For those of you keeping track, this is day 9 of the May Blog Challenge.
I chose the word “Melts” and I honestly didn’t expect food to come up.
He was so hungry he would eat anything at that point. Anything that had salt, and flavor and made him feel like he was eating anything other than the cardboard shit his doctor had been feeding him. He missed real food, and he couldn’t believe that he could no longer have it.
It had started just over a year ago, when he had gone to the doctor for a routine check up. The doctor had found high blood pressure and had urged him to correct his diet, exercise more and to not stress as much. He was told that six months after that, they would check his progress again and see how his blood pressure was doing.
Six months later, his blood pressure was even higher and he was complaining of chest pain. So the doctor scheduled an EKG and found cause for alarm. His heart valves were failing and he had an enlarged left side of his heart. So the doctor sent him to a diet specialist who taught him about Cardiac restrictions in his diet. That meant no salt, limited fats, and even less flavor. His wife made sure of that and he was really starting to hate his new, not very satisfying nutrition regimen.
And then, one day when he was out around town without his wife, he saw it, or at least a picture of it in the window of the local deli. Free Melt with the Purchase of a Large Drink touted the sign in the window and he knew it was wrong, but it felt so right.
So he looked around for anyone who would see him duck into the deli and stepped in in just a few steps. He felt as though he was committing a crime, but he was sure the reward would be so worth it. If the actual melt looked anything like the sign, the bread perfectly toasted, the cheese melted just perfectly and the meat grilled to perfection, it would all be worth the supposed jail time his wife would inflict on him if she knew. But as far as he knew, no one would tell her if he bribed them with enough cash.
So he ordered, and watched it get made and put together right before his eyes, and he waited for them to call his pseudonym, Mr. Jones. Then when he went to pay for his drink and receive his free melt, he slipped them a 20 with a wink and slinked to the farthest corner of the deli, where no one could see him through the window. Then he took his first bite.
The taste was better than any other melt he had ever had. Screw his doctors and his wife, he was either going to die from eating what he wanted, or live a shorter life because he could not give up the foods he liked. He refused to be tortured by the blandest diet known to man. So he enjoyed the melt all the way until the last bite, and even sucked the cheese off of the yellow paper beneath the sandwich. He refused to let a drop go to waste. If he fell to the floor and had a heart attack right there in the deli, then so be it, but he was going to die happy.
Later that evening, sitting over a plate of steamed and boiled whatever vegetables, his wife asked him about his day. And he lied, thinking he could get away with what he had done.Only she knew better.
“I can see the cheese on your shirt, Harold”
He would have preferred the heart attack to what ire was to come from her.