to my car, I open the passenger door for her then I get in on my side. We head to the suburbs where I drop her off then watch her go inside.

Afterwards, I go to my house and sleep, dreaming many dreams about her.

Back to “My [Non-Offensive] “Grocer and Writer” Pieces”