Ages ago I drove more than 10 miles just to look at a free-range chicken. It wasn’t even a live one; it was frozen. Those were the times when antibiotic-free meat or chicken was a rarity. It would cost an arm and a leg to buy a lean, but clean chicken that wasn’t an antibiotic addict. As a student with no cash flow at the time, I could only stare at the chicken and weighed the costs in my head. Do I spend the rest of the day panhandling for a healthy meal, or do I go back home and eat whatever there is and do my homework? Continue reading
Evan hides behind his fifth eye because he’s shy. He wears his button down shirt that’s a glimpse short in the cuffs. The bottom of his pants tends to cling to his polyester socks. The black horn-rimmed glasses he wears is the original pair his grandfather wore when he was younger way back when. Some would say Evan has no fashion sense, but he wouldn’t care because he’s too wrapped up in his hobby. He likes to take pictures and longs for an audience to view them. For now, the only one who seems to show a semblance of interest is Marcy, the only co-worker who gives him the time of day.
He stops by her desk on his way to get more copy paper for the printer. “Hey, Marcy, want to see my father’s vegetable garden?” Evan swipes on his Android to show her the photo gallery of the different variety of squashes, eggplants, and cucumbers he composed last night.
“Cool. They’re awesome.”
“I really appreciate your kind words, Marcy. Someday I’d like to have an exhibit. But instead of frames hanging on walls, I would have one huge monitor that I would swipe with a special wand so I can see the people’s faces looking at each shot.”
Marcy nods and says, “Speaking of monitors, I better get going before Bob comes here and gives me a hard time.” She motions her head toward Bob’s direction, which makes Evan turn around, so she swivels to face her computer. When Evan turns back her way, she is busily clicking on her mouse. He puts away his smartphone and returns to the task of getting a ream of copy paper. Just then his smartphone vibrates, indicating that it is lunchtime.
He decides to table the task and go back to his desk to retrieve his gym bag. His parents gave him a gym membership as a Christmas present last year, and six months into the new year now, he has yet to use it. Last night while organizing photos on his smartphone, they told him he had better start going now, or they won’t give him any more presents.
The gym is only a subway stop away from his office, so he gets there quickly enough. He changes and decides to walk briskly on the treadmill to start. After about 10 minutes, he gets tired and decides to do some exercises on the machines, following the instructions posted on each one. After about 15 minutes of trying out the different mechanisms, he heads back to the locker room and takes a shower. As he soaps under his arms, a repeating electronic siren sounds off, with each round escalating in loudness. He is momentarily stunned and quickly scrambles out of the stall. People around him are grabbing their clothes and putting them on. A man comes in and shouts, “Everyone out now! Please exit to the door behind me.”
Although Evan has opened his locker door, he hears the man shout again, “Everyone out now.” Still feeling disoriented, Evan’s first thought is to rescue his Android out of the locker. He then runs out of the locker room in a panic. Once outside, he realizes he’s wearing no clothes. The poor sap is in his full glory with only a smartphone screening his groin. His back is against the wall of the building. That’s when he gets an epiphany and powers up his phone. He opens his photo gallery app and, with the smartphone still shielding his genitalia, the screen showing outward, he flashes his shots to the people who are starting to notice him and looking below his waist.
He’s got their attention. This is his moment. He swipes through his screen to show off the variety of colorful vegetables he arranged the night before. He further enlarges the pictures to better fill his 5 ½” screen.
“Hey, bud, is that an iPud?”
Evan ignores the snide remark and hears only music in his ears when someone exclaims, “Wow! Look at the size of that zucchini.”
©2015 Karina Pinella