D&W, Special Adults, And An Unappetizing Reuben

Ahhh. Blogging. I missed dipping into my blog last week, especially when I had a strange lunch at D&W and my first thought was “I! Must! Blog!” and then I thought, “Oh. But I’m saving myself for my memoir.” (I wonder if people saving themselves for marriage think this when they wake-up/go-to-the-bathroom/look-at-magazines…not I! Must! Blog!, but I Must Have Sex followed by I’m Saving Myself For Marriage. Then I think they must imagine I! Must! Get! Married! NOW! It’s exhausting being in my brain.)


Anyway. So when I narrate, I like to grab lunch out. Mostly it’s to just get out of the tiny, dark studio, relax, let my mind wander. In theory, going out to lunch is a sort of Zen moment in which I breathe deeply and collect myself. In actuality, it’s more a panic hour. I rush to Panera Bread hoping the line isn’t too long, which it always is, and if I get my food, I sit down and try to snarf everything down while listening to old people talk about their grandkids and God and constipation. (Not necessarily in that order.) I have nothing against old people. In fact, I’ll be one soon. And I loved “Quartet” and that film about people at some happy, Indian hotel. I just don’t like conversations during lunch about grandkids, God, and/or constipation. Sorry. That’s the truth.


I decided on Friday that I would snub Panera and pick up a sandwich at D&W and sit in their somewhat sad, but quiet, ‘dining’ area. It’s basically tables and chairs with dusty, little plastic flowers in bad vases.

reuben11 I got a Reuben Panini, sat down, brought said sandwich to my mouth and…heard an enormous cough, that kind of cough where stuff is rattling in the chest as the cougher is trying to ‘bring something up’. I set the sandwich down, tried to find my center, brought the sandwich to my mouth again, bit and then that awful, horrible coughing started again. The person was either trying to hack up a monstrous phleghm ball or…perhaps…an entire cat.


I tried to find the offending person to give them a very passive-aggressive glare that said “Dude, if you’re coughing that much, get the f*** out of here. You’re around people. AND FOOD.”


I found the person sitting at a table of twenty septuagenarian ‘special’ adults. One of them waved. I immediately felt guilty.


Wet Cat OR Coughed Up At D&W

Then I noticed that I was sitting in a room full of septuagenarian ‘special’ adults. There was the old Santa Claus like guy sitting in a wheel chair to my right (he had no legs), and the table of women trying to play Mah Jong but really just shuffling tiles around the table. And the coughing kept going and going so I did the only thing I could think of doing. And I thought, “Why does my life always bring me around special adults? What’s the message here?” (You’’ll understand when you read my memoir.) So I did the only thing I could do: I grabbed my sandwich and I ran.


I ran like the wind, like Superman trying to spin the earth back in time, I ran like a nearly-forty year old woman trying to capture her youth and eat a fucking sandwich at the same time.


I locked myself in my car where I listened to Terry Gross go on and on about Joaquin Phoenix.

Then I went back to the studio.


My car still smells like Reuben. I blame D&W. I blame D&W for everything. I also blame Terry Gross. Just because I can.