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Hot Pastrami Sandwich

Sat, 7 Dec 2019, 10:18 PM (-06:00) Creative Commons License

“Can I ask you a question?” 

She was making me a hot pastrami sandwich, which is the special this week. I had told her I was a math teacher to justify the book I had been reading while I waited in line, and it evidently made her think of something.

I looked at her, a bit surprised. “Sure.”

She set down the bread and her knife, and she held up her hands, making a circle.

“So how much area does a sphere make when it touches a flat table?”

“Well theoretically it is just a point,” I said, “so there’s no area.”

She nodded as if perhaps that was what she was thinking. Or perhaps there was some kind of bet.

“But in practice…” I added cautiously because I am apt to wax theoretical and overlook all practicality (as anyone in my family will tell you). “In practice there’s a small flat area.”

And with that, I took my hot pastrami sandwich, selected a bag of sea-salt chips, and found a table in the corner. 

As I sat down, I grabbed a book off the book sharing shelf by the door, “Fundamental Principles of the Metaphysics of Morals” by Immanuel Kant. Never read Kant. What better time than while eating a hot pastrami sandwich. I opened the book and started reading the preface where I was told

We may call all philosophy empirical, so far as it is based on grounds of experience: on the other hand, that which delivers its doctrines from a priori principles alone we may call pure philosophy…

I wanted to take the book to her. To show her those words. To warn her of the purely philosophical answer I had given her. To caution her on my complete lack of empirical experience with spheres sitting on tables. I wanted to. But I thought better of it and ate my hot pastrami sandwich, instead.

© jumpingfish by David Hasan is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 4.0 International License