Employment Counselling At The Deli

Yesterday was the first day in which I enacted my decision to quit smoking. I will get more into that later, because, believe me, this decision is huge and necessary and important, but I quit, so yay me. Being that it was the first day I quit smoking, the universe saw fit to visit upon me a medley of pneumonitic symptoms including but not limited to a sore throat, dry cough, headache, weakness and fatigue, and shortness of breath. Again, yay me.

So, I commenced freaking out about my own mortal demise, because that's the natural progression, right? You quit smoking, and then you die immediately of related causes as some sort of cosmic joke.

At some point this afternoon, I realized that this was a pretty dark way to look at the universe. Of course, I decided that after the Palinode called to tell me that he also had a sore throat, which tipped me off to the likelihood that I was not indeed dying but probably just virally infected. One day I'll learn to have faith in both sides of the coin.

I had to laugh at myself for going so nuts on Day Two of Project Self-Control, because, it is only my second day without nicotine, and I have a lot more of these days ahead of me, so I can only imagine what kind of peace and joy is ahead of me. I decided it was time to go out into the world of the living and get a meat sandwich from a nearby deli. Colds should be fed.

The deli is run by this really friendly Italian family, and even though I don't go in there very often, they always remember who I am. The owner — who has a voice exactly like Joe Pesci's, by the way — asked me what kind of work I was up to these days while he rang up my meat sandwich. I told him that I had shot a wedding recently.

"You're a writer and you do photography?" he said.

"Yes," I said. "I love taking photos."

"You know what you should do? You should make it so the thing you love to do makes the most money."

"That would be a good thing."

"Do you want my advice?" he asked.

Now wait for it, because this is pretty good. I tend to see signs in what appear to be coincidences, and since I had just been working on some paid photo work before I came into the store, I thought I should pay close attention to what he had to say.

"Sure. What's your advice?"

"You should get into boudoir photography."

"Boudoir photography?" I just about coughed up the extra slice of capicola they had given me to snack on. I had never considered that my deli guy might ever be moved to advise me to take risqué pictures of people in their skivvies.

"Yeah. I don't mean any of that dirty stuff. You know, really classy like. People will pay lots of money for that stuff. You say 'boudoir' to them, and they'll buy it."

"I'll have to give that some thought," I said.

I'm not going to give that some thought.

It's not because I'm prudish about that sort of thing. I just don't want to have to train my eye on the boobs of relative strangers crammed into merry widows while they arch over satin pillows.

Plus, I don't own any satin pillows or a chaise longue, and the pillows on our bed are getting kind of old and flat. The closest thing I have to satin pillows and a chaise longue around here are my three cats and a ratty love seat, and that kind of thing just might give people the wrong the idea. It would end up looking like low rent porn with a hint of bestiality. My mother would be so proud.

Five Star Friday's Edition #70

Grace in Small Things: Part 292 of 365