"It had a thermos, which would be full of hot Campbell's soup. There would also be a sandwich and a baggie of potato chips. On rare occasions, I'd be given 50 cents to buy a tuna salad sandwich at the cafeteria. Usually, though, I'd just buy milk. For reasons I can't remember, I carried my own straw. I used the same one every day for months and months, and the milk residue built up on the inside of the straw. The first sip of milk every day would be horribly sour, but the new milk coated the old pretty quickly, so it was just a momentary sensation. I have no idea why I put up with that every day; they had straws available at school. I just liked the idea of having *my* straw.
"The cafeteria was in the basement of the school, and each classroom had its own tables one for the girls, and one for the boys. That 5th grade year, I sat at the far end of the boys' table with my friends Steve and Alan and our "project," Joey. Joey was called "emotionally disturbed" at the time, and was being mainstreamed. The teacher asked us to eat lunch with Joey; I guess we looked like the safest clique to ask. I think Steve & Alan may have known Joey from synagogue also (I was nominally Methodist). The four of us usually had a pretty good time, but Joey would absolutely *freak* *out* if his mother packed a muenster-cheese sandwich for his lunch. I still can't understand why she kept doing it. "