Yes Please from the Glum Looking Falafel Man (July Story Journal)

I said that I would write or bring a story to words every day for July. As the politics swirl, and tropes abound, the world continues. So the Leftern Wall July Story Journal tale of the day is this:

I am walking from a cafe to meet with a friend to translate a document about Jerusalem from Arabic to English together. I realize that I am hungry, and remember that I have a Clif bar nestled away in my new, ultrahip backpack that my partner and I ordered online from an ultrahip website (before I ultrahipply decided to become unemployed, but that is a different story entirely). I think about eating my Clif bar, but decide against it: I didn’t buy that many when I was stateside, I should just get a falafel.

I walk into a falafel store, and the man behind the counter says:

“Yes Please.”

In English.

In English?

I ask him, in Hebrew, “What is about my appearance that indicated to you that I am an English speaker?”

“My mistake,” he replies in Hebrew. “What do you want?”

“No, it’s Ok,” I say, “I’m just curious.”

“It just came out. Falafel?” He has thin, gray hair, brushed back in streaks, and dark, heavy eyelids.

“Uh, falafel, yeah.”

I watch him as he scoops the little balls out of their oily birthplace and into their brand new bready vehicle. He looks glum. I think about the boys who were killed, and wonder if he is thinking about them. Maybe. Maybe not. Maybe he’s just glum. Did I make him glum?

“Listen,” I say, “I wasn’t upset earlier- I was just curious. I mean, you were right! I am a native English-speaker. But how did you know without talking to me?”

“I just guessed,” he says.

I take my falafel, and he gives me a little plastic bowl of french fries.

“No, that’s alright,” I say.

“On the house,” he says.

“Oh, thanks!” I say, maybe a bit too loudly.

He smiles. “Enjoy, dear.” (The Hebrew word for “dear,” מותק, sounded less weird than it looks on this page).

It was a good falafel. C’est tout.

These chickpeas are representative of chickpeas and are not meant to resemble any specific chickpeas from said falafel place or elsewhere anywhere
These chickpeas are representative of chickpeas and are not meant to resemble any specific chickpeas from said falafel place or elsewhere anywhere
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