Thursday, January 10, 2008

noah's ark

it's the name of a great deli/restaurant on the lower east side where i ate lunch yesterday. Lunch which consisted of a knish and corned beef sandwich cost me $21.25. I never understood why all the good delis cost so much. There was a great deli near where i grew up called (i think) The Mill Basin Delicatessen and my mom used to take me and my little brother there every so often. I think she took us there when she had a jonesing for good pickles and coleslaw because all we ever really ate was the hot dog specials (two dogs and a soda) and it was always crazy expensive. But there was unlimited coleslaw and pickles, and seriously they were the best hot dogs ever.
but anyway i really wanted coleslaw and pickles so i wandered into the deli and took a seat in the corner. At another table there were a couple of well dressed men in yarmulkes, a tourist couple (that were way to loud for the atmosphere) and an old man tucked into a corner. The well dressed men were conducting business over lunch , and there was an incessant tapping of a calculator; the old man in the corner was regaling the waitress with tales of the way the lower east side used to be. I resisted the urge to pull up a table closer to this man.
When the tourists left a middle aged man came in with a raggedly dressed older man. At first i thought the middle aged man was some sort of good Samaritan taking the older man (clearly down on his luck) for a good meal. The sat near to me and had the following conversation (loudly as if they were both hard of hearing)
middle age man: It seems you are doing much better
older man:
middle age: It seems you are doing much better
older man:
middle age: It seems you are doing much better
older man:.......It seems I am doing much better
It made me giggle a little to watch the men interact. Then the middle aged man said : Daddy do you want some soup?
The rest of the meal they were silent
it made me wonder if this was a weekly visit, maybe the older man coming from a nursing home or something. And suddenly i was sad, though the pickles kind of made it all better.

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