Wednesday, November 10, 2010

A word picture

The woman who entered the cafe was tall and thin, dressed in tight jeans, a form-fitting hot pink t-shirt, and a long black cardigan. In the style of the day, she had a wispy lavender scarf twirled around her neck. Her thick, black hair fell to the middle of her back, with one long lock, colored in that dark purplish-red that dark-haired women sometimes like, draped over her left shoulder. Her glasses made her look studious, as did the tote bag containing at least three books that she let fall to the chair in the same motion with which she set her plate down. The plate contained a single slice of pepperoni pizza, and when she sat down, she produced from her book bag a travel-worn water bottle that had the look of having been to the Serengeti once or twice.

Before she ate, she carefully -- ever so carefully -- opened the newspaper that the previous customer had left on the table, selected the section she wanted to read, and then -- also so carefully, ever so carefully -- opened the section to an inner page, and folded the paper open in a series of quick, practiced motions that called to mind those of the great masters of origami, that she might read the story that interested her without wrestling with the entire paper.

She laid the paper on the table in front of her, took another sip of water. In her left hand she lifted the slice of pizza, and then she looked around one last time, as if seeking a missed companion, before she lifted the pizza to her mouth.

Whereupon she seized the slice with her teeth, point first, and ripping the rest of the slice away with her hand as she chewed with abandon, ignoring the gob of cheese hanging down over her chin until she had swallowed and washed the bite down with another draw from the water bottle. It was then that she placed the slice back down on the plate, took a napkin from the holder, wiped her chin, and then resumed her savage attack on her pizza slice.

She consumed that slice in little more than 79 seconds, washed the last bite down with one last sip, and then in one motion that also must have been practiced, rose from her chair, slung her book tote over her shoulder, grabbed her empty plate and four used napkins, and headed for the exit, her long, oversized cardigan billowing out as she went.

Leaving me to wonder how a woman with that body ever got that body by eating with such savage glee.

No comments: