Monday, June 27, 2011

People #3: Butchers



For the past 16 months, I have spent my Sunday mornings strolling through the market near my house and plucking the week's supplies from the claustrophobic labyrinth of stalls. Over time, I came to know many of the vendors, none better than the ever garrulous butchers who never failed to greet me enthusiastically with the name of some famous Michael--Corleone was a particular favorite. We chatted about travel, soccer, places to visit in the city, and often about life in the States. I watched as they skillfully trimmed steaks and roasts from unwieldy slabs, sharp knives flashing over worn wooden blocks, waiting until the conversation ebbed and they would ask what cut of meat I wanted that week. On my last Sunday, I again wandered through the market, looking more for goodbyes than for groceries. Yet my butchers were nowhere to be found. Perhaps the impending rain kept them away, or perhaps their stall had been moved far from the usual spot where I could not find it. Either way, the day had an air of incompleteness, of a closure that remained suspended among the heavy falling raindrops.

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