A Roast Beef Sandwich

The mechanic was telling my uncle that he only had a few months to live.

Cancer he said.

Working at the gas station as a kid during the summers, my concern was getting through the day. I was 12. And working over the summers? Thanks for the memories mom and dad.

It was a roast beef sandwich that I’d remember too.

We’d order lunch from the deli next door. The gas station guys. One of my jobs was to place the orders and pick up the food. I’d get looked at sideways enough though to order something cheaper than say, the roast beef. Liverwurst or bologna was usually a safe and financially sound bet.

My uncle? He’d always get roast beef and swiss with a little mayo. Sounded so good. Even today.

On that day, while eating his king’s fare and listening to the mechanic, I finally got my chance.

“Here. You can finish the rest,” he turned to me afterward and said. “I’ve lost my appetite.”

And I did, not knowing that the taste would last for almost forty years..

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