Monday, November 24, 2014

The educated conversation at the butcher's

For many more years than not, I haven’t eaten four-legged animals, but somehow fish, I could eat. So when yesterday, in a small market, displayed in crushed ice, a pink grouper’s head attached to maybe half a body caught my eye with its clouded one, I asked the affable young butcher for a pound, or a bit less.
As I talked with a retired English teacher wanting red snapper, who told me there was no teaching anymore unless it was in a private school, BANG! The butcher slammed a mallet down on the knife perched on the bone of the grouper.

He laid the slice of delicate pink flesh on the scale.
“Only half a pound,” he said, disappointed.
I couldn’t stand witness to another hacking.
“I’ll take it; it’s fine,” I told him and turned back to the English teacher and said,
“I went to a private school. Quaker.”
She touched my arm and said, “Then you are educated.”

The slab of fish leaked a bloody spot in the refrigerator overnight. Though I had lost my taste for the idea of it, I laced it with garlic and spices, broiled it, and gave it to the dog who, the breeder had said, was the dumbest she’d ever raised. 
Not educated.
The Conversation by Beth Surdut

No comments: