When I went out this morning I found an apple pie in front of my door, and it was no Entenmanns either.
It was from William Greenbergs, an Upper Side bakery who specializes in overpriced desserts.
Hmm, no note. Who could this be from, I wondered. In all my years no one has ever left me a present that came in a crust before. Oh wait a minute, I stand corrected. I forgot about those chicken pot pies from Stu Leonards MICKEY used to bring in lieu of flowers. UGH, one of those indelible memories, like having mumps.
After putting the pie in the fridge I decided to just stop by Greenbergs to see if they could tell me anything.
When I walked in the woman behind the counter, all smiles, asked if she could help me. Yes, I said, I’m here to inquire about a pie. Before I could continue she started chanting favors: blueberry, 3 berries, peach, apricot, apple.
“No, I’m not here to buy a pie since I already have one, thank you though…one of yours actually. You see, I need some info about the pie I already have.”
Needless to say she looked at me as if I were nuts and excused herself to go wait on another woman waving a very lengthy list. Make a note of that Susannah – carry list, for prompter service and holding clerk’s attention.
I then went over to ask another woman, busy in the corner icing a cake, who was so, so charming when she looked up and said, “How am I suppose to know who sent you a pie. Do you how many pies we sell in a day?”
“I never said sent, left was the word I believe I used Madam and I don’t know why you’re raising your voice.”
“Don’t you see I’m busy?” Undeterred I calmly asked if I could speak to the manager.
“Certainly. I AM THE MANAGER.”
“I’m never coming in here again, how about that?”
“Good, since you never come in here anyway.”
Didn’t know what to say to that since it was true. I mean who in their right mind pays 30 bucks for a pie anyway however, I decided to take that boring High Road and leave without calling her names, which I took as real growth.
But back to the anonymous pie. It then occurred to me, maybe it was meant for someone else left at my door by mistake.
I had such mixed feelings over this theory since I was all set to buy a gallon of milk (organic, of course) and have it for breakfast, lunch and dinner and maybe breakfast again. I even had a cheese fantasy going on – a little cheddar draped over the top warmed in the oven. So early American.
I knew if I asked my neighbor Polly, a huge foodie, she’d lie and say it was hers whether it was or not. And the girl across from her with the collection of mops, I mean Yorkies, is a door I can never bring myself to knock on ever since she had that bat zooming around her living room. Let’s just say, she’s a little untidy.
Then it hit me, maybe it’s the guy upstairs whose girlfriend likes to leave me little things from time to time. Could this be one of those times? But when I knocked another girl, dressed only in her underwear, answered not to cheerfully I might add and said, “We don’t want any,” before slamming the door in my face.
Okay, I’m coming to the rapid conclusion I may have earned this pie whether it was meant for me or not since I’m dodging mood swings as if they were bullets.
I’m just going to go back out and buy that milk now.
When I returned I ran into the guy on the very top floor who asked me if I knew anything about a package that was delivered to him. My heart sank. Ah shit, I thought, I was so looking forward to eating that pie.
“Just a minute, I’ll be right back” I said, running upstairs. “Is this what you were looking for?”
“Is that a pie?” he asked a little confused.
“Indeed it is, it’s from Greenbergs…apple,” I said wistfully. “Can’t you smell it right through the box?”
“Actually no since I have no sense of smell or taste for that matter (this was really turning into a tragedy). No, I ordered golf balls from this place in Kentucky who claims they’ve been delivered.”
“Golf balls?” No, haven’t seen any golf balls. That’s what you’re waiting for?” I was so happy this was about balls and not pie that I almost hugged him.
“If you don’t mind me asking, why did you think the pie was mine?”
“I didn’t really, I um, I…was just trying to…cheer you up? How bout a slice?”
“It’s a little early for dessert isn’t it?” I hate this kind of guy, so unimaginative.
“You could save it for lunch?” He was looking at me like I was offering him arsenic on a plate.
“I’ll tell you what, if I see those golf balls I’ll let you know.”
Finally, alone with my pie.
I still have no idea who left it or even if it’s rightfully mine. What I do know is, it’s amazing and I earned it goddammit.