A chicken wrap now sits in a plastic container in the fridge, and I made this chicken wrap appear because I had skipped lunch, and was very confused. I did not pay for it. It was an unanticipated duplicate to replace the original chicken wrap. The wrap, kindly and originally ordered for me by someone else, had not arrived. Forgotten by the delivery man. Or so we thought. The “missing” chicken wrap was located after I barked into the phone, rationale on the wane. And I felt embarrassed. I ate the original chicken wrap while we waited for Delivery #2. We were then forced to hide the remains of the original chicken wrap. A serendipitous larceny with me as the main perp. Something I imagine an Enron accountant might have done had he dealt with chicken wraps instead of beans. I drifted into mock Method, feigning hunger just as the delivery man arrived again and after I had eaten the original chicken wrap. I felt guilty for this, even though the delivery man did not see me and did not particularly care. I pondered returning the spare chicken wrap and almost did. It would be something new indeed to return a chicken wrap to a restaurant and to offer a complicated explanation. But it was no good. The chicken wrap could not be sold again. Not by any stretch of the imagination. It had cooled. And how to explain anyway? I should have tipped the guy when he came a second time, but somebody else did. Perhaps I was frozen because others understood my dilemma better than I did, or were better and kinder people than me, or understood that my reaction arose because I was very hungry, because they had their sandwiches and I didn’t. After everyone had eaten, the second chicken wrap was offered to me, and I took it after some initial resistance, my own idea being that I could give this to a homeless man and atone. But I could find nobody homeless on the way home, and the plastic container was deposited in the fridge, where it is now situated like a metaphorical millstone. I do not know if I will ever eat it or if I can find someone else to eat it.
I feel very bad about all of this. Mix-ups like this do happen from time to time. I’m sure I’m not the first person in human history to believe for a moment that a chicken wrap ordered through takeout had not arrived, only to discover that it had arrived. And in my defense, another sandwich we had ordered had not arrived. So there was a two sandwich shortfall we had conveyed, with the chicken wrap being located post-phone call. So it’s not as if there hadn’t been some kind of mistake. There was. But does this excuse the minor deceit? The ethical dilemma of permitting my twelve hour hunger to overtake my mind, turning me into some slightly crazed animal, causing me to snap at the guy on the phone, still stings at me. The group did not, as a whole, see the chicken wrap that had been rightly delivered. Perhaps they did not want to see the chicken wrap. Perhaps none of us were meant to see the chicken wrap. Things get lost all the time. Human cognitive skills work only so well. Sometimes, we lose things and we find them right in front of us. And sometimes a chicken wrap contretemps reveals our gravest limitations.
© 2008, Edward Champion. All rights reserved.