Rioting Perfumes & Salami

My favorite quote from the movie I’m Not There:

“It’s wrong to say ‘I think.’ One should say, ‘I am thought.’

‘I’ is someone else. I am present at the birth of my thought.

I watch and  I listen.  I draw a stoke of the bow, the symphony stirs in the depths or comes with a leap to the stage.  It began with waves of disgust and it ends as we can’t immediately seize this eternity.  It ends with a riot of perfumes.” 


And now, a short story:


Salami Love

By Erika Anderson

While working on Valentines Day, I decided to invigorate my afternoon by putting an anonymous valentine on the porch of the cute boy who lives directly across the street from the sandwich shop.  Actually, handsome is a better adjective. But at the time I didn’t think of using the word ‘handsome’ because I was aiming for a charming, elementary school type of card.

I watched him open the door and get the note, which wished him a happy valentines day and told him that I think he’s very cute.    He got the card, closed his door, and 3 minutes later he flung his front door open and started walking across the street and toward the shop with great conviction. In a flurry of bewilderment and nervousness, I switched off the shop lights and turned the sign (it was 6 o’clock, anyway.)

That was last Saturday, we’re closed on Sunday, but on Monday he came into the shop and asked my boss, “Does a girl with the initials E.A. work here?”  She told him ‘yes!’  and that her name is Erika.  He told her that I had left a really nice valentine for him…  I wasn’t working but I heard about this straight from Sheri herself.

Then on Wednesday, he came in again (not out of character, he’s a regular customer).  This time he spoke with Austen, a girl that I work with who also left a valentine (only it was for his roommate.)  He said “thank you” for the card and commented that our cards said almost the same thing.  When she told me this I blushed; I should have used the adjective ‘handsome’ instead.  She told him that it was me who wrote his valentine, and she told me that he smiled a lot.

Today while I was finishing taking the order of a 30-person tour bus, there he was.  I was talking to these other cute boys when he walked in and so it gave me a few seconds to compose myself, extinguish my blush and take a few inconspicuous deep breaths.  I was cool and calm and collected when he approached, smiling down on me knowingly.  I smiled back and took his order sweetly and succinctly.  He complemented my nail polish.

The rest was just a few fleeting smiles and silly glances.

Walking home from downtown this afternoon, I found myself daydreaming and strolling at my leisure.  The sun was shining, the birds chirping and I was swinging a paper bag with dinner inside of it.  A block from his house, my eyes wandered in his direction.  They have a mind of their own sometimes.  My eyes have a mind of their own, and my own mind was somewhere else, dreaming of this tall, athletic boy who gets a turkey and salami sandwich with mayo and avocado on sourdough.

My mind was lost at this point; ‘wandering’ is a delicate understatement, although still an appropriate description of what it was doing.  Just at that very moment, I turned my head forward and was substantially slapped! in the face by a strong palm frond. SMACK!!

I kept my pace as if nothing had happened, but that palm frond truly slapped the sense back into me.  If it hadn’t done so, I think I woulda had to slap my own self.

-The End-



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