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One morning I checked my Facebook account and was greeted by the following message.

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Find friends? That meant going outside where people lived. The stress levels started to rise. No, I would stay were I was and clean my place instead. One look at the disorganized clutter in my kitchen dissuaded me from choosing that option. It was time to venture out into the non-electronical world of physical stuff.

At the front counter of the coffee shop I was greeted by the barista. “How are you today?” she asked.

“Hungry.” That was my answer, because that was how I felt.

“Hungry for food or hungry for knowledge?” She was the inquiring type.

“Food,” I answered. “There comes a point, especially at my age, where you feel you have already learned enough.”

The overhead menu listed several specialty sandwiches. I looked for some indication of what made them so special but my bifocals were being uncooperative and I couldn’t quite focus on the words. “Tell me about your sandwiches.” It looked like I was going to learn something new after all.

The woman behind the counter explained. “Our meats are chicken, beef or ham. Our breads are flat bread, rye, ciabatta…”

I interrupted her. “Stop, that all sounds like mumble, jumble to me. Different types of bread were one of those things I never learned before deciding to stop learning new things,” I explained.

Now I was in a bind. With no knowledge of specialty sandwiches or the ingredients that make them different then a normal sandwich, I felt like a fish out of water. A hungry fish. I stood there still staring up at the menu board that I couldn’t bring into focus, on the verge of a panic attack, sinking deeper into an episode of social awkwardness, about to drown.

The barista tossed me a lifeline. ” My favorite is chicken and cheddar on a ciabatta bun, with lettuce, tomato and a pile of red onion whacked on top.”

“I’ll take it!” I said with no hesitation. A drowning man will grab at anything.

“Grilled,” she asked?

“Yes!”  A wave of relief washed over as the pressure pushing me down lifted from my spirit. I just might survive this trip out into the real world after all; at least I wouldn’t starve.

“Have a seat,” she instructed. “I’ll bring you your Jenn sandwich as soon as it’s ready.”  Not long after she laid this on the table in front of me.

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I took my first bite of the toasted sandwich. The crunchiness drowned out the incessant noise of life assailing my ears. I closed my eyes as I slowly chewed. Taste, now my dominate sense explained my world. I was floating in a sea of flavors combining in bold, new taste explosions. I was enjoying this new found experience and extremely pleased it had been brought to my knowledge. Maybe I was too quick to stop learning new and tasty things.

I’m glad I took Facebook’s advice that day and went out and found a new friend; the Jenn Sandwich, grilled.

(Oh, and Jenn the Barista, she’s cool too!)

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2 thoughts on “The Jenn

  1. I first read this on an empty stomach and your prose were too portent for me and I had to go eat something. I came back later and reread and I have to say I really admire taking a seemingly small subject and elevating it to much more, perhaps even symbolic for something else! Also, it’s really funny that Facebook has the audacity to insist you make new friends.

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