Sunday, October 11, 2015

Poem Number Five: Talk Talk.

We were going back to Stacy's house, but some kind neighbor is plowing the street.
We both really want to go to Yussel's Deli. It was our hangout in college.
We ate salad and other diet food for days so we could pig out at Yussel's.
Pastrami on Rye with that brown mustard you can't find anywhere else.

Yussel is still at his post behind the counter with the same chipper personality. He greets us enthusiastically. "My favorite Shiksa girls! You've come back, Robin! I've missed you!"
Stracy and I go barreling to the edge of the counter to embrace him.
He meets us at the edge of the counter and hugs us both.
"Robin, how are you?" Yussel warmly asks, unaware of my recent divorce.
"Um, divorced?"
"How about your favorite pastrami with Swiss cheese on rye with mustard? Warmed up, maybe? On the house!"
"Yussel, you're all heart."
"And Stacy McKenna McKinnet, you'll want a Reuben on Pumpernickel with two Kosher dills." Yussel loved the sound of McKenna Mckinnet ever since she married Bob, her father's business associate, 11 years her senior. Since  1981, he always addresses her by her full name.
"Hell would freeze if I didn't order that."
"So, is your husband still in Australia?" Bob Mckinnet, the Viet Nam vet from Pittsburgh who spent most of his Navy years in Australia.
"Until February first."
"Nu, did you install the home security system I told you about?"
"Robin is staying with me. We'll use our self-defense tactics from college."
"You can never be too safe."
I couldn't keep quiet. "What can you do to protect yourself from nightmares?"
Yussel pondered for a moment and then joyfully pointed to us. "Love!"
He beamed, his smile contagious.

The smells of comfort food and the warm atmosphere is a welcome relief from the wet cold.
Between bites of sandwich, pickle and chips I speak softly to Stacy. "Should we tell him?"
"What? About our possible past lives? We don't know how he'd take it."
We agree to be quiet until we get home.

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