I want to eat like her

It was the woman in red dress that decided my restaurant choice.

Or, perhaps I should say, it was her face.

Behind large wooden doors pushed open to the night breeze were couples and candlelight, and I thought… no.

But something caught my eye.

Yes, it was her face.

At the time it was upturned, with eyes closed, unmoving.  In her hand an empty soup spoon poised somewhere between mouth and bowl. It hung in the air like a comma, waiting.  I, too, found myself unmoving, holding my breath.

She relaxed her shoulders and slowly swallowed, I could almost feel the silent moan of pleasure as it flashed across her face.

I exhaled

And I thought

I want to eat like her.

Barely able to avert my eyes, I entered.

Yes, a table for one, yes, a table by the window, yes, yes.

The chair proffering views of twinkling lights is shunned for one that affords the view of the red dress.  Of the woman.  Of the face.

Like me, she dined alone, but she wasn’t alone.

Her companions were scattered across the table.

A dish of pasta, the trails of sauce over linen.

A bowl of bread with crust broken, thick chunks lavished with butter.

Mussel shells, spilling from bowl onto platter.

These were her companions.

Spoon became fork, she twirled pasta. Ribbons raised then deftly lowered; once again the cutlery paused in repose. Then again. And again.

She chewed slowly, eyes closed; it was hard not to stare as she ate.

Between bites, she stopped, she sipped, she sighed.

The rapture on her face, evident.

Occasionally, her head gave a shake and the red dress followed suit, shivering in pleasure.

Her brows would rise and she’d run her tongue through her teeth, concentrating. First a frown, then a smile.

I imagined the inward talk.

The groan of satisfaction.

When the dessert menu was offered, there was only one word.

Yes.

I watched as she perused the offerings like a child would a picture book, tracing the words with her finger, mouthing silently as she read.

In the final clearing, the server comes to lift the flatware.  As he raises the bowl she stills his arm, extends her finger, and wipes it slowly across and around the base, scooping the remains of sticky sweetness before seductively sucking her finger.

And again I thought…

I want to eat like her.

 

She had no inhibitions, this unaccompanied diner. Where I was the visitor, she was at home. She occupied her space, living there, in that moment.

I wanted to applaud, for her meal had been my night’s theatre.

I have no idea what I ordered, no memory of my wine, my meal.

Yet I can recall her menu, her dishes, simply by closing my own eyes and thinking of her face.

Meg Ryan faked it.

The woman in the red dress had it.

I want it.

I want to eat like her.

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Best Served Cold

Books make it seem surreal, I think. I mean really, how often do wronged wives behead their lovers – or cut the brake line of the family car?  Honestly.  

No, in real life that’s not the case. If it were, prison cells would be full of women who had grounds for hysteric actions; lawyers would be making a fortune whilst citing moon cycles and hormone studies as defense suits.

In real life, revenge has to be something…. subtle.

Spiteful, pointed… poking a stick in the eye without anyone else really seeing it; know what I mean?

Not that I would ever consider carrying out a truly vengeful act. I just don’t have the stomach for it.

I’ll just take another sip of my tea. Calm down a bit more. Really, I must be quite rational here. After all, 10 years of marriage is not to be taken lightly, and I do have to think of my social standing. 10 years with this miserable stinking bastard who thinks its fine to dilly dally with his floozies… but…. I digress.

Sorry. I should be thinking calm thoughts. Yoga was good for that – all that standing on my head and CHI and blood flow and stuff. And it was just terrible when our Yogi slipped down the stairs after class that day – and just steps in front of us all, too! I wasn’t able to run down and help her as fast as the others, even though I was the closest – it must have been that extra 15 pounds she said I was carrying. Slowed me down a bit I guess. I hear the neck brace comes off in a few weeks and they expect she’ll be walking again come November. Good news. 

Ohhmmmm…..     There, that’s better. I feel much calmer now. Meditation is good for the soul.

You know me. Takes quite a bit to rile me up or get me going. And I always bounce back from anything untoward with a smile on my face. So while terrible things seem to happen to people around me, I remain untouched. Charmed, some say. Lucky. Perhaps so. I just like to think I am nice. Noble, you know.

I would never do anything nasty. Even when Sylvia from work stole my submission for the council application and put it to the manager in her own name. Of course I was peeved, but really, it wasn’t worth getting my knickers in a twist about. Funny, though, how she became so ill with the aaahhh…runs… for days afterwards and was not able to attend the interview for the position. Imagine 3 days of stomach cramps out of the blue, just like that! Right about the time the syrup of Ipecac went missing from the first aid supplies too. Certainly made me chuckle! I do hope she liked the lamb stew I sent over to help her recover and gather some nutrients again. I do like to help.

Oh, and then poor Lydia. Remember her? At the Christmas party, too!  In her pretty red dress and sparkly earrings, she was the centre of attention, and my, didn’t I make sure that told her how gorgeous she looked in those oh-so-high heels! Why, I even offered to hold her purse and fur coat while she went to the ladies room. Well, it wasn’t really a room, was it? One of those portable toilet room cubicle things they had installed on the green especially for our outdoor party. Of course, when the cubicle tipped over everyone came rushing to help – and wasn’t I the one who took her home, paid the cab fare and all?  Seeing her leave through the middle of the fancy white gazebo all covered in excrement in front of 200 people is bad enough – paying the cab fare was the least I could do.

I am nice like that.

And of course, there was Jackson. He never did find out who poured milk through the open sunroof of his sports car while he was on his overseas trip, did he? Mind you, it was helpful to me because I did not have to listen to those damn wheels spinning at 4am every goddamned day as he sped off to his job at the bakery. Apparently they could not remove the smell at all. Bugger that his insurance had lapsed. He didn’t even notice the renewal didn’t arrive in his mailbox – yet the company representative says they posted the renewal at the same time they do every year. Mind you, he does not seem to mind catching the bus too much – and I even offered to feed his cat every afternoon for him. I mean, a 2 hour commute twice a day does make the working day long. Nice cat, and now I can lock her inside between feeds I don’t even have to worry about those nasty little gifts she would leave on the front mat from time to time. See? Nice person.That’s me.

But husbands… husbands who cheat. Maybe they do deserve a little taste of their own medicine.

What do you think? After this nice cup of tea is downed, I am thinking I may have to indulge in a little revenge, just this once…

(Edit:- after an email enquiring as to my “okayness”, I must emphasise that this post is fiction. Just in case you are thinking that perhaps I may need some psychiatric assessment….or something…. :)      )