The bread line

Liz sat in a hard wooden seat off to the left side. She watched as her wife dug through a shopping cart that was full of plastic grocery bags. There weren’t many people on her side today compared to the last few weeks. She wondered if the snow and cold had deterred them from coming in today. Her wife came from the cart with six plastic bags in hand and took a seat next to Liz. She proceeded to split them evenly and demonstrate the best way to hold them for quick access. There was one older gentleman to their left. He had a graying mustache. Liz recognized him from the weeks before. There was a dull roar coming from the other end of the line on the right as people exchanged greetings, stories, and caught each other up on the events of the past week. Liz looked straight ahead and saw all the name tags clipped on the coat rack
Many were grouped together by surname and she passed the time by trying to follow the limrage of each set. She wondered if it was really a wise idea to display full names in such a public place. She could hear rattling behind the large wooden doors in front of her and took it as a cue to stand up. Her wife said, “you get one bread and sweets and I will get two breads.” Liz nodded. As they stood, the older gentleman made small talk about the weather and the coat rack. A very elderly gentleman came out of the door and passed out tickets with a slow and trembling hand. Each ticket was worth one small and one large sweet.
     Liz had heard of bread lines growing up in two contexts. First, the Great Depression where nobody had enough to eat and second in Communist /Socialist countries during the Cold War. Both examples had the same images of huddled masses in the snow waiting in line with hundreds in hopes for one loaf of bread. Sometimes the Communist pictures showed people with wheelbarrows full of cash to exchange. Liz knew these accounts were heavily propogated but she never imagined she would find herself in a modern day bread line. She didn’t realize there was a need for one in today’s global economy.
    An elderly lady came into the halls and asked if there were any wheelchairs. Then the doors opened. Liz went straight to the center table waving her ticket at anyone who would listen. She grabbed a box of croissants that lay in front of her while she waited. The woman finally came for the ticket. She gave Liz an apple pie and muffins. Liz met up with her  wife and told her to choose a giant chocolate chip cookie then they compared their haul. They had two boxes of rolls, croissants,  multi-grain bread and breadsticks. On the way out they gor a grocery bag of cat food.
     Later, her wife said ” you know with our diabetes we don’t need all these carbs.” “I know” she replied, “but they are filling and free.” They went home and ate donuts and muffins


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