Cheeseburgers and Cigarettes

I’m home for the weekend and today I visited a small, country pub about a mile from my house. It features “home cookin’” that includes everything from catfish to spaghetti. It’s best known, though, for its greasy cheeseburgers that cannot be beaten. The restaurant’s name is “The Deli.” Actually it’s officially called something else. Over the past few years it’s changed hands a dozen times, and with each change of owner came a change in its name. However, to the locals, it shall always be called “The Deli.”

Usually around my neck-of-the-woods if you’re a woman who wants to catch up on the latest gossip, you go to the beauty shop. If you’re a man and want to do the same, you go to The Deli. You can always be sure to find a few old men in their overalls sitting around one of the round tables. You can bet they’ll be sipping on a glass of sweet tea or cup of coffee and telling each other about what they know (or in some cases, what they don’t know).

I went in today to eat with my dad and brother and as soon as I entered, I was welcomed by familiar faces, although I hadn’t been around the place for months. The Deli was nearly full due to the lunch rush, but I knew half the people sitting in the room. The smell of grease and cigarettes was almost overwhelming, but being there did something that a five-star restaurant couldn’t do. It reminded me of home. It was home.

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