slices of bread
He had stood in this very spot so many times before. Sometimes it was roast beef, sometimes it was turkey.
Peanut butter and jelly were no strangers to this counter either.
And yet here he stood facing a dilemma that he’d never encountered before. A situation that heretofore he thought impossible.
So here he stood, frozen in place. Mayo in hand.
There was only a single slice of bread left in the loaf, not counting the crusts. You can’t count the crusts; they are like the men who operated the landing crafts bringing troops ashore from the transport ships during D-Day. Strictly Army personnel in an otherwise Navy landing. (Think about it. Come on. You can do it.)
In the hundreds of loaves of bread he’d used to make his lunches in the past, it had always been an even number of slices. There had never been a strangler.
How did this happen? Had there been an intruder? Had his loaf been violated without his knowledge?
What was he to do? He couldn’t throw it away. Being part of a sandwich is the destiny of every slice of bread in his house. From the time he selected a loaf at the store and brought it home the wheels had been set in motion. Dies had been cast. All parties involved, including Julius Caser and the Rubicon river, knew the fate of each slice of bread.
He certainly couldn’t open a new bag and pair it with a complete stranger though. Not only would it be awkward for both slices, it would create this same dilemma in perpetuity. Chaos longs for such opportunities.
So he stood there in the same spot he’d been in through prosperous times and lean. Through fatty meats and lean. Through standing straight up and lean.
I feel strongly that he would agree that it’s important, if you want to experience the true impact and import of this story, to read the title as if it were written by Walt Whitman and not by, hypothetically, Walk Whitman… which is how I originally typed it.