Friday, January 1, 2010

Laszlo's on Lex

Ilsa Lund Laszlo cleaned the celery stalks, took off the ends, and started chopping the stalks on the wooden board behind the counter at the rear of the store. Little Ricky slept in the carriage at the front, which was placed to catch the morning sun, slanting through the buildings opposite.

She had to do more tasks lately since Victor was less involved in the day to day work. She knew Victor did not like making sandwiches, did not like some of the German-Americans who came in, and was more interested in organizing the tenants in their building. But Sam helped, it was good to have him here now that the Parrot gig fell through and he was back in the States.

Organizing the tenants had become Victor's somewhat unreasonable passion. She told him often that landlords were not like Nazis: "… most of them are Jews, Victor" - but he was obstinate. She knew, too, he had been meeting the young Hungarian girl at Sascha's candy store on 81st Street. He came back always with the smell of halvah about him.

New York was not Paris, yet all things considered, she had few complaints. The delicatessen was doing well, sales had been up this year, and there had not been a postcard from Brazzaville in two years.

She heard the baby stir, so she moved to the carriage, wiping her hands on her long apron. She gently sang to him a few bars of the song Sam had sung in the old days “… the fundamental things apply …." Which reminded her of the fish cakes. It was Friday, so they would need at least sixty.

1 comment:

  1. Looking back on my comments regarding SHAKESPEARE AND CO., I am disappointed that I didn’t first read your narrative sketch of the origin of LASZLO’S ON LEX. Your wonderful description is so evocative of place and time, and sounds a more likely destination for good company and conversation. May I put in my order for a dozen fish cakes?