toss this

While constructing my lunch at a grocery store salad bar today, I managed to equate the end of the line — where the lid gets snapped on after the sunflower seeds are sprinkled over the the blue cheese dressing — as a dangerous ledge of sorts.

I’ve always been one of those people who can’t stand next to a railing or lean out of a window without thinking —

I wonder what would happen if I just — jumped.

“C’mon, just jump,” a voice in my head says.  And then a second voice asks —

“Does this mean I’m crazy?”

What if scenarios frequently run through my head.  Perhaps that’s standard wallpaper for writers.  But lately —

I’m kinda weirded out by the volume that fit the category of, well — sanity checks.

Today it was — what if a person just came to the salad bar because she enjoyed making the salad so much, but never intended to eat it?

I wonder if anyone has ever done that? 

Made a salad — a really elaborate beautifully arranged concoction — and then just left it sitting at the end of the line? 

What if a person did this every day for a whole week?  Would the store put someone on the case to try to catch this obsessive salad maker?  Would she get in trouble?  Would she be taken back or put away or dismissed with a smirk?  What would a person like this be wearing?  Could you tell she was off by the way she dressed?  Talked?  Would she be dirty and rumpled?  Or appear to be an ordinary professional pursuing a healthy lunch?

This had nothing, by the way, to do with not wanting my own salad after I made it. 


I took it with me, paid for it, and ate it, thinking —

See — I’m not crazy. 

Author: Julie Ann Stevens

My art flows from the patterns & paths of my lived experience which ⏤ like yours ⏤ are at once deeply personal and entirely universal.

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