#202: Juliet Eats A Fortune Cookie


Juliet eats a fortune cookie
in two bites. While she’s chewing
the first half she pulls the paper fortune
from the other and reads
“The one you love is closer than you think.”
Juliet loves fortune cookies, I mean,
she likes the way they taste. But she is
also fond of the whole fortune telling aspect
and has, on several occasions, found fortunes
inside that felt fortuitous, fine, and true.
She’s not sure about this one.
She knows that Mom and Dad hope
she finds Paris interesting and suitable
and she has said that she would
look to like, if looking liking move.
But she doesn’t know this guy from Adam
and the thought of marrying a guy
that she doesn’t know from Adam
seems distasteful to her, icky.
Sure, she thinks, she’ll dance with him
and try to keep an open mind, but that
is about all she’s willing to do.
He’s handsome enough and rich,
but he might be an ass, and Juliet
does not want to marry an ass.
She’s seen that up close and doesn’t
care for it, not one bit.
She eats another cookie, finds
another fortune, one that reads
“Fame will soon be yours.”
That’s a certain text, but she cannot
understand why, is flattered, is filled
momentarily with a fantasy in which
she is honored, say, forever and ever
with a statue in the middle of the town square.
What she could possibly do to deserve this,
she’s not sure.  She is not without talents
and gifts. She can see how it might be possible
that she would be honored in this way
for some significant contribution to her
society, like, for example, if she could somehow
broker a peace between her family and these
Montagues who have been fighting each
other for what seems like forever. People
have actually died. Stupid. The Prince would be
forever grateful to her and so would her father
and the Montague patriarch. She can see them
all chipping in together to pay for a statue.
Damn, these cookies are tasty, she thinks,
and she breaks another in half, eats the thing
and sets aside the fortune for later, a surprise,
a treat, perhaps, for when she returns from
the dance.

And she will return, as you know,
having been transformed entirely,
exhausted, her mind reeling
and her heart on fire and her soul
alive to a brand new way of being,
and she will find the fortune from
her last cookie of the afternoon.
She will turn it over, hold it between
her shaking fingers and read:
“Love is for the Lucky and the Brave.”

Published by michaeljarmer

I'm a public high school English teacher, fiction writer, poet, and musician in Portland, Oregon

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