The Nice Thing About Strangers

Creative Non-Fiction Short Stories. :) Travel, Oldsters, Love, and Compassion.

An Apple A Day

She’s been silently enjoying her lunch. Though she’s consuming soup she blows quietly to cool it, like whispering over a sleeping child, and she eats from a breadbowl, which makes no sound as she sets her spoon upon the side. She drinks an iced tea without ice, so nothing clinks against the cup. She suppresses a sneeze. She turns pages in the newspaper like Mr. Miyagi.

It’s the first bite of her apple that makes a few of her neighbors look in her direction. The apple crunch happens during a lull in the calming cafe music. The apple crunch seems to echo. Once the picture of peace, now the woman resembles her Red Delicious. She’s so embarrassed to have caused a produce ruckus that she sets the apple down, pushes it away. She waits for the silence to return, the music to return, then she lifts the apple and tries again. She takes timid bites and somehow feels they aren’t quiet enough, as far as her nervous reactions go. She slices the apple into smaller pieces, but there’s still the chewing that must seem to her like a monster truck rally in her mouth. She gathers her things and waits to finish the apple until she heads to her car, until the engines in the parking lot let her munch without notice.


Garden of Eden, Lucas, Kansas

It’s in Kansas.

16 comments on “An Apple A Day

  1. suej
    June 25, 2014

    Great observation, as ever….

    • 🙂 Sue, I was so excited to see her with that apple. I’ve been waiting months to use the Garden of Eden pic! Hehe.
      Thank you, Sue–

      • suej
        June 26, 2014

        Fab! And why is the Garden of Eden sign where it is – where you took that photo?

      • The sign is directing one toward The Garden of Eden in Lukas, Kansas. It’s a pretty amazing little set of sculptures in a random Kansas town. Sue, you might really like it.


      • suej
        June 27, 2014

        I’ll need to look at it on the iMac, the gallery won’t load on a tablet…but it sounds like my kind of place! Interesting 🙂

      • Definitely up your alley, Sue. Maybe I’ll get you to road trip in Kansas! 😀

      • suej
        June 27, 2014


  2. sedge808
    June 25, 2014

    fab story

  3. oualdeaux
    July 2, 2014

    “that must seem to her like a monster truck rally in her mouth” — a simile that makes me smile!

  4. thenicethingaboutstrangers
    February 5, 2016

    Reblogged this on The Nice Thing About Strangers and commented:

    Have a wonderful weekend! 🙂

  5. vandysnape
    February 7, 2016

    Very vivid 🙂 Lovely writing. 🙂

  6. sweetexp
    February 7, 2016

    :)) Monster trucks, yes! You go Paige. I cherish your book each day! Have you traveled to Germany? (Special place in my heart for Germany since I study the language). TAMCON so soon. I plan to give you a great big hug and get my book autographed.

    • thenicethingaboutstrangers
      February 9, 2016

      Keith, I can’t wait to get there either. I have missed a lot of shows with my schedule lately. Please don’t let me miss out on the announcements about the when and where! 🙂

  7. publichealthdebates
    September 1, 2016

    Lovely story! The imagery and self-conscious observation make for a very relatable piece.

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