Monday, April 7, 2014

Commissary

I sit eating sushi with a friend on Saturday afternoon.  It's all salmon and tuna. 

Phoenix is in flux right now, season-wise: cold at night, already too hot 
in the day. The sushi restaurant is a little too warm, the tuna a little too warm.
 
It reminds me of how the girls used to eat tuna in jail.

“Hey,” I say to my dining companion, wanting to be included in the conversation
we’re not having. “Did I ever tell you how the girls would heat up tuna in jail?”

He slides a glance my way.  “Nope.”

“It was the only pure protein you could get at commissary,” I say.
“It was vacuum-packed and they would get it and put it on top of the tents
to warm it up.  They’d eat it on crackers.”

I thought of myself there, unable to eat warm tuna,
missing out on what was apparently the best. 
I traded many packages of stale Mexican lemon cookies for fruit.

I had brought a thick old novel and some news magazines
and ended up playing rummy with my neighbors on the cots,
reading the old Glamours.


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