Harlem. The temperature is only in the 80’s, but it’s suffocating humid and the August sun has an undeniable sting to it today. It don’t mean a thing if it ain’t got that sting, the man said. Or something like that? Burned out memories of Duke, the sun god. He played here. Heat and delirium.
There’s a breeze, though, and if you can escape the sun, beat it into the shade, it’s not half bad. No easy feat, though, as it’s just after noon. There is a Halal cart I like here, I’m not giving you specifics ‘cause I don’t even know if I know you man. But it is good, and it is special, and it is worth dragging yourself across the hot coal sidewalk walk and getting stung and beaten by Duke’s sun-god wrath for the good stuff from time to time.
I like the chicken and rice. Or chicken over rice. Or chicken plate or platter, depending on your local cart’s parlance. Or maybe the combination with it’s double-meat and toasted pita, especially that pita man. You can ask them if they’ll give you some toasted pita with whatever, you know, but it comes with the combination as a natural addition. No special requests necessary. And I don’t like to hassle the men who work the hot grill on the summer sidewalk about extras.
But today I ask for the lamb gyro, because from the looks of my traveling companion, I might need to eat this thing on the hoof. On the way to some air-conditioned environs. He’s not looking so good. Too much sting. Starting to swing. I don’t know where the men who work this cart are from precisely. Smart money may be on Egypt. I ask for a lamb Yee-Row. He says one lamb J-Eye-Row, you got it. Touché, halal cart man. Whitesaucehotsauce.