Restaurant Scene---a narrative poem

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theirishsea
Posts: 630
Joined: March 29th, 2009, 8:09 am

Restaurant Scene---a narrative poem

Post by theirishsea » June 14th, 2019, 4:54 pm

The usual pushing aside an empty glass
The grasping of a table knife
Its dull blade
The sweeping of crumbs over the cloth
Into the palm of the hand
The pocketing of such treasure
The look around
Somewhat guilty
By pretending curiosity just enough
That no one notices
Then back to self-absorption
Chin tucked in
Eyes downcast at the now uncluttered table
Waiter removed the glass
It wasn’t your dinner
You are just waiting
“who are you waiting for?”
“just waiting.”
The side-long look from the waiter
A silent derogatory frown
The corner of is lips in defense mode
Ready for battle
But he moves away
For now
Eyes abandon him to the periphery
A woman far table sipping ice water
She has already ordered
You see it in her cautious eyes
Hoping not to be disappointed
You would like to go over there
Say “can I join you?”
You know the answer is “no”
She will say it in a firm voice
She won’t drop a purse
Or sniffle
Or show any hint of smile in her eyes
And so you stay put
Entertaining alternative possibilities
“can I give you a lift?”
“no” she will say flatly
“do you want to dance?”
“no. I don’t hear music. do you?”
You shake your head minimally
Turn your back on her
Almost return to the table you had
But a couple
Long-married
Have sat down
Rented your space for the next two hours
Drone on among themselves
Like faucets groaning with air
You momentarily stand there
But move away
A different direction
To the bar
Your order a cheap beer
Sit down toward the far end
Invisible to woman and waiter
Pretend to be a diner waiting for a table
You reach into your pocket
Grab what you can of those crumbs
Pop them in your mouth
Maybe there is the taste of something
Beside the odor of your hand
But that is a fantasy
That whole scenario
You sit at your table
Your table
That you don’t rent but occupy
You could order dinner
Eat the bread and rolls
Drink the ice water
Then pretend to go to the restroom but turn
Naturally
Casually
Attracting no attention
Walk out the door
Vanish down the street
Cut across a field
Yes, you will get mud on your shoes
But there is dust now
The cuff of your coat is not that frayed
Even the waiter wouldn’t be able to give a description
In, say, half an hour
You would be just another stranger
He could eat your meal
In the back
On break
Or he could take it to the blonde
Say it is on the house
If she hasn’t ordered
Or “I’ll put it in a doggy bag”
No, the waiter will throw the meal
Away
That’s the way they do things here
They’ve thrown you away
You don’t order dinner
The waiter is impatient
You say “I’m waiting”
You glance at the door
You watch another waiter take a steaming plate to her
You imagine it is shrimp or lobster
She has that look
Attractive
Though not Hollywood
Attractive
Like an old song you remember
You sit ask for a glass of water
The waiter complies
Expecting shortly
Word of your decision
You sit and wait them out
You know the manager will be called
You know it is useless
But you try
Pretend to be a man of means
They don’t buy it
Show them the money
Show her money
An enticement of affection
A little smile now that you have a sip of water
A restrained sip
Not gulp of water
Show them you mean business
The Irish Sea Is Always In Turmoil, Even When Calm.

mtmynd
Posts: 7315
Joined: August 15th, 2004, 8:54 pm
Location: El Paso

Re: Restaurant Scene---a narrative poem

Post by mtmynd » June 15th, 2019, 12:46 am

I enjoyed reading this narrative. Took me right into the restaurant and all that you captured.

Thank you! :)
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mnaz
Posts: 6798
Joined: August 15th, 2004, 10:02 pm
Location: north of south

Re: Restaurant Scene---a narrative poem

Post by mnaz » June 15th, 2019, 1:51 am

Waiters (and diners) should never be impatient,
unless they're from Hollywood I guess..

saw
Posts: 6188
Joined: May 23rd, 2008, 7:32 am
Location: B'more, Maryland

Re: Restaurant Scene---a narrative poem

Post by saw » June 15th, 2019, 9:39 am

the longing in this poem is quite palpable
the desire for more than the mundane
"I'll have the usual"...comes to mind,
and from there we are left to wonder....perhaps wander... 8)
If you do not change your direction
you may end up where you are heading

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sasha
Posts: 1136
Joined: April 12th, 2016, 12:01 pm
Location: SW New Hampshire
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Re: Restaurant Scene---a narrative poem

Post by sasha » June 15th, 2019, 12:26 pm

I get a "stranger in a strange land" vibe from this - maybe because it hits a little close to home - those idle fantasies about attractive strangers, ulitimately done in by the gulf (or perception of one) between us
.
I'm not an outlier. I just haven't found my distribution yet.

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mnaz
Posts: 6798
Joined: August 15th, 2004, 10:02 pm
Location: north of south

Re: Restaurant Scene---a narrative poem

Post by mnaz » June 15th, 2019, 2:08 pm

Read this again. A lot to take in-- so much "ground" covered, and hardly a word spoken (maybe none; it could ALL be interior, or through the eyes). In the end, it all means business. No business except BUSINESS in this benighted land..

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