'My Fellow Imposters' Flash by Scott Waters
Thanks to the pandemic, when I grocery shop, I am someone else behind the mask -- someone who likes beets, pickles, and kimchi. Other shoppers roll through the aisles pretending they are me -- a man who likes brussels sprouts, rhubarb, and bananas.
Yesterday one of my fellow imposters informed me I was putting my items by mistake into his cart. A lengthy discussion ensued, during which I informed him that it was not strictly "I" placing items into his cart, but rather the someone I had become behind the mask -- which explained why I had deposited a bag of fresh golden beets, two jars of dill pickles, and a can of kimchi on top of his bag of brussels sprouts. On closer inspection, I saw that under the brussels sprouts were several stalks of rhubarb and a bunch of bananas.
"Aha!" I expostulated. "This means you are in fact impersonating me -- which means, if you think about it, I was actually putting my items into my own cart. If you like, you can put some of your items in my cart, and we'll call it even."
At this, he scrunched up his droopy red moustache, leaned over, and peered with great circumspection into the bowels of my cart. Then, with a flourish, he reached into "his" cart, ripped off a green banana, and handed it to me. "Be yourself," he muttered and rolled away down the aisle.
I stood there for a bit, carefully considering my dwindling options. Finally, I ate the banana, but it tasted like beets. Like pickles. Like bloody kimchi.
All Rights. Scott Waters.
ScottWaters lives in Oakland, California with his wife and son. He graduated with a Master's Degree in Creative Writing from San Francisco State University. Scott has published previously in Main Street Rag, Better Than Starbucks, The Blue Nib, The Pacific Review, Loch Raven Review, Adelaide, A New Ulster, The Courtship of Winds, and many other journals. Scott's first chapbook, Arks, was published in 2021 by Selcouth Station, and his poem "I Could Be Anybody" was nominated for the Pushcart Prize.