Tuesday, November 09, 2010

Hot Dog at Cool Noon

You are driving through
downtown at lunch hour. Do you
stop and take a walk along
the promenade--twisting walkways
and secluded courtyards? Do you
walk up the steps of the imposing city hall
that resembles a lost starship
just waiting refueling to take off?
You pass Nathan’s Hot Dog stand,
you smell the delicious odors,
your stomach starts to growl, but
you remember you had packed rice
and chicken, back at the office; do you
go back for the hot dog? If you do,
do you choose the hot dog or
the all-beef polish sausage?
Nathan totals your lunch at $4,
you give him a $5; should you
tip him the $1? He offers you
a pack of chips, which you know
you will not eat; do you take it?
As you walk to a courtyard, unwrap
your polish sausage, and take
the first bite, you realize you have
forgotten something—mustard
and ketchup; do you go back for them?
When you get there, there are four
bottles of sauces: mustard, ketchup,
a bottle you don’t recognize, and
a bottle of chili sauce with a Mexican name;
Do you add these strange ingredients?
As you walk to your car, carrying
the unopened bag of chips, do you
give it to the homeless man
at the corner? If you don’t, if you
eat the chips later, will you taste
the nacho cheese flavor as well as
smell the desperate odor of the hopeless
man by the walkway?

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