I’ll Just Make My Own Damn Sandwich

Ariel and I were out for a walk. It was early in the morning. Boy, it was good to be back out on the road during the cool quiet hours of the morning, before the sun even crested the horizon. We walked along the tow path, between the river and canal behind the house and were heading north, toward where the old men gather to fish. They were already there and we waved, wished them luck with their catch and kept on walking.

We came to the place we’d recently heard about, and it was just around the bend from where we were standing in the right hand fork of the path. The walking path continued down a small slope toward the clearing closer to the canar, but we needed a break and decided to check out the rest area.

As we rounded the corner and ascended the cobble steps, the view was breathtaking, similar to that which we’d seen the time we visited a friend who recently relocated to Brooklyn. Except it wasn’t the Manhattan skyline we saw across the river, but a wonderful panoramic of an area practically right in our own backyard. A soft breeze blew off the water, cooling our sweaty faces and we decided to enter the building, the back exterior wall of which was reminiscent of an old castle.

Inside was the hustle and bustle like any rest stop one might find on the road when traveling cross country except this was for hikers, joggers, bicyclists…you get the idea.  There were, of course, rest rooms and several food stands, from coffee to snacks to elaborate sandwiches. I don’t recall seeing any seating, but I had zeroed in on a sandwich place and made my way over there while Ariel used the rest room.

I waited my turn while the young woman ahead of me was finished with her order, an American Cheese and tomato on rye. The clerk behind the counter even let the bicyclist customer pick out her own tomato slices from the tray. How thoughtful. How friendly. And I thought this would be a nice incentive to get out walking again and make this the halfway point, maybe even start a bit earlier to allow coming in for a quick drink before heading back home.

Then it was my turn and as soon as I opened my mouth to place my order, someone came running up, holding out an order on a piece of paper. “Quick, gotta get this done, she’s picking it up in 5 minutes”. As that was being negotiated, another woman with a tray of pastries came by, asking if “these” were okay and struck up a conversation with the sandwich maker lady. Then a group of people came and virtually surrounded the counter (apparently they belonged to a marathon bike team) shouting rushed orders so they could get back on the trail.

Meanwhile, Ariel was finished in the powder room and found me amid a fury of people, still not having placed my order and it was time to get heading back for home.

The next thing I heard was “It’s 5:48, time for fast traffic” on the radio. My dream was over and there I was, snuggled up to my neck in my covers and I was pissed that I never got my sandwich.  Even my dreams are mean to me.  Fine, I’ll just make my own damn sandwich.

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