Sunday, January 20, 2008

the butcher, the baker, the candlestick maker....

after dropping salimah off at her apartment in these arctic temperatures, bella and i ambled our way back up 83 toward home. i have been planning to make a pot roast all day (although now that it's nearly 6 pm, i'm realizing that will have to wait for tomorrow), so i decided to stop off at a little market near my house to pick up a loaf of crusty olive bread with which to sop up my red wine-infused sauce (yum!). anyway (must stop pining over this dinner which will now have to wait!!) after grabbing the loaf from the bakery - and don't think i didn't fondle and sniff nearly every other kind of freshly baked concoction they had displayed - i wandered over to the meat counter to see what else there was to see.

the butcher - a young man with ruddy face - struck up a conversation with me and the next thing i knew, he was pouring out his heart to me about his early life and how working here is such a change for him. he laughed, remarking that sometimes he cannot believe how much things have changed. i just had to smile. i know, i said. i know exactly what you mean. he said that earlier today he realized he was dateable that he no longer lives a life of drugs and gangs and strip clubs. i nodded, reassuringly...of course you are. why wouldn't you be?

i can't imagine going back there, he said. it's so much better now. now i cut meat and i have a lot to share with someone else. he offered his suggestions on a few different things behind the case, and after contemplating the rows of stuffed chicken breasts and rolled flank steak, i told him i would pass on the meat for now and thanked him for his time.

ma'am, he said, if there's anything at all you need, you let me know, okay? i nodded. oh, and ma'am? it was a TRUE pleasure talking to you. his face blushed and then beamed with a mixture of pride and gratitude. i winked at him, smiled, and turned away, knowing that i needed to let that little magical moment just be what it was. as i walked toward the front of the store to pay for my wares, i knew i'd remember that young butcher and his decision for a better life. and in that moment, i took a little lesson from my buddy lot and his wife: learn your truth, sarah. learn it and live it and never look back.

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