Showing posts with label New York. Show all posts
Showing posts with label New York. Show all posts

Thursday, October 2, 2014

A Hot Pastrami Sandwich With a Side of Nostalgia

Douglas Clark
-Head writer, The Inspiration Engine

Standing in the lunch line I notice hot pastrami on rye is on special. I haven't had one in a very long time and immediately I'm flush with memories of my dad taking me to New York City for his work and treating me to a classic deli style sandwich. I order one and as I think about eating it my mind wanders into its own past. 

I think of my childhood: that huge park with the weeping willows lining the long driveway up to the playground, baseball games at Yankee Stadium, my best friend Brian, and a strange feeling of nostalgia for an age where the future seemed so positive and the feeling that greatness was a certainty. 

The cook calls out my number and I grab the hot Styrofoam container. I pick up some mustard and open the lid. Bonus, curly fries! I get some ketchup packets and as I head for the counter I hear Brian's voice echo in my head, "it's cool when you get those bonus fries down at the bottom of the bag. It's like they're a surprise when all the others are gone". Right on B. 

Sipping on my cherry coke I pull out the money and pay for lunch. I look right at the napkins but fail to grab any. It reminds me of junior year in college. I grabbed napkins after every meal and had a dresser full of them at year's end. Funny enough a few months after that I got the Black Death version of the flu and used every single napkin blowing my nose. It's hotter than hell outside but I'm stuck in a cube all day so I find some shade and dig into my sandwich. 

For a moment I remember all the lunches I had eaten alone while working at a job I had in Texas. It was always hot there. Those memories fill me with a profound sense of loneliness. It was a sad time in my life... Then I remember here in SoCal the ocean is just a few miles away. I'm happy again. 

The pastrami is good but not great. No golden spicy mustard just fancy yellow. Its not the same but I deal with it. I miss my dad. We haven't seen a Yankee game together in decades. Lunch time is always just a few minutes too short. I'm wishing I could just leave and go to the beach. I know that's why we have weekends but there's just something so alluring about playing hooky. I chomp on the last few fries and suck up all the cherry coke left in my cup. 

I wish Brian could have joined me for lunch. Good friends are hard to find and always worth keeping. I've got to go back to work even though I wish I would working on my novel. I need a vacation. 

Thanks for reading. 

Questions and comments are welcome.

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