PICNIC BASKET • by Adi Blotman

Today is the day. I’ve walked by this fucking picnic basket every week for the past 7 weeks. It’s a standard picnic basket made of wicker, I guess. There’s this blue cloth inside and a few utensils, plates and cups. The cups and plates are white with a blue stripe towards the edge. It’s a cute fucking basket, OK? They set it out next to this cozy looking blanket, also blue. The whole thing just goes together. And every time I’ve walked by this thing, it made me picture myself sitting on that blanket, under a tree in a park. The basket is open and contains things like chicken salad sandwiches, and cute little potato chip bags, the kettle kind. And a bottle of wine (or two) peeking through the cloth next to a loaf of crispy French bread.

And I pictured someone with me. I could never see his face but he was wearing khaki pants and a funny T shirt with a flannel shirt over it. So I dig the flannel shirts, whatever, there’s something just very manly about them, alright? And we chill on this cozy blanket and eat slowly. We drink wine and just look around us and feel content.

Every week I would walk past this display, thinking, “This is not who I am. This is not what I do. This is a cliche and no one actually owns a picnic basket.”

But today I walk past it, and it is seventy-five percent off. Seventy fucking five. I mean, come on. I’d have to be a complete moron to pass on a deal like that. I know it sounds stupid, but I almost feel like maybe this basket was waiting for me. Maybe that’s why no one bought it (besides the fact that no one actually owns a picnic basket).

I pick up the basket and grab the blanket. A woman is watching me. Her eyes look disappointed, like she was considering maybe possibly jumping on this bargain. But I beat her to it. I am done being cynical. I don’t care if it’s a cliche, I want the picnic basket under the fucking tree with the guy in the flannel shirt who laughs at my jokes and holds my face when we kiss. And if I don’t buy it now, it’s almost like I don’t believe I can have these very simple things.

I carry the basket to the car and realize that I’m smiling. It feels like I haven’t smiled in years.

You’ve got a lot fucking riding on you, basket.

Adi Blotman is a comedy writer and screenwriter who lives in Los Angeles.

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Every Day Fiction