Author: Jake Peterson

Neighborhood: El Cajon

Age: 26

Occupation: Student

I awoke from my daily nap a little later than usual that fateless Wednesday evening. It was pushing 6:00 p.m., and my tummy was howling for sustenance.

Unfortunately, the pantry echoed with emptiness, an indication of lazy bachelorhood. Now the question became: Where will I hunt down my evening’s banquet? Mexican, Italian, and Antarctican food were out of the question because I wanted to keep my dinner fresh, and also, I’d been eating these cultures’ foods just days prior. (Well, except for Antarctican — I made that up. My guess is that it’s just snow cones and whale blubber, anyway.) Then I had a sudden hankering for sushi, and dinner was decided. I donned my finest flip-flops, cargo shorts, and T-shirt and scurried out the door, sushi on my mind, my mind on sushi…

Upon arrival at Sushi Bar (located across the street from the Westfield Mall in El Cajon), I bellied up to the bar and ordered a Heineken to sip on while inspecting the menu. I’d been introduced to this particular place by “somebody I used to know,” and her memory haunted me as I glanced around the joint, but they faded when I heard the entrance bells jingle. In sauntered one of the most beautiful women I’ve ever seen. Her blond hair flowed. White doves flew up behind her. The music came to a halt. The room was wildly illuminated by her presence (in my mind, at least).

She nestled into a lonely corner booth. I lowered the chopsticks I was using to play air drums. Arbitrary thoughts dashed through my mind. This is a real woman…she has to be around my age, 26...she looks as if she has a career…I bet she has a wide collection of scented bubble bath soaps at home… I should go talk to her. No, she’s out of my league. Could she be the one, my future ex-wife? She’s alone, but what if she’s meeting somebody? What if she’s meeting her boyfriend? He’s probably a Chippendales dancer. If he sees me hitting on her, he’ll probably challenge me to a dance-off, and I will be defeated if it comes down to that, because my moves are far from Jaggeresque…

But the Chippendales dancer I’d made up never showed. The young woman remained alone, drinking her lemon water. As for me, I remained at the bar. I ordered a Philadelphia roll with another Heineken to wash it down — if I was going to talk to this dame, I’d need help from a bottle of courage — and I wondered what her story was, if she might have a thing for guys in their mid-20s who struggle to grow facial hair and who occasionally barter with an ice-cream sales associate to save 50 cents. I could only hope.

Time passed, the hourglass dwindling. Our meals were nearing their climaxes. I searched desperately for a last-minute sign or an opening. Then I remembered that a fortune cookie would arrive with my bill. Perfect, I thought. I will walk where the fortune cookie guides me.

The bill arrived, along with my cookie. I tore open the package and eagerly busted the cookie apart, only to find…nothing; no piece of advice, no lucky numbers, no fortune. The cookie was as empty as David Spade’s fan club.

I gazed back at the appealing woman’s booth, but she had vanished — she was gone forever. All I could do was hang my head and crack a smile at this state of affairs. I was left with an $18 bill and a smashed cookie that had held no words of much-needed dharma wisdom. I’d missed my encounter, and I’d missed my fortune.

Sometimes, that’s just the way the cookie crumbles.

More from SDReader


Ruth Newell June 10, 2012 @ 9:01 p.m.

That's the way it works, though, eh Jake? My last fortune read something about a great surprise soon to come my way. I liked the image of the doves flying behind her...pretty funny...what I didn't know guys thought of when I was 26.


nan shartel June 11, 2012 @ 3:02 p.m.


u lovely masculine entity...this dang blog could take READER Romance Blog of the month..RRBOTM....think we could talk the READER into awarding that

i hate sushi ...but love fortune cookies....i would have asked for another and another and another 'til it said what i wanted it to say


the doves were significant


and next time slip this into her fortune cookie!!!


Ruth Newell June 11, 2012 @ 3:30 p.m.

And since when can Jager dance and do 26yr olds require daily naps?


Jake Peterson June 11, 2012 @ 10:59 p.m.

R2S, I hope some great surprises do come your way soon. Oh, and I'm a night owl who typically works a sunrise schedule. That's my excuse for my excessive naps. Haha

Nan, I love your idea for the romance blog! If only you were my wing woman that day.


nan shartel June 12, 2012 @ 11 a.m.

wing woman...that be good

i would love to be one of the " White doves that flew up behind her as she walked in"

i could also fill the role of shotgun well 2 if


BestMan June 15, 2012 @ 2:20 a.m.

Hey pal I really enjoyed reading this one. I was laughing a lot while reading in class especially the "guys in their mid-twenties that struggle to grow facial hair" part was kickass. You made my day buddy really :)



Jake Peterson June 15, 2012 @ 10:20 a.m.

Patrice! Is that you? Haha. It clicked in my mind after about 5 minutes. I should have known by your alias name. And I'm happy to make you laugh, my Europal.


nan shartel July 7, 2012 @ 1:21 p.m.

u absolutely deserved this first place win!!!!!!!!!!!!


Post Script: I referenced 3 different songs in this story. The first to name all three will be awarded with a tasty California Roll provided by said Sushi Bar. However, you will pay for shipping and handling fees, and it will arrive by e-mail in 2-8 weeks.

i missed this earlier on and love it...sushi makes me break out so i'll just listen to the songs instead


nan shartel July 7, 2012 @ 1:41 p.m.

hey...i guess u did win RRBOTM with this one...yippee!!!

may they honor the RRBOTM every month like this



Jake Peterson July 7, 2012 @ 4:47 p.m.

Thanks for the kind words, Nan. You called it!


Michiel Van Kets July 24, 2012 @ 2:45 a.m.

yeah, the bachelor smell ... I guess I should thank my wife double today, she just made me a lovely sandwich ... I'm happily married, good luck with your hunt :)


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