An older man in khakis and a Giants cap sits on a bench in late afternoon sun outside Whole Foods on Telegraph Avenue meticulously stacking slices of whole wheat bread then placing one on a napkin
he cuts and positions slivers with his plastic knife from a luscious avocado perfectly split, pit left in setting the pieces like a precious mosaic then scooping the sandwich with the napkin pressing the two halves together
over and over he does this absorbed and content with his handiwork on his whole wheat canvas then swallows each in a few voracious bites taking up the next slice to begin his avocado dance again
I am mesmerized, envious picking at my tuna on a hard French roll having just come from the hospital up the street refusing to eat in their cafeteria though there's nothing really wrong with the food except for me wanting out of the building
my newly-discovered lump gnaws an unwelcome foreign invader how did it worm its way into my soft and sexy right breast
I throw away my half eaten sandwich closing my eyes as tears pool sweet memories tingle of fevered nighttime groping and morning caresses under tangled sheets I cling to my husband of forty three years
Tell me Mr. Avocado Man do you come here every day with your stack of bread and perfect avocado show me how you make your sandwiches help me to forget today and what I must face tomorrow
After retiring in 2009, it took one inspiring writing workshop to launch Joanne Jagoda of Oakland, California on a long-postponed creative writing journey. Since discovering her passion for writing, she has been working on short stories, poetry and nonfiction. Her work has been published in e-zines and print anthologies including Pure Slush, Poetica, Persimmon Tree Magazine, and Still Crazy. Joanne continues taking writing workshops and classes in the Bay Area, enjoys Zumba, traveling with her husband, visiting her three grandchildren in Jerusalem who call her Savta, and hanging with her two grandsons in the Bay Area. Her blog, My Detour, chronicles her nine month treatment for breast cancer which she has happily completed.