I have a secret addiction. I can’t stop making grilled cheese sandwiches. As I make them, I imagine I’m the greatest grilled cheese cook in the world. I imagine there’s an award given out every year in somewhere like Zurich or Bern. Connoisseurs from around the globe arrive to celebrate the beauty of melted cheese on bread.
I never eat them. Grilled cheese disgusts me. I pile them in my freezer, my fridge, and fill the cabinets. I trade them with the air in my mattress. I buy a dog and name him Cheddar, but he also answers to Queso, or Quesito. After two weeks, he won’t eat them. He won’t eat anything. I didn’t even know dogs could get scurvy.
Quesito and I go to a Floridian orange farm. A man with German parents hires us to pick fruit all day and I grill him some sandwiches. The dog is all smiles. He just needed some Vitamin C. Harvest finished, we drive to the Keys and rent a condo.
I’m a short order cook with a crush on the waitress. Cheddar loves her even though she’s lactose intolerant. We let the tide nibble our toes during an eclipse. We spend Sundays imagining daiquiris half-drunk and dog biscuits uneaten. She teaches me to make other sandwiches. I learn about bacon and celery chopped into tiny pieces. About mustard. I actually eat.
We move into her house on the edge of a cliff. We look over but only a little. Days are long and days are short. The cliff erodes into beach. Even our ankles turn wrinkly. It’s just the two of us. I haven’t thought about Queso in years.
At high tide, our first floor fills with seawater. We move all our pictures to the ceiling and retreat upstairs. We sleep on the roof. The stars draw circles in the sky. We’re soaked, but we don’t notice. The sand is our blanket. The sand cools and hardens into rock. So smooth. So tasteless.