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When last we left them, Viv’s boss Stan had just told her that his long-time partner had traded him in for a younger model, and she offered comfort in the form of a platonic hug and reassurance in the form of mild, necktie-threatening sexual harassment—also platonic, because even imaginary human beings are no strangers to emotional oxymorons.
We’re skipping over all the names she called his partner—this is a family-ish blog, necktie-abuse aside—a depressed philosophy of romance, and an amusing (I hope) debate about empty coffee pot etiquette, and have arrived at lunchtime. Viv has dropped by Stan’s office to offer even more comfort in the form of take-out from the Hungarian-Jewish deli I shamelessly based on Izzy’s in Cincinnati and Zingerman’s in Ann Arbor, because I love and miss them both, so, so much, and also I was eating dill pickle soup when I wrote this.*
He frowned at his screen, his fingers going a mile a minute. ”Reuben on roasted garlic challah, double sauerkraut, kettle chips, and a piece of flodni, if they have it, please.”
She paused, but who was she to tell anyone they shouldn’t eat their emotions? “You got it, boss.”
Viv saluted and left, grabbing her bag on the way and collecting three more orders from her co-workers by the time she hit the elevator.
The food at Szabó’s, the deli on the corner from her building, always smelled so good Viv never minded waiting in line during the lunch rush—plus, it gave her time to narrow her craving down to tuna salad on toasted rye, with as much tomato and kosher dill as the staff would agree to pile on.
By the time she reached the counter, the flodni was gone, so she bought Stan the largest piece of dobos torta they had—she knew from experience that multiple layers of sponge cake, chocolate, and caramel couldn’t come close to curing heartbreak, but it might muffle it for a while.
We’re back to photos of cake, but at least you dodged the coffee bullet this week . . . I was worried at one point whether the characters were spending too much time in restaurants or coffee shops, but have since decided that a) they actually don’t, it’s just how the eight sentences seem to line up each week ; b) I’m probably just writing what I know and ; c) I can fix it in edit.
*Just realized there’s an Izzy’s in Full Metal Librarian, too. Huh.
Gorgeous image of the best freakin’ cake on earth courtesy of stu_spivack