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Stepping out of the thrift store, Stacey's heel broke. Not her actual heel, but the heel of the shoe she had just purchased and worn right out of the store. This unexpected breakage infuriated her to no end, and she was about to turn right back around and march into the store to demand her money back, when she remembered, as she was good with remembering small details like this, that she had purchased the gently-used red high heels from a thrift store whose policy was strictly No Returns, and she had tried at an earlier date to return a pair of underwear that didn't fit very well and they had firmly but kindly affirmed this policy, which seemed flawed to her because as long as it was all already used, who cares if it was used a little more? This frustrated her, especially at this moment with one heel broken and the other heel completely and mockingly stable, and as she hobbled in small circles around the front of the store pulling her "lazy shoes" back out of her large-capacity purse her mother had handed down to her, she cursed quietly to herself. Slumming it could be so hard sometimes.
Then the voices spoke from inside her head, like angels if angels sounded like Al Franken. Fulfill the destiny... thus spake Frankens, Behold, the Sandwich... And in her mind's eye, bathed in a glowing golden light was the sandwich that was to come... a generous slice of smoked blackforest ham; a layer of gouda cheese; thin slivers of watercress; a single leaf of romaine lettuce; chopped red onion; and diced pimento olives on a lightly toasted rye bun. The sandwich hung in the air for what seemed like two minutes but was actually one minute, then it faded into oblivion while the Angels whispered, Fulfill the destiny, make the sandwich, you know you want it...
Stacey did not doubt that she had just had a vision -- albeit a seemingly superfluous vision, but one that was nonetheless very real and of the deepest urgency. It was not hard for her to believe, she already believed in Woodland Faeries, and Trickle-Down Economics, but she did not understand why the vision had come to her. She had never cooked a day in her life.
"What am I to do?" she said, tears starting to well in her greenish-or-bluish-depending-on-the-day eyes. She quickly dabbed the moisture away so that her mascara would not run in an unsightly public display of emotion. "I can't make a sandwich! I've never cooked a thing in my life!" It was true: from the moment she was born, people had always prepared food for her - first her mother, then, after an advantageous second marriage, her mother's cook, then the school cafeteria, then her boyfriends and restaurants and manual-labor-inclined friends. She had lived in the city her whole life, so whenever she needed something to eat she went out or ordered take-out. Her fridge was bare save for bottles of single-serving juice she asked the local grocery store to deliver to her apartment, single servings because otherwise she'd have to pour it into a cup and later wash that cup, and she did not know how to wash things either, and besides she worked hard at whatever it was she did at Perry Ellis, and why should she have to work again when she got home when there were plenty of migrant workers and struggling musicians who were aching to do it for her, for just a bit of her change, to fulfill the American Dream? It was her generosity towards them that got her in this mess, she thought. For in this moment, struck by a vision that was impossible to fulfill, her money unable to do anything for her, she felt completely helpless. She had not felt this helpless in a long time, not since two days ago when her hair dryer broke and she had to get a new one, but she didn't know where to buy it so she got her friend Ani to go buy it with her, and everything was better. But it wouldn't get better this time, because neither Ani nor Todd nor anyone in the world could help her now. She was on her own, the voices had told her to make a sandwich and that meant she alone had to make it, and she could not make that sandwich. Maybe if it was a peanut butter and jelly, she might have a fighting chance, but melted gouda and blackforest ham on toasted rye bread? Impossible, she simply lacked the ability. She was like Joan of Arc without the swordsmanship, or Jesus without the nails or carpentry skills. A martyr without a clue. She slouched against the brick wall behind her and hid her face in her hands, sobbing, no longer caring about her mascara, which she now remembered was the new waterproof kind so she had little to worry about on that front at least. Cold comfort.
At this time a panhandler hobbled up to her, also wearing women's shoes with one heel broken. "Excuse me miss, can you spare a quarter nickle dime? I just need to get something to eat. God bless."
"Go away, you filthy creature, I've got bigger problems..." she said, then looked at him and her face lit up like a joint. The tousled hair, the long white beard -- he must be a sage sent to advise her! Her guardian spirit angel must be looking out for her after all. "Wait, maybe you can help me! You're wise, aren't you?"
"I am old," he said.
"Same difference. Look, I've got a Susan B. Anthony with your name on it if you can advise me on this vision I've had. Angels that sounded remarkably like Al Franken have told me I need to make this fancy sandwich, but I can't cook. How am I to make something that I can't make?"
"I remember a crazy rich lady that talked to me once..." the old begger replied, "She bought me a slice of pizza, and then rambled on for half an hour about how she planted a tree in her backyard and she was so proud to do something about the environment. Turns out she didn't actually plant it, she hired some people to plant it for her and was just pointing where they should dig the hole. But she felt she was actually planting a tree. I guess it works different for rich people..."
"Yes, that's it!" she exclaimed, joyous that her sage had done just what she had hoped, nay known, he would. It was so simple! Things worked different for rich people! If she paid someone to make a sandwich for her and told that someone what ingredients to put in it, add a little more mustard etc., she was making a sandwich! Rich people could not be expected to make things on their own, it was their nature to use hired help! Forgetting in her excitement to pay the old man, she rushed off to her favorite deli. "Kind sir, I am on a mission of great import," she exclaimed to the Dominican man behind the counter. "A thick slice of your finest blackforest ham, please."
Somewhere, Angels smiled.
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Fulfill The Destiny, Part 1 By Bayard Russell