The news woman responds, "He's as black as he is white. That makes him a president not just for black people, but for all the people."
The newswoman and I catch eyes as I think about whether her curly black hair is a wig and about the profundity of her comment. As she opens the door to step back into the sunny but sharply cold air, she wishes the few customers and employees, "Happy Obama Day."
As I wait for my egg salad sandwich on rye, a maintenance man from Wayne State University wearing green coveralls comes in with an older gray-haired gentleman. Maybe his father, maybe not. The maintenance man treats him as an elder, allowing him to sit in a booth while he places the orders. He asks the older man if he wants Swiss cheese.
"No, I don't want any of that WHITE cheese," he retorts.
Being the only white customer, I perk up quickly. The jolly maintenance man smiles as though caring for a child. Then I quickly smile too.
"I ain't never liked that white cheese," as he balks at the question, "you know that."
I laugh to myself thinking about the racial significance of the day.