Cucumber 5 ways
Our love made all other love seem pallid and weak. We felt sorry for the couples not nearly as in love as us. ‘Let’s never be boring in our love’ she said as we drew hearts on the table with the sugar jar. ‘Never,’ I said with stars in my eyes; constellations only she could read. ‘That waitress is so jealous of our love. Right?’ she asked after the waitress wiped up the table for the second time and asked if we were ready to order. ‘Poor thing probably has an ordinary love,’ I replied. ‘Like that couple over there, look at him, he’s reading the paper and she’s reading a paperback book. How sad, they aren’t even speaking to each other.’ The woman with the book blew steam from her mug and took a sip while the man kept on reading the paper.
‘Let’s just order a couple of things and share,’ she suggested. ‘That’s how I love to eat,’ I said, ‘I just like to share.’ Our almond milk chai’s arrived at the table and the waitress asked again if we were ready to order. ‘Oh we haven’t even looked at the menu,’ she said. To busy looking at each other, I thought. ‘Okay I’ll give you two a minute,’ the waitress smelled of a just smoked cigarette.
Finally we broke gaze for long enough to peruse the menu. It was a bountiful menu filled with mouthwatering treats like deep fried rhubarb pie, chicken fried, double stuffed, marshmallow wings, three layered peanut butter, banana and miracle whip sandwiches with a side of strawberry au jus and a full bowl of noodles and sauce. ‘Well my truest love, what looks good?,’ she asked. I slowly looked up from the menu, ‘what do you have in mind my love?’ I asked. ‘I’m not eating salt, or sauce, or breaded and fried things, so I don’t know. What looks good to you?’ My stomach turned with hunger as I looked at the Hungrydillo section of the menu loaded with items that would make me fat and happy.
I turned the menu over to the side she was looking at. A light affair. A chill ran through the restaurant. A child was coughing. I heard the clink of plates and silverware. The stench of the waitress’s cigarette hung in my nostrils. I read on: Cucumber 5 ways, Button Mushroom Stock Soup, a Sprouted Seedwich, Ice Cold Gazpacho.
My brow furrowed. ‘What’s wrong my sweetest?’ she asked, her words like apricot jelly. I looked at her, truly looked at her, maybe for the first time. Who is this woman? I asked myself. The man reading the paper was sharing an article he had read, the woman laughed. My love sat staring at me. The restaurant swirled as I tried to justify a life of compromise. Slowly I arose. Grabbed the keys and walked out the door.
I was doing well over 75 mph in a residential area when the officer pulled me over. ‘Do you have any idea why I pulled you over,’ she asked.