There were tears in the macaroni salad.

The salty, wet dish absorbed Ray’s sadness drop by pitiful drop.

He was afraid of being a coward, but his fear didn’t keep him from his cowardliness.

Instead of running away from parenthood all at once, Ray decided to execute his withdrawal one bit of slimy pasta at a time.

He was hoping to miss out on the version of himself that cared enough to try.

Each trip to the grocery deli was the genesis of a future regret.