It was a long-ass, cold-ass, rainy-ass, freezing my ass-off-ass walk home from where I bought, but can’t really afford, a $10 Ike’s sandwich. Those of you who have tasted Ike’s know what I mean. By the time I arrived to the downstairs gate of my apartment, and I am not exaggerating, I was frozen stiff and could barely maneuver the key in the lock. Actually, I had to limp home because my toes inside my rain boots with socks had frozen stiff. My fingers inside warm gloves were also frozen! Can I bore you for a second?
I started off my afternoon rather late, sometime after 1:30pm. My plans were simple, drop something off, get coffee at my favorite coffee boutique, hurry home before the rain worsens. That’s it, that’s all.
Took a quick train downtown to deliver a dog sweater to my ex-sis n-law for her sister who purchased it a week ago. Met up with her, we talked then she drove me to where I normally get my coffee beans not too far from my house, maybe a quarter of a mile or so. I enjoy grinding my morning coffee, my caffeine driven morning addiction ritual type thing.
Everything went smoothly even in the lightly pouring but freezing rain and it was time for me to go home. When my toes start to get numb and my fingers inside my gloves are locking up, it’s time to go. I had not, however, had lunch. On my walk home I had a taste for Subway sandwich. I knew of a place, but I suddenly remembered Ike’s Sandwiches which had moved from its previous location to inside a restaurant slash bar near the Castro District called Lime. It was only my second time eating at Ike’s. My first time was spectacular, but because I am unemployed I cannot treat myself too often.
Now, again it is freezing cold and rainy outside, yet when I arrived, there was a short line waiting to order and another line waiting for their sandwiches. I waited in the line, I was kind of excited because today was different, I felt confident and positive and…well, good. I felt good. I especially felt good because I had sent out my coffee table book manuscript to two Lit agents after years of rejections. Yeap, I felt hopeful.
I stood there listening to the hypnotic dance music from inside, we all could not help but hear the fabulous remixes of all the popular tunes, Rhianna; Prince, Latin rap; the late Mike Jackson. I even did a little dance, mainly ’cause I was cold, but the music was so infectious I could not help myself. Ike’s has no solid commercial resident as of yet, so customers are allowed inside to order at the door, but then they must wait outside for about 45-55 minutes for their sandwich. Sometimes ordering in person rather than calling takes an hour as well.
Finally I was inside the door a tad warmer as I smelled that bar smell mix of alcohol, alcoholic breath and fruit. I heard one of my favorite songs, a latin remix of rap gibberish slash pop, can’t think of the name. Something like, “…Whoot, whoot, shake that, run that, this where we’re from..” All I know, the beat was sick! So, I called myself bopping or whopping or whatever the terminology is for my kind of dancing, the kind with only just an ounce of soul for a black person, that one?
I ordered and I asked for a couple of slices of Corned Beef. Hey, why not get a little extra fat on my bones in this weather? A customer must pre-pay for their sandwich, mine came to about $13 for the extra meat, and I was asked to wait outside. Not wait inside bopping, or bipping or tripping to the great dance music along with all the happy, drunken patrons who were having early afternoon cocktails, but outside where even dogs being walked with coats and sweaters were shivering. I might not have minded if they allowed me to wait inside, hell I might have had a drink if the mood hit me. But, nope, had to brave the cold.
Well, at first I was just cold. Just cold inside my light weight, water-resistant coat that I forgot was not at all warm, although, I was smart enough to wear a turtle neck, also not very warm. And I wore my tweed newsboy hat and my knee-length rain boots and I carried a tote for the coffee beans and the sandwich I was about to have, I think it was called a “Say Hey” or something, on Dutch bread. All the sandwiches have names, but the menu is so vast it is hard to remember.
About 45 minutes later my toes had truly froze solid, I could not even feel them! And my fingers were numbing up. And being the drama queen diva that I can sometimes be, I mean if I get a hangnail the world’s gone to hell in a hand basket, I began screaming inside my brain, just loud enough for my kidneys and liver to hear.
“What the hell kind of sh*tty sh*t is this, waiting in the freezing rain with all these strange people for some fu**ing $13 sandwich, can you answer that for me, Jesus, dammit all to hell?!”
Finally the chubby young guy who looks like a dark complexion half-black and Indian guy with good hair comes outside and says, “Lorrie!” I jumped out from inside a tiny nook near the window of the next door restaurant and yelled “YEEEEEEESSS!” God I was cold. He handed me my sandwich, did a stupid “thumbs up” type thing and I was on my frozenway.
As I stated earlier I practically limped that long walk home, I coujdl nto feel my toes, I was tippy toeing home, trying not to fall forward. When I finally got inside my apartment and noticed my two lazy-no-job-having-worthless cats were safe and warm and free from the freezing rain, I immediately dropped everything and ran to the bathroom, turned on a hot tub and added some Lavender scented bubble bath. I broke open my sandwich, put on a pot of tea, chomped on half the sandwich which was at that point cold. I pulled out the meat to reheat it in the oven, I don’t use a microwave, then jumped into the tub. I swear my body was so cold the scalding hot water felt cold. It took me nearly 15 minutes to warm up.
After the bath I put on some Native American Flute music, to soothe my frozen spirit, and poured a nice cup of tea to go with the rest of the sandwich, but you know what? Even after heating the meat the sandwich did not taste as good as it did when I first ate an Ike’s sandwich. I am thinking it had to be that I was so cold I could not enjoy it. I ate the whole thing, but it just did not seem as good. The first time I ate at Ike’s where it’s old location was, it was a very hot day. The complimentary chips and candy-apple lollipop that they throw into the bag was a nice bonus, but the sandwich was superb. Not this time. Well, maybe that weather had something to do with it. Or, maybe all my internal cursing and screaming for Jesus like someone stole my purse pissed off the powers that be and I was robbed of my sandwich joy. Who knows?
All I can say is that I am happy to be home, thawed out, warm and full. Will I eat at Ike’s again? Perhaps when I have saved up for it. Will I go out in the freezing rain rather than the nice and warm rain for a $13 sandwich? Oh hell no! Next time maybe a $5 Subway? Probably. But, the good thing is that experience is now in my blog and that is what I am learning, you can always share your joys and miseries with the world rather than be alone in your happiness or frozen grief.
Bye for now!