Beef Jerky That Makes People Sad

By Mari Casey

I enrolled my boyfriend in a beef jerky of the month club
one Christmas. In January, we broke up, and it was
a horrible breakup that still hurts a little, years beyond.

In February, when notice came that his jerky had again been shipped,
I cancelled it. It was the type of breakup where the kindest thing we could do
was leave each other alone forever. We hadn’t been very kind. I wanted to change.

In March, I got another shipping notice, tracked to his front door,
but my card had not been charged. I called
and was assured that no more jerky would be sent.

In April, they sent it again. I imagined him resenting me
for harassing him with dry meat.

In May, the credit card expired and I called customer service
to let them know that nobody was asking for this anymore,
nobody was paying for this anymore, and they sent the jerky nonetheless.
I imagined him depressed because his favorite food was ruined by my memory,
then, of course, I pictured him smugly snacking away, slandering my name
with teriyaki seasoning on his breath and my meat between his teeth.

In June, I wrote an honest message to the company:
Please, please stop sending him this food. We have been so hurt
by each other. I can’t feed him. I can’t feed him anymore.

In July, the subscription club went out of business. A result
of bad karma to the broken hearted, I’m sure,
and a poorly managed accounts billable department.
He called me, drunk, that month, and made no sense, never even mentioned the beef.

Mari Casey is from Point Pleasant, West Virginia. She received a BA in Creative Writing from Ohio University and an MFA from West Virginia University. Her work can be found in 34th Parallel, Junk, and a past issue of New Ohio Review. She lives and works in Washington, DC. 

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