Yellow Line


Ellen inhaled the stainless aesthetic, then slowly exhaling, savored the anticipation washing over her.

The vendor folded back the stainless doors releasing the sacred aroma into a cloud of rising steam, and smiled. Taking the cue Ellen stepped forward to place her order, “two please,” she said smiling back at the vendor.

Silver tongs plunged deep within the stainless, returning a rich plump hot dog steamed to succulent perfection. The vendor expertly nestled the dog into a warm spongy bun, and repeated, to complete Ellen’s order.

Reaching out Ellen graciously received the hot dogs remarking “how juicy and plump,” and with no one noticing she genuflected a wee bit, thanking the universe for the moment.

Instinctively she grasped the solitary yellow squeeze bottle contrasting itself against the cool stainless of the cart, and wondered, maybe she’d eat the hot dogs naked, but she squirted a long yellow line across both dogs before she could decide.

With one bite Ellen revisited all her summer memories, reliving a brief happiness she had as a little girl, when time stood still.

15 thoughts on “Yellow Line

  1. I say this with complete sincerity. There have been times when I have been that happy to eat a hot dog and for exactly the same reasons. Excellent piece.

  2. You evoke such wonderful sights, smells, colors! I felt like I was standing next to the woman (I almost grabbed one of her hot dogs…) Nicely done!

  3. Do you write poetry? stupid question – everything you write is poetry. You evoke such wonderful images with your rich detailed descriptions.

    I don't like hot dogs, but I sure want one now… 🙂

  4. I love the quick genuflection, you have a light touch with this.

    I was there with Ellen, encouraging her to go for the naked dog. But the title of the piece was "Yellow Line" – so I wasn't surprised.

    You got the smells and taste to come through the screen – nicely done.

  5. Not a dog fan, myself, but once or twice a year is good. They do bring back memories. You capture it all in this slice-of-life piece, though I like kruat on my dogs, along with the mustard. 😉 Nicely done.

  6. This is a lovely piece of creating a scene in a relaxing yet energizing way. Very nice.

    My commments as a reader: I've obviously been reading some weird stuff these days, because I imagined this woman on some kind of futuristic table where she was about to receive a treatment from a Big Brother-like state. Then I imagine this vendor guy as a sinister front man for the Big Brother organization, and he's done something to trick her into placing her order. My mind shouted, "No! Don't place your order! Run!"

    This is too long. Gotta split into two parts …

  7. Okay, here's part 2:

    Then I realize the error of my assumptive ways. It's a hot dog stand. A real hot dog stand? Yes, a real hot dog stand. Oh. My over-active imagination feels a bit chastised. But then something happens that washes away my misunderstanding. The woman genuflects. That's so bright and shiny and unexpected that the whole thing becomes new again.

    My comments as a writer: Dang. You don't give me much to work with. Okay, two teeny-tiny pickies. First line, we have the past-tense verb "inhaled" followed by the gerund "inhaling" in the next phrase. It'd suit my ear better to make those parallel. And, finally, what if you delete the word "brightly" from the second-to-last paragraph? Then it's just the "yellow squeeze bottle contrasting itself against the cool stainless …" That describes the concept of "brightly" in my mind, making the word not needed.

    That's all. Thanks for this. Enjoyed reading it, and I look forward to more.

    –Jeff Posey

    • Jeff, thanks for the comments. I liked the vision you had of the piece in the beginning. Indeed " brightly" is a bit of a sticky word, I have been thinking about it since I wrote it and have yet decided what to do with it. I have always thought how great it would be if you could add a color into a sentence and it would magically transform itself into the perfect word or phrase associated with the feeling or visual. Alas not in my lifetime. and the gerund thought is stretching my mind is many directions.

  8. Liked the simple, evocative nature of this. The linking of the physical hotdog with the evoking of memories was nice. Smell and taste can take you straight back to your past just as easily as music. Enjoyable stuff. 🙂

  9. six years ago the suggestion was made for me to remove the word “brightly” from the above piece, today I removed it. The word though is still in the audio reading, in case anyone noticed… 🙂

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