I SCRAMBLED my grocery cart—aptly named Enterprise, after the famed starship—to beat her to the eggs. With a galaxy of merchandising mayhem to navigate, a balance of velocity and stealth was the essence of this mission. Active reconnaissance and the element of surprise—that was the plan. Capture her attention and handle with care. Operation Egg Carton was in play.
“Vessel of interest, last seen approaching housewares.”
I tapped my ear bud more out of habit than necessity, concentrating on an anticipated rejoinder.
“Roger that Captain. Parking lot sector is condition green.”
This was good news for me, David Kirk, one of the Three Geekateers, but my buds call me K’avid. Well except for the duration of this morning’s mission, where a priceless serendipity had me playing the role of Captain. Captain Kirk. Sometimes life was just too good.
My crew, Jason (K’aison) and Keith (K’reith) are cruising the parking lot, alert to offer backup and patrolling the outer perimeter of Dillon’s Supermarket—Central and Maize quadrant.
Stacey Stull, a fine x-chromosomal entity had entered the building. Her presence required the institution of a new alert level. In addition to Red-Alert and Yellow-Alert, we added “Babe-Alert” to our operational lexicon.
I discovered her while orbiting the Thursday night singles group from the geek seats. I attempted to open hailing frequencies once when our paths crossed near the water fountain in the church’s narthex. But a Klingon athlete crushed my hopes, my foot, and my knee in a dead run to bring her a folding chair.
Months later, I finally made first contact with Miss Stull when the aforementioned Klingon brute jettisoned her for another babe. Over time, via ad hoc moments, we began to gel. Our chats became frequent enough to impinge on the fellowship of the Three Geekateers, forcing me to exercise damage control to restore order.
“Captain … K’reith here. Permission to let the air out of one of her tires as a Plan B diversion.”
“Absolutely not K’reith,” I shot back.
“But sir, we could ride in to rescue. You could be her hero.”
“Negative, K’reith.” That guy scared me sometimes. “Besides, I don’t know how to change a tire unless it’s a virtual one.”
“Roger that Captain. I’m standing down.”
I noted that Guy’s Potato Chips, my favorite, were on sale and tossed a few bags in the cart.
Over the past month my compatriots had clamored about rebound syndrome.
“She’s gonna fillet you man.”
Perhaps because of their concerns, I chose to play the aloof card with Stacey, hoping to boomerang into a real date eventually. The delicate balance seemed to work. She responded favorably.
Then it happened. One evening while having a serious discussion over chai tea, she took my hand, looked me in the eyes and said: “David, I love you like a brother.”
My mind, my heart, my very core imploded, NOOOOOOOOOOO!!! But it was too late.
Like a derelict shuttlecraft, I hurtled end-over-end into deep space. It was very cold and dark out there. I floated aimlessly for six weeks. With my intergalactic passport stamped by the “Love You Like a Brother” seal, I was as pocked as an asteroid being used as cannon fodder in an alien shooting gallery. I buried myself in work.
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by Anthony Spaeth
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