Monday, October 10, 2005

The Scene at Subway by Douglas Madey

Without a smile the teenage girl with shoulder length black hair asks, "What can I get you?"

A quick response from the man across the counter, and the girl reacts. She turns her back and reaches inside a Windex-streaked bread oven.

As if it’s a task that she’s done a thousand times, the young woman places a 12-inch loaf of wheat bread on a white cutting board covered with crumbs. She pulls two clear plastic gloves from a small box to her left and blows into each one, making it easier to stuff her hands inside.

She reaches for a knife and slices the loaf of wheat in the middle, but not all the way through. Then, opening the bread as if it were a book, she sets it down in front of her. As if folding laundry on a countertop, the young woman rolls slices of processed turkey and white cheese, and places them on the bread.

Sliding the unfinished sandwich in front of silver bins filled with purple onions, olives, green peppers, and several other vegetable choices, she prepares to present the man with his options.

The girl looks up from the sandwich and makes eye contact with the man across the counter. He looks down and makes a large circling motion over the vegetables with his index finger. In an orderly progression, the girl distributes his vegetable choices upon the sandwich in front of her.

Unable to close up the sandwich without spilling its contents, the girl rolls it up in a piece of wax paper to keep it tightly pressed together. As quickly as the process began, the girl slices through the wax paper and sandwich, places it next to the register, and walks back to the front of the sandwich line to greet the next customer.


Post a Comment

<< Home