…the deli guy with the lazy eye.
The “deli” section of my hospital’s cafeteria, where they make made to order sandwiches, has limited operating hours. 1100-1400 or something like that. It’s super annoying. Rarely can I get time to eat before 1400. Usually I wolf down something with one hand as I’m sitting in the report room documenting with the other hand. On the even rarer occasion that I actually get off the unit for “lunch”, sometimes I want a damn sandwich. And its usually after 1400. My first encounter with LazyEye was sometime in my first year at the hospital, at about 1420 when I come ambling up to the deli counter, famished, desirous of a turkey sandwich with lettuce, pickles, tomato and mustard. He was wiping down his deli counter and looked up as I approached. Every so meekly I asked if I may order a sandwich, to which he replied by flicking his cloth at a paper sign that read, “Deli counter is now closed” before going about his business. I felt like George at the Soup Nazi counter. “Oh come on!” I said, incensed. I could see the turkey slices sitting in their little black bin under the plastic wrap. Taunting me. Now he just looked blankly at me with the one straight eye, the other looking off into the distance. Annoyed, I probably made some sort of throaty noise as I walked off to find something else to eat.
I’ve never gone back to the deli counter in the cafeteria. There’s a lovely Polish deli down the street that I sometimes send my unit clerk to. They make delicious sandwiches. With no attitude and plenty of pickles. Every once in awhile I’ll go down to the cafeteria for a salad or soda or some Erin’s Popcorn or something and it’s usually just after 1400. And there he is…wiping his counter down. And every goddamn time I somehow manage to make inadvertent eye contact. And he just stares me down with his one good eye. And I stare him down right back. Grrrr…..