Everyone Fits Somewhere. We All Fit At The Deli.Posted: March 19, 2015
It was a busy day. I spent the morning running writing and running errands. Hitting everything on my to do list felt great. I’d finished the list, except for the thing on it that I’d been looking forward to – lunch.
As I drove, I considered my options. Pizza was a possibility. Some really spicy Thai food would’ve hit the spot. I hadn’t had Chinese food for days. There was a great burger joint close by. And then I decided to try something completely different.
One Of These Things Is Not Like The Others
Not far from our house, there is a little local deli that I’ve never been in. The place is in an older, interesting looking building that I’ve wanted to get a look at. It always looks busy at lunch. I took that as a good sign and gave the joint a shot.
As soon as I walked in, it was clear that I didn’t fit in. The other customers all seemed to know one another. I was the only one there sitting quietly and eating. Everyone else bantered with one another as they ate. This outsider among them didn’t affect them at all.
It was then that I realized what all the work trucks in the parking lot should have told me – this place was the hang out for all the dudes who build and fix things in the area.
Stories and jokes flew about when this one worked with that one on that siding job on Meadow Lane. There was some difference of opinion on the best way to clear a fouled fuel line on a chain saw. One of them was rebuilding an antique tractor; his work was generally admired, judging by the lack of suggestions of how to improve upon it. A tale of broken water pipes met with knowing nods.
We All Fit Because We Don’t Fit
I’ve always been a quiet man. Recently, I’ve tried to change that. I’m more outgoing than I was a few years back. I even talk to strangers. As I ate, I wondered about throwing a few thoughts out about what I was working on, just like the other the sandwich shop patrons.
Perhaps I’d discuss how sometimes I open my writing with tangents that don’t seem to mesh with my theme until the end of the piece. “Y’all know what that’s like, right? I mean, sometimes I’m not certain how my opening fits until I’m wrapping things up and then I just see it.” They’d all nod knowingly, just as if I were discussing fixing a broken water line.
No they wouldn’t, any more than I nodded when the topic was chain saws. That’s not their world and that’s alright. There’s not a thing wrong with them not being writers or me being afraid to fix plumbing. We’re all needed.
After lunch, each of us went back to our own worlds – the worlds where we each fit, the worlds where others need what we provide. Somewhere there was a leaking roof that needed the right person to patch it and, on my laptop, an unfinished piece sat waiting for me to wrap it up with an ending that I didn’t see coming before I stopped at the deli.