Table for one

“i want poori ! “

“not today .Only on sunday… “

******

“can i eat carrot halwa?”

“dinner in 20 mins..hold on !”

******

“no potato fry today?”

“lunch is ready already,will make it later”

*******

“i dont want rice”

“do u want dad to feed you? thats the only choice u could get”

********

Little me has long decided to be on my own as soon as i could. My only dreams are of a day where I munch unstoppable to my unusual food cravings.

Years passed…I’m now the ring bearer to decide on what I want to eat. Gone are those pain in the ass days of adjusting and obliging to the eating habits of parents, siblings, friends, roommates and damn everybody. Except that, I now have a gym trainer to dissuade me daily from eating taste a.k.a fat rich foods. Want beach body? leave food. Want food? be happy with ur belly..He threatens me. Only one cheat meal per week  allowed, though I take little liberty often cheating on my cheat meals.

On cheat meal days , no asking anybody out for luncheon and no debating with them trying to convince them about excellency of my choice of the food place. Alone is seldom best for oneself. But a lunch loner is a lunch loser. Yet I’m still ready to go my favorite restaurant..alone.

I leave early for lunch to escape my lunch group. I’m sure they don’t want to come to a veggie rich place, so no point asking them to join. Reach the restaurant. A couple who so desperately wanted to enter the restaurant before I do, lost in the battle of fate. They are only after me to get a table. But the restaurant manager is clearly not happy seeing me alone, for he doesn’t want to waste a table on just  one lousy loner.

Hello Sir, in for a carry out?” he indirectly insists that i rather carry out than dine-in.

No, dine in” I put a blank face. He puts a face-palm hidden.

“Might be a 30 min wait .. sir”  he stands his ground.

“Never mind, I’ll wait” I stand mine. I give a stare of  Nobody can take me down today from eating here . He gulps and goes ahead to assist the lost couple behind me.

Table of two maa’m?” He asks cordially. “yes” came back the answer before the manager finished his greeting.

“We have only one two-table  and we have this gentleman before you. You might need to wait” he politely apologizes.

“How long would that be?” the lady is visibly impatient.

May be 10 mins, maa’m ” he hints me to finish my lunch as fast as I could to give way to his majesty. I pretend to ignore what i heard. Nobody can take me down today from eating here.. I revised mentally.

Got the table. Waiter gets two glasses of water and was perplexed for he couldn’t find my company. He puts a vague smile not knowing what he should do with the second glass.

“Just Me” I cleared his confusion.He gives me a deep sympathetic look and looked sad enough to be crying any moment further. I put an awkward smile and get up to take a plate full from the buffet. The lady from the couple is staring at me right in the eye. Her look made me feel like the growling grizzly bear was never extinct. I sketch a plan of eating slower to make the bear-lady go more grumpy. I start stacking my plate and the waiter comes to me asking if I need anything more. His over courtesy is oddly troubling. I go to the other side of the buffet counter, only to meet the last son-of-a-bitch that I ever want to talk to..my ex-boss. No choice, I already bumped into him and he saw me.

“Oh, good to see you” I translated, though I actually meant f*ck you.

” Me too” .He gnarls back.  I know he feels the same way as I do.

Who are you with? “ he used his wild card.

“Just me”  I pretend to be confident about it.

“Oh! mm, meet my new fellow” he introduces me to his new employee, asserting his bossy dominance of having a company.

Cool, catch you later!” I quit and resort to my table from having to talk to the douche-bag further.

I’m head in plate totally. I don’t want to find anybody else new. I already lost track of what I want to eat. The manager gets the bill and silently pushes it onto my table. He doesn’t want to spend his two-table on just me any longer. I get it. I finish and move gracefully to pay my bill. The waiter charges my card with utmost respect and importance.  I never understand why my loneliness moved him by such everest extent. The staring-lady still prefers to stare at me to having a seat at her now-available table. Seeing her, I had an impulse to get back to the table again with an other plate. But I decide to leave her at peace.

I get to my car. Shut the doors and buckled my seat belt tight. I feel so secure and strengthened now, like a kid hiding behind his big brother from the bullies. I breathe-in  & breathe-out, ready to move. I then get this message from my lunch-group “WTF are u man, We are heading the veggie restaurant today. Wanna join?”. I go mind-blank and god-betrayed tears gently roll down my cheeks.

 

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