Across Continents

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Heart attack on a plate

It was un-mistakenly what Esther, with whom I’d stayed back in the Central Asian city of Bishkek, would have described as a heart attack on a plate. Bacon and fried egg sandwich. With fries. I’d loved her description of North American road house fare as much, I thought, as she’d enjoyed some of my pet phrases and little quips.

Everything in moderation of course, and after Hungry Hill, lentils and lettuce wouldn’t have worked. There’d been a swift, flowing descent into Houston, a small cafe next to a busy gas station. A sign on the door said "Happy Birthday Elaine!". It begged me to enter. Staff or regular customer. Which would it be?

My server was Aubray. She’d worked there since the local sawmill had closed. Elaine was in the kitchen, soon to finish her shift and head off to celebrate her twenty-first.

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