Grey Poupon?

8 Apr

Today, I got hungry early.  Or late.  Typically, I eat cereal with skim milk before work at 7:30, and then around 10:15, I either have a yogurt, a green juice, a sesame bagel toasted dark with cream cheese and tomato, or avocado toast from the snack bar downstairs.  I am almost never satisfied.  Today I waited until eleven o’clock to eat, at which point, I was famished.

I reheated leftover homemade tagliatelle bolognese from Bottega Louie downtown and ate it at my desk.  It was delicious, but eating food that good in the harsh florescent light of that drab office felt like eating my grandma’s Thanksgiving dinner on the bathroom floor in Grand Central Station.  I felt dirty, gluttonous, and as though I had ruined the meal by stripping it of the setting it deserved.

Around three, I was hungry again, and had to escape those florescent lights.  As I was driving to pick up the peanut slaw from The Cabbage Patch, the driver next to me at a red light motioned for me to roll down my window.  He for real looked like he just might ask for some Grey Poupon.  Instead, he asked in broken English with a thick French accent “Le Marina? Is Where?” I instinctively responded in French, telling him how to get to the boat-filled body of water not so terribly far away.

The man looked shocked– perhaps by my ugly accent, or perhaps because he didn’t expect to hear French, in any case, he started to respond in French when the light turned.  He touched the base of his window as I pulled away, staring longingly as though, were we not both in our respective cars, in a busy intersection, on one of the ugliest roads in the city, we just might have been pals.  He wasn’t creepy or anything, in fact, I thought I’d like to be friends with him, too.  And his wife, and the old lady in the back seat.

I imagined them coming on their dream trip to Los Angeles..  Glitz! Celebrity! Sun! Sand! Excitement! Movie stars! Only to find that the Four Points by the airport left them with the option of a leisurely walk to the run-down mall across the street, the strip joint, or the Target.

Heartbroken, the elderly concierge with bad plastic surgery told them about the wax museum downtown, and instead, they pulled out the map and saw the marina.  The dad packed everyone in the car, and reassured his family they would find the beautiful inlet with the boats. His wife was not impressed by his plan to drive aimlessly, occasionally rolling down his window to inquire so hopefully, “Le Marina? Is Where?”

I hope he found it.  And I hope he put his family on a boat.  And as I clocked back in on my computer, I pictured them sailing far away from this town.  The sea wind in their hair, consuming oysters and champagne in the soft setting sunlight.

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