cranberry scones

by (vanessa)

Vapid (the word I always think of whenever I am forced to find an alliterative adjective for my name) journal updates:

KFC’s $1 vanilla scone is my latest guilty indulgence. They are known for their fried chicken, yet I am keen to try anything on their menu but the signature fried chicken. Anyway I ate this twice last week – once on Tuesday and again on Friday. Tuesday’s scone was delightfully fluffier than Friday’s. The pint-sized lady manning the counter looks like she is in her early 60s and her voice has a grating quality to it. She speaks very slowly in a bid to get everything on your order right, a learned patience, I suppose, whereas I always seem to be in a hurry, all sweaty and uncomfortable from rushing to (insert appropriate place here). I place my order like a Nicki Minaj speed rap and proceed to pace the area restlessly while waiting for my number to be called.

Today they are out of vanilla scones. “No more,” she says. “Only got cranberry left.” I consider this for a while as I have never liked cranberry. But I tell her okay, cranberry will do, can I please get one of that. Takeaway. Thank you. I watch as her colleague goes through the trouble of packing one silly scone in a paper bag complete with a plastic butter knife, strawberry preserve and butter, none of which I spread on my scone. I like most of my guilty pleasures plain ie. no rainbow rice on the ice-cream or sauce on the fries. The counter lady smiles and waves goodbye to me. She has never done this before. She usually smiles and I reciprocate it. This is the first time she is waving goodbye, so I wave back and leave in my typical hurry.

At school I lay out my packed scone on the canteen table alongside a no sugar added Sunkist orange juice which I had picked up from Cheers, and I think about the counter lady and how her day must be like. People affect me a lot more than I allow them to. I aspire to be this cold, calculative rational human being; unmoved and unfeeling; impenetrable, but I can only pretend so much. Quite often I encounter random strangers and we may be briefly and momentarily acquainted. We learn of names, smile, internalize faces, and then I find them on my mind all week for absolutely no good reason.

P.S. Cranberry isn’t half bad. It tastes about the same as vanilla.

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