online literature since 2007

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

An overwhelming feeling of deja vu seems to be haunting Bob more and more frequently. As he opens his eyes in the morning. The clock says, "8:14." He thinks, "I opened my eyes exactly like this either yesterday or the day before at 8:14."

He walks into the bathroom and turns on the shower. He puts his hand in the water to make sure it is hot. He takes off his clothes, turns off the light in the bathroom, and steps into the shower. He stands motionless with his back to the shower head for several minutes before he shampoos his hair. These are all choices he has made freely and originally, but that feeling of deja vu continues to sweep over him. He can't remember making the same choices any other morning, but yet it seems that he has made them a thousand times.

A pepperoni sandwich for lunch, a quesadilla dinner. He knows for a fact that he's eaten those exact same meals before but he can't remember where or when.

"Hi, I would like two pounds of apple-cured bacon...Hello?"

Bob turns his eyes to the right and sees a woman smiling at him. He has been daydreaming for several minutes. He blinks.


Bob bends down into the meat case and grabs a handful of bacon. He weighs it. It weighs one and a half pounds. He takes a smaller handful and then puts it in a bag, weighs it, puts a sticker on it, and gives it to the lady.

"Anything else?" he asks.

"No thats all for today."

"Have a good night."

"You too."

Bob watches as the woman leaves the deli. He looks up at the clock. It says 8:14. He only has one hour and forty-six minutes left to work.

He turns to April. April is a forty-two year old mother who works in the deli with Bob. She isn't as fun to look at as Margo, but she is not ugly at all and she is able to carry on a meaningful conversation. She and Bob share the distinction of being the only two people who work at the deli that have college degrees.

"Hey, April?"


"Will you marry me?"



"I think I might have asked you that before."

"I don't think so."


Bob grabs a broom and begins to sweep so that he looks busy. April is cutting stacks of cheese. She looks really bored. Bob is really bored too.

"Margo really sucks to work with; she's so lazy," he says.

"I don't mind her."

"Yeah, neither do I."

"You just said you did."

"Yeah, but I was just feeling you out."

"Oh," she says.

"Do you ever get moments of deja vu?"

"Not too much anymore."

"I've been getting them a lot lately."

"You know it could just be you're getting tired of a routine."

"I don't have a routine," he says.


"I mean I do a lot of the same stuff everyday, but not in the exact same way."

"Does that matter?"

"No, I guess it doesn't."

"It could mean you're a psychic. At least that's what I heard," she says.

"No I can't see the future, I can only remember something from the past, except I can't even really remember it, I just know that it happened."

"It also could mean you're reincarnated."

"You mean like in a past life I was a roach or a pebbler or a rodent?" he asks.

"Yeah, something like that."

"Well then, how come I can remember activities that only a modern industrialized man, such as playing tetrus."

"I don't know. I don't believe in that stuff anyway. I was just leading you on" she says.

"Yeah, no one believes in psychics or reincarnation anyway."

"Well, someone must. They each seem to be fairly profitable ideas."

"Yeah, I guess."

"I'm bored," says April.

"Me too," says Bob, "This will be the summer to remember. We will tell our grandchildren about it someday."

April laughs and says, "The summer of 2008. We'll never forget you!"


dennis fitzgerald donnelly said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
dennis fitzgerald donnelly said...

this is my favorite deli story of yours so far