They know me here

July 21, 2005 - 5:16 pm Comments Off on They know me here

The waiter at the Stage Deli waited until he was clearing my plates to tell me.

“You see here, you ordered the exact same thing the last time you came here!”

“The last time I came here?” I was sure he had me mixed up with someone else. I haven’t been to New York since 2000. “And when was this?” I might have been a little patronizing, but smiled, waiting for him to say “Last week”.

“Oh five, six years ago. You sat at this same exact table in the chair you’re in now.”

This changed things. I was in fact in the city 5 years ago. And we stayed not 3 blocks from the deli. Could it be that we ate there and I forgot about it? I guess it’s entirely possible. I told him, “Well, I guess in five years I will have to come back and order the same thing from you again!”

“Naw miss, I’ll be dead in five years. I’ve been working here for 33 years. It’s my heart, this place. Here lady – I’ll give you the check. You pay it this time – that way you remember you ate here.”

It was a strange little scene, but I was quite touched by it.

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