Friday, February 19, 2010

Mother’s Day at the Deli Counter

The grocery store closes at 8pm on Sundays. It is 6pm as I walk up to the deli counter while my wife gets the produce. There are two people in front of me being served. There’s an adolescent boy getting bologna, and a middle-aged man getting half a pound of everything. It’s Mother’s Day. There are two women working the counter, both middle-aged and motherly-looking. One of them turns off all the lights behind the counter as she prepares more meat and cheese for this bastard of a man. A smiling manager approaches and asks her something. She replies, “I’ve been here since 6am. I’m done now.” He smiles and nods. She smiles with beautiful indolence and defiance, and continues preparing meat and cheese for the raging asshole of a customer. He orders what easily must be another half pound of everything. I begin to contemplate what sort of man is so inconsiderate to keep this poor woman working like that. When he is finally done, I order half a pound of turkey breast and a quarter pound of sandwich pepperoni.

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