“I don't like food that's too carefully arranged; it makes me think that the chef is spending too much time arranging and not enough time cooking - If I wanted a picture I'd buy a painting - Andy Rooney”
There are songs that jog your memory, there are pictures that send memories rushing in - then there is food…
I am so simple when it comes to food…I am a fan of burnt hot dogs, mac-n-cheese and if in a rare mood I am not opposed to busting out the Raman Noodles! I am not much on chain restaurants --- I will take a local family owned-Taqueria over it all. Mike was the same way and being on the road all day he was no stranger to the taco trucks, fast food and the coinsurer of great dives! Running errands at lunch today on a side of town I had not been in a little while, going down Alabama, I happen to glance up and notice Joe’s Deli…a hole in the wall tucked in between a Washateria and a Domino’s pizza…they have the ultimate TUNA sandwiches and best Egg Salad Sandwiches, which all combos…sandwich, chips and soda you can grab on any day for less than 4 dollars!!!!
Anyhow, memories came rushing back, for when on days when Mike was working near my building, he would scoop me up and we would park our fannies on the little stools looking out the window and just non-stop chatter about our day and days to come. I have not been back there since Mike passed and walking in there today, a rush came flowing over me…a hello and smile from the owner asking how Mike and I were…he had not seen us in a great while…It took me off guard, it has been two years and did not realize the time passed since I had been there, Mike too…I smiled and at a moment that would usually turn me into a complete Alice Cooper picture, I hated to share the news of Mike, but thanked him for remembering his customers and their faces --- He sighed and hated to hear the news, gave me hug and said Mike was someone that completely touched his life. He would come in between jobs and never just ordered and ran…he asked about family, personal happenings when they were mentioned and always followed up. He said Mike was always smiling, never a frown and because of the smallness of the shop, he would sometimes hear our conversations as Mike would call me while at lunch --- always laughing and he remembers fondly us always talking fishing and our dogs.
I admit, I had to hold back tears – I had to hold back completely breaking down as he placed my sandwich, soda and chips in a little plastic wrap bag. I walked out, pulled on to Alabama and just smiled. I thought I would cry, I thought I would break down…instead I thanked the good Man Above for this moment. For the time I got to have lunch and talk about nothing in particular with Mike. I smiled that even though he is no longer here physically, he in deed touched so many lives and obviously has left a mark on people that only had him as a customer in their deli on an every other week basis…yet he is remembered even after 2 years of not visiting.
On this note I want to thank Mike, my Hott Pockett for being him and nothing else for anyone. Loving life to the fullest and never missing a chance to get to know someone when time was allowed. Loving me so hard and providing me with a fantastic friendship, union ship and while here just being the sunshine on my face when I woke up (even on a cloudy day) and being the moonlight and stars in my eyes (even when the city lights masked the starlight)…
I hope from this we can all know that even when we do not realize our actions can speak volumes…be kind…smile as much as you can…talk with your eyes, it truly does translate your soul…and make time for the small things, for those to others are THE BIG THINGS --- XOXOXOX