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Tuesday: Prune Juice This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine.

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   Now let me see. Today is Tuesday. That means prune juice. You know, to tell you the absolute honest truth, I don't particularly feel like prune juice today. (That's a secret between you and me, though.) Nevertheless, one must obey schedules. Yes indeed, one certainly must obey schedules. I mean, my life would be a mess if I didn't have my routine down so thoroughly. Without a routine, I wouldn't even begin to know what to do. I just couldn't handle such confusion. That's why I always stick to my schedule: orange juice on Monday, prune juice on Tuesday, tomato juice on Wednesday, carrot juice on Thursday, and guava juice on Friday. (Weekends are always seltzer water flavored with lime or lemon juice.) I know it sounds, well, simple. But that's just it. No decisions, no fuss, just a glance at the schedule (I keep it hanging right on my refrigerator where I can see it in case I forget), and I've got most of my meal planned for me. And to tell you the honest truth, I've followed it exactly for almost as long as I can remember. Really, honest I have. That's not to say I don't eat solid food as well, though. Don't get me wrong. If I feel the need, I'm just as likely to wolf down a stick of celery or a cracker topped with caviar as the next person. After all, I'm human. Like I say, though, I've been following that schedule for as long as I can remember-at least since Roger died. Roger my husband, not Roger my son, I mean. Although you probably never knew either one of 'em.

I bet a lot of people envy me for my organization. Sure, it sounds kinda crazy, but once you get to be my age folks appreciate something they can expect. They don't want no fastballs. I keep all of my juices on a special shelf in glass flasks that each hold one liter. Each jar has its own label in black ink. They are arranged in order from Monday to Friday, or orange to guava, whichever you prefer. I take them off the shelf every Monday morning when I do my dusting, at which time I refill each jar exactly up to the one liter mark.

I go shopping on Sunday mornings real early, because Sunday is the day of our Lord and I figure that I have less of a chance of being raped or mugged on the day of our Lord than on another day. You may laugh, but the world is full of crazies. I been around - I know! I always go to Brown's Market to do my shopping. Mr. Brown says I am one of his best customers.

"Miss Polly," he says with a smile on that big ol' round face of his, "you are one of the nicest ladies I know, and I'm proud to call you a favorite." I know he doesn't mean it (they hardly ever do), but I nod and thank him anyway. It's nice to have a kind word to look forward to every Sunday morning, especially at my age.

I don't like that stockboy who works for Mr. Brown one bit, though. They say in the paper that the youth of America are more troubled nowadays than ever before, and from the looks of that young man I can believe it!

Last Sunday, or maybe the one before - I forget these things - I was in Brown's Market looking high and low for a can of artichoke hearts for my friend Hope who was coming to dinner.

"Excuse me, young man," I said to the stockboy. "Could you show me where I might find some artichoke hearts?"

"Yes Ma'am, second aisle about half way down on the right," he replied, looking up from the floor he was mopping.

"Young man, I've searched this store with a fine tooth comb and I can't find artichoke hearts for the life of me. I didn't ask you to tell me where they are, I asked you to show me," I said. "I'm old, boy, and I might die soon, which is all the more reason why I'll be damned if I have to spend from now till the Apocalypse searching for artichoke hearts." (Sometimes people need a push.)

That got him going, and he set off down aisle two, barely waiting for me to follow. When we reached the alleged spot where the artichoke hearts were, he stopped and said very loudly, "Here you are Ma'am."

"Those are artichoke hearts in cream sauce! I told you I wanted good old plain artichoke hearts. Didn't you hear me?"

"I'm sorry," he said. (I knew he wasn't.) "I'm afraid that's all we have left in stock right now." I sighed heavily and pushed that garbage-truck of a shopping cart on down the aisle. My feet hurt more than Moses' must have after leading his people to the promised land.

"I'm sorry," he said, once again very loudly.

"I'm not deaf," I replied.

I bought the artichoke hearts in cream sauce.

The mailman came to my door the other day. "Morning, Miss Polly," he said. "I been noticing the fact that you haven't been remembering to empty the mail from outta that mailbox of yours, so I thought I'd step in and remind you."

"I haven't forgotten," I said. "I just don't see the point of it. There ain't nothin' I need except what I already have, so those catalogues don't do me no good, and I'll be damned if I'm gonna risk breaking my leg just to fetch some old bills. The people who collect those bills are all young anyway, they got time to wait. Believe me, I know." That's what I told him.

Anyhow, like I say, today is Tuesday. That means prune juice, which suits me just fine now that I think about it. At least I've got tomato juice to look forward to tomorrow. But prune juice suits me fine for now. Yes, indeed. Just fine. I've got a lot of things to look forward to, too. Before I know it it'll be Sunday again, and then Monday before I can catch my breath which will mean time to dust and refill my juices again. I'd say I'm pretty lucky. I mean, compared to most people I've got a lot to be thankful for. Yes, indeed. Tuesday. n


This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine. This piece has been published in Teen Ink’s monthly print magazine.






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In_Love_with_Writing said...
Jan. 18, 2013 at 9:29 am
This was a cool story! Usually I skim stories on the website, but I actually wanted to read yours through the end. Nice job on it! Can you comment and rate some of my work? It would mean so so so so much if you did :)
 
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