Of Salami Stocks And Saurkraut


lou_icon.gif opal_icon.gif

Scene Title Of Salami, Stocks and Saurkraut
Synopsis Uncommonly friendly folk fraternize fantastically in a fractionally famous café.
Date January 8, 2009

Piccoli's Delicatessen

Everything about Piccoli's is welcoming. There's a large, cheerful neon sign mounted on the roof, the interior is brightly lit and spotlessly clean, and the old-fashioned decor is more reminiscent of mother's kitchen than a successful business. Since the doors opened in 1946, Piccoli's has been best known for pastrami, hot dogs, corned beef, and salami. The wait can sometimes be a little long, but the prices are reasonable and the food is always worth it.

Even later in the evenings, there are sometimes cravings that can't be ignored, especially when you rarely get out to places. Thus, with a renewed vigor for the evening, Opal Falke has made her way to Piccoli's Deli. You can't beat the corned beef or pastrami. The little woman beams happily as she steps in, giving a soft little squeak of pleasure at the smells. "I should definately come here more often." She says to no one in particular as she begins perusing the menu, to figure out exactly what she wants.

Opal doesn't seem to be the only one having a rough time deciding, as the gent at one of the registers seems to have made his way all the way through the line without having a clear idea of what he wants. He finally caves and asks the cashier for her opinion—a Reuben with a side of fries seems to be the upshot. "An… a sweetea to drink, Hun." The cashier stares at him blankly. "Sweet tea?" He enunciates. Nothing. "Sweetened iced tea." Huh? What is this madness? "Hot tea with a glass of ice and a lemon wedge?" Oh.

Being the traditional grandmother, the overhearing Opal can't help but lean over. "If you like sweet drinks that aren't as sticky as a soda, it's good. I haven't had theirs though." She adds with a conspiratorial nod as she ponders. "Hmmm. Corned Beef or Pastrami? Maybe Salami. Oooh, the decisions. It's been too long since I've been to a good old-fashioned deli." There's a certain hint of glee in her voice as she considers her meal for the evening.

Lou nods in agreement with the older woman, offering her an actual tip of his baseball cap. ("Laugh so I can see 'em bounce!" it proudly proclaims) "Might be a bit chilly for ya now hun, but it's a lifesaver in the summer," he adds to her review. "An' try what I'm havin'… young lady here, says the reuben's worth it an' then some. That's corned beef, right?"

"Corned beef and sauerkraut. Hmm. I haven't had a good reuben in ages." Opal says with a soft nod. "I actually think I will. And sweet tea is all I drink. It doesn't affect me in the winter." Opal chuckles lightly beaming a happy smile up at Lou. "But thanks for the concern. I'm a lot spryer than I look." See? No cane! She even waves a hand towards her empty hand as proof.

"I got hers, too," he tells the cashier, turning about to give Opal a grin. "No arguin', I may or may not be as stubborn, but if were evenly matched, I'll still outlive ya." Such a pleasant sense of humor, this one. A few of the other folks in line seem to be getting restless as he manages to order and STILL make the folks behind wait more, but he seems utterly unphased. "Same drink for the lady."

"A youngster with manners. Imagine that in today's world of craziness." Opal says, with a soft chuckle. "I may be an old librarian, but I can at least be pleasant company. On occasion." She says, not resisting the offer. After all, women's rights are there, but it's also a woman's right to enjoy being treated like a lady. "And one never knows how long they'll live. I've already outlived a husband and one of my children."

"All the more reason to not waste time arguin' with me about it," he affirms playfully as he slides a few bills from his wallet and pays the total, then waves off the change with a smile. As he steps to the side to await their food (much to the relief of those behind him) he offers a hand in greeting, "Lou."

Taking the hand daintily, but giving a firm, if strong for her age, shake, the elderly lady replies, "Opal." She says with a chuckle. "Brooklyn Librarian for… well, we'll just say since before you were born." She ends demurely. "What brings you to a deli for company with a little old lady?"

Lou gives her hand a return squeeze. "Niceta meetcha," he responds genuinely. "Ahhh… had an "apparently-not-a-date" fall through. Didn't feel much like eatin' at the time, and didn't feel like eatin' cold leftovers when my appetite came back. An' you?"

"Sometimes, when you reach my age, you learn… it can be a lot cheaper to eat out alone than to cook for yourself." Opal says with a soft pat on the hand. "And sometimes, people don't find that right person until later in their lives. You're still young. You have lots of time left." She says with a soft nod.

