Jimmy John's 4 Lyfe #NotSpon
The only preamble you get today is that between last year and now, I totally forgot about Weebly's inability to understand tabs. Like, to make this not look absolutely horrible, I have to run a find and replace on the tab character and replace it with three space characters so Weebly can actually understand to put an indent there.
Texty Draft Text:
“Here’s a crazy thought,” Grant said, breaking Finn out of his contemplation. “We should elope.”
Finn laughed and coughed simultaneously.
“I’m sorry, what?” Finn said.
“We should elope,” Grant repeated, and this time Finn could tell he was serious.
“Why on earth would we do that?” Finn said.
He took a few steps backward to distance himself from the idea, but Grant closed the distance.
“I mean, we’ve joked about it for a while now,” Grant said.
This was true. Finn would be turning 26 by the end of the year, and he was still working for a temp agency with no benefits. Grant had a full time job with benefits (and dental).
“It’d be pretty hard for Al to keep pushing-” Grant looked around the area for Darian and did not find him, “Darian on us if we’re married.”
“I don’t know,” Finn started.
He busied himself by staring at the aisle of chips. There were five different flavors of Pringles. Finn liked pringles. Except for the salt and vinegar kind. Those hurt his teeth. Original was the best.
“What if it doesn’t work out?”
“That’s why straight people invented divorce,” Grant said.
“Isn’t that expensive?”
“Neither of us has any money, Finn.”
Finn thought for a bit and then thought a bit more. He kept thinking until his mind went blank, unable to retrieve an excuse to say no.
“How will this work?” Finn asked. “Logistically.”
“This is a hippie music festival, right?” Grant asked.
“More or less.”
“Everyone and their mother’s been ordained online these days. We’ll ask around until we find someone,” Grant said.
Finn nodded and a smile spread across his face uncontrollably. Everything about this felt incredibly stupid, but that’s what made it great.
Grant held out a hand and Finn shook it, grinning stupidly.
The two scurried their way from the gas station over to the aforementioned sad little Subway. It wasn’t very busy. Of non-employees there, all but two were part of their party. On the far side of the subway, Finn and Grant found Francine, sitting alone, silently eating a sad Subway sandwich, looking just as sad as the sandwich.
The two opened, apologizing that they had locked her in a car with Darian without realizing it. Francine swallowed a mouthful of sad sandwich.
“Don’t apologize,” she said, wiping off her mouth with a dry, sandpapery napkin. “I’m actually quite happy to be around friends at the moment. It took until this trip to realize what it’s like to hang out with people again. I’ve just been so busy with work and everything that I’ve completely neglected my social life.”
“Well that’s good,” Finn said, nodding. “There’s no problem with Darian then?”
“Well, when we were dating, he really was the one who would get us out and about, which I appreciated, so I cant pretend he’s not part of what’s going through my head right now,” Francine said.
She took another bite, chewed, and swallowed while Finn and Grant watched on.
“So it’s less of who he is as a person, and what he represents as a memory and an outlet to other socialization,” Francine said. “Plus I got the feeling that he was never into girls to begin with. Like, I’ve dated my fair share of gay guys in the past, fool me once. But I will say this is the first time one of my exes has left me for a thruple.”
“He’s definitely still bi,” Finn said.
“Yeah, I guess. It’s just that imagining he left me because he’s gay is a lot simpler narrative to accept than the one where there was something about me or my character that he found undesirable, that’s all,” Francine said. “Plus, it’s not my place to force anyone to date me. I’ve tried that before. And if I’ve learned anything from those experiences, it’s that a relationship built on an elaborate web of lies can only last like two weeks tops.”
Finn and Grant nodded. Francine took the silence as an opportunity to put the last piece of sandwich into her mouth. It was a bite that would have been disappointingly small to take as two bites, but as one was a little bit too big for Francine’s average mouth.
“So would now be a poor timing to tell you that Finn and I are getting married?” Grant said.
Francine violently spat out her large chunk of sandwich into her napkin.
“Shut the fuck up,” she shouted. “I thought you two were kidding about that.”
“We were, but now we’re not,” Grant said.
Finn smiled, his silence not out of dissent but out of admiration to see Grant so happy about something.
“That’s absolutely not poor timing; don’t you ever think you have to hide something like that from me,” Francine said. “I live for shit like this. My Instagram is like, 90 percent gay wedding content and 10 percent Riverdale memes. Now I can start living vicariously through someone that I actually know. How crazy is that!”
“But don’t tell anyone yet. We don’t want to freak anyone out until it’s all official,” Grant said.
“We also don’t want to steal my Mom’s thunder just yet,” Finn added. “So lips sealed.”
Francine nodded and made a zipper shutting gesture before opening her mouth for a second try at the last piece of sandwich.
Finn and Grant left to grab their own sad little sandwiches, leaving Francine alone yet again, but this time without a sandwich for company. She opened her bag of chips as Darian sat down across from her with his own sad little sandwich.
“And how is Darian doing on this find afternoon in this sad little Subway,” Francine said, dumping the chips onto her tray which revealed maybe three full chips and mostly broken dust.
Darian sighed a sigh that didn’t feel sincere to Francine. The two had dated, and Francine knew what his sincere sigh sounded like. This was at least twice as loud, and definitely not at the pitch that Darian’s sighs usually were. This was a pointed sigh of performance that he uttered while staring longingly at the sandwich bar where Grant and Finn were battling with the Subway people and their toaster which was allegedly not working.
“You regret the type of sandwich you got too?” Francine said.
“I mean, we’re at a Subway, so yes,” Darian said. “I’m just wondering if coming on this trip was a good idea or not.”
“Not your kind of music festival?”
“Absolutely not my kind of music festival,” Darian agreed, still staring past Francine. “But that doesn’t really matter. See, I accepted the invite because I miss spending time with Finn.”
Darian flicked his eyes over to Francine. She gave him an unhappy look.
“And you. Also you,” Darian said quickly. “But now I’m worried that I might not be fully over him? Or at least not enough over him to spend a four day weekend and it not be a little weird.”
Francine nodded a nod that to her said ‘wow, okay, I guess if your main concern is that you’re not over Finn you’re probably one hundred percent over me’ but to any other observer looked just like a typical nod of validation.
“Especially if we’re all in that one tent Nicki mentioned?” Darian said. “Didn’t Finn tell you that we’d have a cabin? I thought this Patrick guy was going to hook us up with something.”
“Oh I definitely thought we had a cabin,” Francine said. “I would not be here if I knew there was camping involved. I do not have my sleeping bag or bear spray.”
The two sighed genuine sighs, accepting the unknown and their powerlessness. For Francine, her powerlessness regarding the camping and her unrequited love for Darian. For Darian, his powerlessness also regarding the camping, and his unrequited love for Finn. Their sighs were warm, heavy, and smelled of Subway.
“Well, I’m going to go grab something caffeinated for the road,” said Francine, deciding that her chip dust was not worth the effort.
She wiped off her hands with a napkin and stood up. She looked over at Finn and Grant who were now seated at a table, smiling like the stupid engaged couple that they were now. She returned her eyes to Darian who was also staring at Finn.
“Just remember that they’re a package deal,” Stephanie said. “You might have met poly couples in the past that do things a little differently, but Finn and Grant are a unit. Keep that in mind.”
Stephanie walked away, leaving Darian with his sad little sandwich and his thoughts.
Stephanie was too alone with her thoughts as she moved to the coolers in the gas station convenience store. And they weren’t great thoughts. They were the ‘you’re unloveable’, ‘you’re ugly’, and ‘remember that time you did that dumb thing over a decade ago’ thoughts.