A Killer Crunch

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Every crunch kills me. I can't stand the noise of cooked potato being crushed in-between yellow molars. With every obnoxious chew of his newly purchased Lay’s Chips, my disgust for his indifference grows. He didn’t even ask me if I wanted any. What a jerk. It didn’t help that I’m parched beyond my comfort threshold, and that a soda costs the same as that stupid bag of chips. How hungry could he possibly be? As I stare off into space letting the sounds emanating from his mouth pierce my soul he musters up the audacity to ask me for help with math. I break my trance and look at him. I didn’t hear the question. “What?” He repeats it but all I can see are the fragments of food partially visible from his mouth. No manners. He just continues to talk, mouth wide open, perfectly imitating a grazing horse. The snack has been devoured, or so I thought. He licks the ends of his fingertips, reaching into the corners of the bag to get those last crumbs, those little salty bits of what could have been my soda. If I thought his chewing was rude I had no way of describing the puckering sound he made when popping his fingers out of his mouth after licking them. There’s nothing to be done. I am broke, the vending machine is four stories down my barracks, and I am tired enough to sleep through a fire alarm. I open my mouth to sigh a sigh of defeat but the air has trouble making its way out of my mouth. Liquid of any sort is now completely absent from my airways. I need a soda. Confronting him over the issue would only waste time and I wouldn’t get the cooled salvation I desperately need. I get up and begin searching the barracks, vulture-like, searching for prey weak enough to forgo resistance. I find a pour soul lying on his bed about ready to end another day. Perfect. “Can I borrow fifty cents?” Just as I suspected. Being too tired to argue, he is forced into grunting and pointing in the direction of his desk. I see the two silver tokens, George Washington staring at me, wanting to make a home in the vending machine’s coin collector. I snatch them from the desk, mumble a quick thanks, and run out of his room. I make my way downstairs to the kitchen. The smell of popcorn being cooked by other students rushes into my nostrils. Almost there. I open the door to the kitchen and feel a cool rush of air from the slightly chilled room. I slide one quarter in. Click. Then the next. Chank. Please make selection. I click the Sprite button twice for good measure. The machine rumbles as the gears turn and shift to release my beverage. It finally hits the bottom with a clunk. I reach down and feel an ice-cold answer to my prayers. Little droplets of condensation adorn the outside of the can. I reach my fingernail under the tab and pry it back releasing a hiss then pop. My lips rejoice as they meet the cold metal. I tilt the drink back. A fizzle sensation explodes in my mouth. Lemon and lime twist and turn, held in captivity, and rush down my throat. The insatiable has been satisfied. I feel much better. I forget about my roommate and the journey that led me to this point. I’m lost in a moment of tranquility and serenity.

I love soda!





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