The Routine

Illustration by Alessandro Gottardo

I’m at Trader Joe’s buying groceries for the week, and the free-sample counter has little plastic cups of cornbread with corn-chile salsa. I take one. A male employee talking to an older woman nearby suddenly drops his voice, as if the person they’re talking about just walked by. They both turn and look at me as I take a second sample cup of cornbread and pop it into my mouth like a Jell-O shot.

Originally published in The Sun.


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