Coffee: Maxwell House Drip, Office Coffee
I got dinner at a Subway run by an Ethiopian. He asked me if I was vegetarian.
“Yep,” I said.
He told me he’d tried going vegetarian but got tempted working at a deli. I told him that made sense.
We talked a little about home-cooking. He said it must be hard to not fix meat. “Where do you get your proteins?” He had his hands full with all my vegetables.
Halfway down the line, he tells me that vegetarians live longer. I think that’s a nice idea so I say it. I’ve felt better, physically, since I cut out meat. He asks if I’d considered going vegan and I say I’ve considered it but can’t pull the plug. Four obtuse triangles of pepper-jack cheese, toasted. He says I should try eating Ethiopian because it’s half meat, half vegetables, nothing else.
I left the place with a recommendation: Awaze, an Ethiopian place in Cary. I tell him I’ll try to check it out. And after the recommendation, I shook his hand, got his name. I’ll call him S, for short. S always works there. He might be the manager, or the franchisee. He’s got grey hair and square glasses. He wears steel rings. His hands don’t fit well in he small plastic gloves. He does the microwave first, then the cutter, then the toaster, then the veggies. It’s a quiet Subway, he keeps it that way. Whenever I’m there in a rainstorm, he seems at peace.
Currently Reading: Kitchen Confidential, Anthony Bourdain
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It is the stale breath of Death on his open and vulnerable neck that immortalizes the hero, that lends a fireside story its luster.Nega Mezlekia, The God Who Begat a Jackal: A Novel