Sleepwalking my way through life: Imaginary dining

Imaginary dining

I know, I should really stop the imagery. It's pointless seeing how people don't really understand what I'm saying, and can only guess.
I'll stop it now.

The food was laid out before me on a silver platter; glorious mountains of potato, a forest of deliciously sweetened greens, and the biggest, juiciest steak in existence. I gazed with ravenous eyes at the food before me and my stomach rumbled with anticipation. I licked my lips, too engrossed in looking at the food to hear the waiter.

“Sorry, what?” I asked, looking up at the primly dressed waiter, a towel over one arm and a menu under the other.

“The steak sir,” he indicated with his hand, “it is a new recipe.”

“Really?” I asked, trying my best not to drool.

“Yes, sir.” He replied with some pride in his voice. “It is very fortunate that you came in when you did young sir, we almost gave the meal to the young girl over there.” He said, pointing with the menu.

I looked over to the girl who almost had the pleasure of enjoying my meal. She was young – younger than me – and a frown flickered across her stunning face for a moment as she checked her watch, obviously waiting to be served. She slumped forward with a sigh and tucked another strand of curly blonde hair behind her ear, waiting to get served. She didn’t matter, the food was mine now.

I picked up my knife and fork, ready to dig into the piece of art that was ready for the taking. My fork hovered over the meat, ready to pierce it and feel the thick, soft, juiciness inside. But the waiter was still beside me, looking at me as if he still had something to say. And say he did.

“Although this is a new recipe sir, it is not fully perfected. There are still some things that we need to work on… You could call this a trial run for it.”

“Oh,” I replied, setting down my knife and fork down on either side of the plate.

“Is something the matter sir?”

“Take it back,” I said, lifting the glass and sipping some water. “It’s not perfect, it’s not ready. Take it back and bring it to me when it’s ready.”

“But sir-“

“Do it.”

The waiter obediently covered the plate in its silver lid and lifted it off my table. He had changed slightly; his was still pleasant, but it wasn’t as high note as before. After he picked up the tray he looked at me. “I am sorry for the inconvenience sir, you have already had a long wait already and now you have to wait longer.”

“It’s my choice.” I told him bluntly.

“We are very proud of this recipe sir, and we are not going to give it to just anyone. We are not even sure that we should release it again. But if we do, we expect some… class for this type of meal. So I suggest that you clean yourself up and stop slouching if you want to enjoy it… sir.”

“Suggestion noted.” I told him, taking another sip of water.

The waiter began to walk away with the food, holding it carefully aloft. Before he stepped round the corner and out of sight into the kitchen, he turned.

“You seem to be anticipating this steak quite a lot sir.”

“I have been in this restaurant for the best part of a year,” I told him with a smile, “I have tasted and chewed many variations of that steak. I have felt it grow better with age; I have discovered new bursts of flavours as I have eaten it; I have tasted it rare to well done. But this one… this one is new, it’s different. And I want it to be perfect.”

The waiter looked at me for a moment, carefully planning out his next sentence. “You expect this steak to be perfect, to be the best. And although I am proud of this place and its food, I can tell you that it won’t be perfect.”

“You have to take the good with the bad, otherwise what’s the point in having it?”

“That’s not what I mean sir. It won’t live up to your expectations.”

I took a gulp from my glass, “I know.”

“Then, why do you wait?”

“Because it’s better than the chicken.” I laugh, raising my glass in fake merriment.

The waiter left and I was left alone to contemplate my growling stomach, but I was not alone for long. A guy about my age sat in the chair across from me, an incredulous look on his face.

“What was that?”

“What was what?” I asked him.

“You gave it away! You let it slip through your fingers again!” He said, gesticulating wildly.

“And?” I was being short with him; his use of the word “again” annoyed me.

“What is wrong with you? You were handed it – quite literally – on a silver plate. All you had to do was say yes and it was yours! Everything you ever wanted!”

“It wasn’t. You know it wasn’t.”

“What? Because it wasn’t finished? What if they never release it again? What if you never get another chance to-?”

“It wasn’t ready. It has to be ready, otherwise I won’t enjoy it.” I really wished he would just go away. “Sit up straight, this is a classy place.”

“You’re an idiot. A goddamn idiot. You know that?”

“I’m not.” I say to myself more than him. “I’m brilliant.”

He threw his hands up. “I can’t get through to you!” he said as he stood up.

“No, you can’t.” I told him, taking another drink of water. He looked at me before walking away to find another table to bother.

And so I sat and waited for my meal, trying my best to resist the urge to play with my napkin.
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At 3:43 pm, Anonymous Jules said...

Oh ah. I'm mulling. You wrote that so fucking well.

At 5:13 pm, Anonymous x said...

yeah, i've always wanted to tell people around me to take what they offer and piss off until they have what i wanted.. but of course it didn't seem right. still, bravo for this one.

At 1:10 am, Anonymous Ted said...

I like your random imagery. At least it's well written and not haphazard like mine.


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