Lou isn't pushing thirty, he's dragging it around like a malamute with a sled… and looks a bit older than that, even so, the compliment works well enough. "Oh, I'm not all that worried about it. All those days of mopin' about when I was back in school are a few hours of appetite loss at this point, anyhow. More fish in the sea, all that. She's a bit spacey for my tastes anyway… and she drove a car from the 80s. On purpose. No real loss."

Opal can't help but wrinkle her nose at that. "Why would someone still drive something from then. Admittedly, older cars are sturdier, but they're so much prettier now." She says with a sigh of contentment with her own. "At least you face things like an adult. Not one of those love-starved teenagers you see roaming the streets and the libraries. 'Life is pain'…" She emulates, with a wrist and hand to her forehead. "Their parents never knew how to turn'em over a knee."

"Well now, I dunno about newer cars—some of 'em are nice, but me…" he pauses and jerks a thumb towards a well-cared for 60s model pickup parked out front. "Nothing beats the classics, as you library folk say. I just don't want a car that looks like someone slapped some doughnuts on a box. I think they stopped makin' pretty cars sometime around '72."

"I don't know. I like some of the Avalons and Lexuses… Lexii? Which would be the plural?" Opal takes a moment to ponder before shaking her head. "No matter, really. They did have some lookers back then. I remember them all too well." She chuckles. "My husband's first car was a beauty. If we had known then what we know now… I'd still have it in top condition."

"I'm not sure which one's right, really," he replies with a laugh. "About the only new ones I like are the one's they're too busy tryin' to make look like the old ones… and I hate peekin' under the hood. All them wires—like a nest of snakes went into heat." He glances off towards the counter, just in time to see their order appear, complete with actual(?) iced tea. As he reaches for the tray he gives her a little nod. "Well I figure we'd all do some things different if we could see the future half as well as we see the past. Let some debts slide, hold onto others… Sell that Enron stock your crazy uncle bought ya about 6 months sooner…"

Opal chuckles. "So many people rely on having lots of money. They don't know what it was like to deal with smaller amounts. Back when women weren't regulars in the workforce and the men brought home most of the income. At least you seem to have a good head on your shoulders." She grins, moving to a table to seat herself. "You have to look at each day as… no. I'm not going to say that. It's sappy and from a greeting card. I can't believe I even thought it." She says, with a look of distaste on her face.

"Yeah, I like this one," he says, taking a hand away from the tray to rap on shis skull. "And if you start quotin' aphorisms at me, I'm just gonna start spittin' 'em back at ya, and believe me, some of mine are colorful enough to make you change your mind about eatin'." He allows himself a little chuckle and lets her pick the table, although he does glance back now and then at the truck. vehicle like that? Alone in New York? Fuhgeddaboudit.

Opal chooses a nice quiet table off to the side. Nothing remotely romantic, just cozy. She chuckles. "Well, after Albert died, I just decided that if people didn't like how I chose to live my life, fuck'em. It's my life to live. Not theirs. Needless to say, my children think I'm senile now." She grins, somewhat impishly. "I'm not senile. I just enjoy myself a little more."

"Fuck 'em, exactly," Lou agrees with a smile as he slides the tray onto the table and removes his hat and overshirt. "Honestly I can't wait until these grays finally take over and I can go play miniature golf in a bathrobe and get away with it just because people won't want to fuss with telling me to put more on. Try it now and it's a night in the clink. Another twenty, thirty years and it's 'fore!'" To accentuate his point, he pantomimes a decidedly non-puttputt swing.

"Oh, I have my moments where I like to pretend I have alzheimers." Opal says with a chuckle. "There was one time, I went shopping and filled up a basket with men's clothing, and accessories. Shaving kits. I did it, just so I could get to the register, get most of it rung up, and then pause. I looked up, eye to eye with the cashier… 'I forgot… my husband's been dead for five years'… and walked away. The look on the cashier's face was priceless." She says it all so casually and calmly, but that devious little twinkle is there, hiding in the corner of her eye.

Lou laughs, a slightly hoarse but genuinely mirthful sound. Other people's discomfort is amusing. "Oh, hun, that's rich… You know, there was a gent used to show up at the diner back home… three nights a week, middle of the night. Was… uhm… Mr. Bill. Nice enough fella, but he'd just walk in with a nudie mag tucked up under one arm, sit there and read it in front of God and everybody and drink his coffee like it was the Morning Post. Occasionally he'd duck into the bathroom for a few minutes and come back out with his hair all mussed. No one really said anything because he was 80 if he was a day." He gives a wistful sigh. "Always wanted to do that."

