This is Delicious

Nathan Dragon



I never felt the need to buy shucked sunflower seeds, seeds already unshelled. Didn’t want to identify as that, as someone who buys unshelled sunflower seeds, just the kernels, salted or otherwise. But, these sunflower seeds, no shells, could be bought and used for cooking, unlike the ones that came still in shell. The shell that just adds a whole step, shucking the seeds, and a whole ‘nother step would make cooking less fun. It’d be a chore. Whatever dish that needed them, that would no longer be fun. Then eating would feel like a chore too since it’s a whole ‘nother step after a whole ‘nother step already. Be sitting there asking, “I did all this work and now I have to eat this?” and answering myself, “Well, when it’s all you got left.”

Still hungry after all that work.

I take a bus to a fast-food burger joint.

There’s a line and the manager there is arguing with a customer. Old guy, thick thick glasses. Frame and the lenses.

All this standing, now, waiting for this nonsense. The customer, the old guy says to the manager, “lookit,” and picks something up off the counter like a pebble or pill, from a pile of them.

I can’t stop watching the exchange.

The manager does everything not to look at the customer gesturing with the pebble or pill, “this onesa vitamin C,” tries to focus on the sizzling fryolators, smiling shyly at the next customer in line with a half shrug. The customer, again saying to the manager, “this onesa vitamin C.” Everyone in line watches the manger and the customer too and the manager is sweating from working.

I’m standing in line still thinking about how on the bus on the way to the burger joint there was this guy drinking a smoothie and saying, “this is delicious,” out loud after each sip, “this is delicious.” And how you have to clean the blender before you leave or when you get back home.

If it had been his blender and he had made his own smoothie.


Nathan Dragon’s work has appeared in NOON Annual, New York Tyrant, and has forthcoming work in Egress Mag. Dragon lives in Shutesbury, MA.