This entry is part 9 of 17 in the series Doing Laundry

      Eli barely felt the plane touch down, but the sudden presence of cabin lights jolted him awake. The uninvited cold slithered across his skin as he groggily rubbed sleep from his eyes.
      The clicks of overhead compartments rattled throughout the cabin. He rolled up the window shade to a thin line of burnt yellow creeping across the otherwise silent tarmac. Fifteen minutes later he stumbled through security wondering what his chances were of finding a bed in the next thirty seconds.
      Just then, a thin white man with a square face approached him. His gray eyes zeroed in on Eli. There was no escape.
      “Hey, my name vis Lucas, I’m here to help.”
      “Great! I’m excited to hit the links tomorrow. I have a terrible slice?”
      “Ha. That’l verk,” Lucas laughed. “You hungry?”
      Lucas led them through the terminal and out to a waiting BMW Z4.
      “Woah! You guys well funded?”
      “Don’t be impressed. Just glad no one tried to break in.”
      “Why? How do you know that?” Eli asked as he ducked into the sports car.
      “Vit’s a nice car. Don’t get me vong. Perfect for newlyveds and people in sales. Not too pricey, and looks good on ze road.”
      “Just pray a Russian doesn’t start tailing us.”
      “Why’s that?”
      “Russians get vaster cars.”
      “Russia makes faster cars?”
      Lucas laughed. “I said getnot make.”
      He pushed the needle to 120 kph as they rifled down the freeway. Eli read the clock on the dash, it was just past 7. Lucas took exit 100 for West Berlin and didn’t stop until they were parked outside of a house that had been renovated into a cafe.
      “Vis place serves a vantastic cup of caffee, but small portions. Just make sure vou get some sort of bread. They have ze vest baker in Neu-Seegefeld. Just valk to ze back when you’re done.”
      Right. Just like that. Of course.
      Eli waited in line as inconspicuously as possible. He supposed it never dawned on Lucas that he couldn’t speak a word of German. He took out his phone to Google his way to some semblance of an order. It was his turn. An older man wearing a beanie and two jackets looked at him with a ready expression framed in a kempt gray beard.
      “Kaffee, brot, und obst?” He tried, hoping for a cup of coffee, some bread, and fruit.
      “Sicher, welche art von brot mochtest du?”
      “Uh…I don’t know. I’m so sorry.”
      A muffled chuckle came from behind.
      “Wenn ich versuchte, dir eine kuh zu verkaufen, wurdest du es kaufen?” The man behind the counter began to laugh.
      “I don’t know. I’m sorry. I don’t speak German,” Eli stammered.
      “Er denkt daruber nach!” The man shouted exuberantly. Roars of laughter echoed around the coffee shop. Eli stared hopelessly out the back window where he saw Lucas warming his hands on a pallet wood fire.
      To his relief, the old man put two surprisingly large pieces of bread into a bag, poured him a cup of coffee, and handed him an orange. He winked, and waved his hand.
      “Dont’ vorry bout it. Zis on the house.”

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