I don’t have much going on these days, other than my current gig which brings me home at 3 or 4am everyday. I don’t have a social life and not even a domestic life. The only people I interact with are the limo drivers who bring me home, and the guys who run the all night delis.
One of the few friends I have made is Besam, a man who works a deli counter near Rockefeller Center. Besam started to speak to me in Spanish, and I said, “What?” He switched to English, “Which country did you come from?” “India.” Sometimes I still follow my mother’s instruction not to talk to strangers unnecessarily. “I really respect India,” “Why?” Obviously my mother’s instructions don’t always work. “Because of Gandhi, he is a great man, the more I think of him, the more I respect him.” So where is he from? “Egypt.” For some reasons visions of the library in Alexandria float through my brain. “Egyptians are generally very well educated,” I say. “I was a doctor in my home country.” So what is he doing making sandwiches twelve hours a day, seven days a week, for the last four years? Maybe I’ll find out if I eat more of those unhealthy sandwiches.