"When I'd go visit one of my sons, they have one of those really big wal-marts near'em." Opal grins, leading this one on. "There's this one older gentleman. And I can say he's older. He has years on ME." She pontificates. "He would go in every morning at 9am, get an electric cart, and ride it around the store until 6pm. Sometimes, he'd nap in the middle of an aisle. People would ask them if he was dead. They'd say 'No, that's just Mr. Baker.'"

Lou chuckles and shakes his head as he begins to unwrap his sandwich. "Oh, that's perfect… We had Ms. Wisniewski. Every now and then she'd go to the local market and just do something with the produce section. Didn't work there mind you, but she'd hours stacking green beans neatly until they looked like a painting or somethign like that. Once she grabbed some toothpicks and went after the potato bin, made a while little potato village complete with people and houses." He chuckles a little bit and shakes his head. "Always wanted to do something like that ever since, but… yeah. Too old to be called a little miscreant and sent on my way, and too young to just be left alone about it."

"I should do that sometime. Admittedly, when my children come around, I purposefully get their names confused, just to convince them that I'm senile." Opal holds up a hand as she sips her tea. "They started it." She says, innocently.

"Well if they start getting too uppity just start baking them cookies that look great but have odd ingredients," he suggests, taking a moment to mull over the perfect example. "Like little sugar cookie puffs stuffed with cat food." As unappetizing as that may or may not sound he's not being shy about getting rid of that reuben. "ormf… mrf… 'scuse me, just make sure ya don't take it too far. Don't want 'em putting you in one of those damned homes. be sure to have a giggle at their expense later so they know you're just a bit on the wicked side, instead of becomin' a 'permanent member of the enchanted kindom.'"

"I did see this recipe for Bacon Maple Chocolate Chip cookies." Opal points out as she begins to eat as well. However, she's a much more dainty eater. "Not cat food. I'll use real foods, just odd combinations." She nods softly as she starts planning. Her family will be in trouble when they come for a visit. Poor them.

"Sneaky," he replies, taking a second to shred his pickle and throw bits of it onto the sandwich. "Weird combinations says 'I might be nuts, but you'll never prove it in court,' as opposed to bakin' those little mexican christmas babies into all your food which says 'I've gone nuts and when you try to prove it in court I'll be perfectly normal.'"

"A good medium is the right way to live." Opal says with a grin as she gets a bottle of the places homemade horseradish to add to the sandwich. A reuben isn't a reuben without it, after all. "Bacon cookies. Chocolate covered corn chips." She chuckles. "I'm actually glad I got out of the house tonight."

"Chocolate covered corn chips actually sounds kinda good," he says with a pause to mull it over. Ah well. They're not here, but reuben is… for now. "Mmf. An' I'm glad I didn't bother with cold steak an' eggs."

"They are. It's an old habit of mine. Whenever I'd have them and fudge around, they… they call to each other. The salt from the corn chips brings out the flavor of the fudge." Opal chuckles as she takes petite bites of her sandwich. She'll have enough left for a snack for tomorrow. "Something fresh is always better, unless it's a food meant to bind. Stews and soups… second day. Meats and vegetables on their own, immediate." Taking a paper towel, she dabs the corner of her mouth. "Unfortunately, I think I need to head home in a few moments."

"I know whatcha mean. I put on about ten pounds right after high school bingin' on french fries dipped in chocolate shake," he says with a sigh, before patting his belly—which may or may not have lost those pounds since. Hooray for slightly loose fitting t-shirts! "Well, Ms. Opal, it was a pleasure dinin' with ya. And if I need somethin' to read on why i just might stop by that library o' yours an' pick somethin' up. Heck, I might even ask ya out to dinner again when I do." Yes, that's flirtation, although it's obvious it's not entirely serious.

"You do that." Opal chuckles. "If you want to see if I'm there, just call in advance." She smiles softly, moving to get a wrap for the remainder of her sandwich, so she can save it for later. "Oh, what would my children think? A dinner date with such a younger man?" She asks, batting her eyelashes and chuckling as she places the wrapped sandwich in her purse. "Thank you for the lovely evening." She says before she begins her walk to the car.

"Hopefully that yer senile but still have amazing taste in men," he quips, watching her go just long enough to offer a last wave through the window, and then descending upon his sandwich again to wreak horrible destruction upon the corned beef and saurkraut. Oh the humanity!"

January 8th: Purgatory
January 9th: Totally Fucked
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