Sweet Potatoes

Paul stood in the cafeteria line.
There was no line.
He was undecided about soup or salad.
So he stood thinking. Deliberating.
For the first twenty minutes this bothered no one.
No one was in line before or behind him.
Then the lunch crowd started to show up.
Being polite the line did not force him to decide.
Being Paul he felt no peer pressure to move.
People who did not want soup or salad flowed around him.
People who did want soup or salad waited.
Being a Christian community they practiced the virtue of patience.
They were extremely good at it.
They were so good some people dropped out of the line.
They had to return to work hungry.
Some farther back in line decided Paul was an art piece.
They appreciated how well he stood still.
They debated if he was a realistic wax statue.
Those who flowed around him tended to select the turkey.
They added gravy on top of the turkey.
They added gravy on top of an ice cream scoop of mashed potatoes.
There were mashed sweet potatoes too.
No one took a scoop not being sure what the orange stuff was.
At least the orange stuff did not have raisins.
Sometimes flies were mistaken for raisins before they flew away.
Sometimes flies arrived before the food.
A fly buzzed around Paul’s head.
The fly was not Beelzebub or any of his disciples.
The fly annoyed Paul just enough he added coleslaw to his plate.
The line lurched forward.

copyright © 2021 Kenneth P. Gurney

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