Long-time Panera regular comes by to shake my hand and wish me good morning. Says Shalom because she knows we’re both Jewish. Cups my right hand warmly with both of hers and smiles, then moves on to next table.
Makes the rounds greeting regulars and first-timers: old couple sitting side by side eating oatmeal and drinking coffee, four concerned citizens parsing the week’s events.
“Where have you been?” the old man asks. “We missed you,” his wife adds.
“You don’t want to know,” she answers, then adds, “You missed me like a cold.”