I walked into Community Kitchen last night for a free, hot dinner, no questions asked.
A server greeted me with the squinted eyes that now serve as a welcoming smile in the era of masks.
She said she wondered if I was going to make it that night.
I've become a familiar face at Community Kitchen.
That's entirely OK with me because it's a warm and friendly place that lives up to its ideals. Thursday's dinner was beef chili mac with green beans, a summer salad of fresh tomatoes and cucumbers in dressing with fresh cantaloupe for dessert. (One answer to my gout problem, I've found, is to eat fresh fruit daily.)
The night before is was beef, carrots and broccoli on rice.
I certainly didn't eat this well while employed because it was usually take-out while I worked on projects or edited pages or wrote columns.
What's better is the friendly albeit masked faces I greet. One night, when they served BBQ turkey on a bun, I was the last person to get arrive and so the scoop of meat was pretty light. The server said she'd give me extra mac and cheese as a side. "There's no such thing as too much mac and cheese," I said. "Sounds like a challenge to me," said another server.
I appreciate the humanity offered to me at these times.
I love the sincerity in it.
And the food is pretty damn good, too.
Peace and sustenance unto you my brothers and sisters. Have a beautiful weekend.