The Glazed Ham
Marie grabbed the stack of papers from the copier and, without thinking, made her way up aisle number three, past Bobby’s desk. She hadn’t realized her mistake until she noticed the mangy head of hair occupying his head. Bobby was such an odd duck. Still, her mother had raised her with manners, and so Marie put on a cheery face.
“Hey there, Bobby! How’s it going?”
Bobby sat there, at his desk, and didn’t respond.
“Uhh, guess you’re busy. Have a good one.” Marie hustled her way past Bobby’s cubicle and on to bigger and better things. Bobby didn’t care, though. For you see:
Bobby was in love.
All-day long, he would sit at his desk at work and dream. He wouldn’t answer the phone; he wouldn’t respond to an email. He wouldn’t even check the fax machine. How could he, when perfection showed herself in his frontal lobe? He had a longing so deep, so pure that it was almost fairytale-like.
Bobby was in love with a Glazed Ham.
Sure, in the past, there had been other meats. Three years ago, he almost married a quarter pound of roast beef. But this wasn’t her, or then. This was now. There was only one problem.
The Glazed Ham didn’t love him back.
Bobby tried everything.
But nothing worked.
And still, the Glazed Ham would not love him back.
At night Bobby would sit in his high back leather chair, drinking his tumbler full of scotch and loudly lament, “WHY? WHY WON’T YOU LOVE ME GLAZED HAM?”
On this particular night, Bobby went to his library, grabbed hold of Tolstoy, and sat down. There might not have been any Russian swimming in his blood, but there was Russian living in his heart. He opened up his dog eared copy of “War and Peace” and found his favorite passage.
If you look for perfection, you’ll never be content. You can love a person dear to you with a human love, but an enemy can only be loved with divine love. Let us forgive each other — only then will we live in peace. If one loves anyone, one loves the whole person, just as they are and not as one would like them to be…
There it was! The answer he had sought for many moons. Of course, Tolstoy would know the answer. Tolstoy knew suffering. Tolstoy was suffering! Bobby went into the kitchen, took out the Glazed Ham, and with a kiss, placed her inside his freezer. Then he hopped in his car, and drove to the local supermarket, made slightly more difficult due to the number of scotches he had imbibed. He wandered amongst the produce, waiting for his heart to see what his eyes could not.
There she was!
Sitting in the middle of the freezer, amidst her brethren, a twelve-pound Butterball Turkey.
“I knew our souls would find each other,” Bobby exclaimed, to the discomfort of shoppers walking by.
He took the Butterball Turkey home and placed it inside a large pot on his granite counter.
Ever so lovingly, Bobby prepared his bride to be.
He washed her.
Massaged out the knots.
Placed her inside an oven that was set at 375 degrees.
He sat there, surrounded by meaningless opulence, and waited. Bobby walked around the house, lighting every single candle he owned to properly set the mood and waited. He finished a bottle of wine, took out another, and waited. And when he thought he could not wait any longer it happened:
The chiming of the timer sounded like church bells on a Sunday morning, and Bobby raced to the kitchen.
It was time!
He carried his bride over the oven threshold and placed her on the wedding dish on the counter. Next, Bobby walked over to the fridge and took out the asparagus and diced potatoes. They had waited for years inside his Kenmore, waiting for the moment when they would serve their purpose. Bobby made three separate trips from the kitchen to the dining room table, saving his bride for last. With everyone in their proper places, Bobby pulled up the chair at the head of the table and let out a long sigh. This table told the tale of his family, marked by years, as it had been passed down from father to son for several generations.
Shit! How could he forget!
Bobby raced back to his curio cabinet and took out the silverware used only on the most special of occasions. With the silverware in their proper positions, he tucked his napkin inside the collar of his shirt and inhaled, drinking all the smells and flavors of his bride deeply. Perfection was now at hand! Ever so carefully, Bobby reached to his left, grabbed the bottle, and dumped ketchup all over the dish.
She was finally ready.
He was finally at peace.
Carefully he took his fork and knife and sliced off a piece of his love. He bathed her in the pool of food blood on his dish. By ingesting her, they would become one. Bobby placed the morsel into his mouth and said,
And then he choked on his first piece of turkey slathered in ketchup and died.
The Glazed Ham sat undisturbed in the freezer. She had paid attention when the Man had been blinded by obsession. The Glazed Ham had listened to the Man when he read Tolstoy aloud, and the Glazed Ham ruminated on this particular passage while she waited for her expiration.
“Why does everything exist that exists, and why do I exist? Because it exists.”