On, In, and Around Mondays: Embrace the Shape
I was all alone for lunch. I didn't want to be alone.
The waitress sat me facing the wall. She set the maroon menu down on the brushed stainless steel table, and placed a white cloth napkin and large utensils before me.
Is this how a restaurant seats those who are alone? Maybe the wall is supposed to make the lonely diner feel closer to something. Maybe it gives a sense of safety and connection to something, if only a decorative picture of Eleanor Roosevelt.
Let me see the room I am alone in, I thought. Let me embrace the shape of this time. I picked up the leather menu and switched sides. The room was large. I saw groups of people laughing together, a set of businessmen pushing pencils, waiters moving from table to table.
Maybe I'll write, I thought, and went reaching for my purple notebook. But no, I thought. Embrace the shape of this time.
So I watched. I watched the candle burning in foggy rose-colored glass. I watched a man outside in the courtyard, talking, talking, talking on his phone, head bobbing, hand in jeans pocket. He talked through my focaccia with olive oil. He talked until I noticed the watermelon shape of my goblet and its sweat dripping down and the cubes melting inside. In his red and white striped Brooks Brothers styled shirt, he finally walked away when the burrata on bread with prune jam and basil arrived.
I cut small pieces of the burrata and moved it slowly up to my mouth. I let the fragrance of the jam and basil meet me before I put the bite on my tongue. It is like a spiritual experience, I thought.
I did the same with the tiny sweet potatoes covered with brown sugar and pecans. Slow movement, fragrance, take it in. I watched how the waiter who served me smiled. What's your name? I asked when he came to me again. It was Christian.
Finally, I took my phone out to check the time. How much longer would it be until I had my next meeting? I might need to go somewhere else and wait, pull out that paper and pen I'd been after.
But the time was gone. Somewhere in that hour and a half, I'd melted into the embrace.
On, In and Around Mondays (which partly means you can post any day and still add a link) is an invitation to write from where you are. Tell us what is on, in, around (over, under, near, by...) you. Feel free to write any which way... compose a tight poem or just ramble for a few paragraphs. But we should feel a sense of place. Would you like to try? Write something 'in place' and add your link below.
If you could kindly link back here when you post, it will create a central meeting place. :)
This post is also shared with Laura Boggess, for...