John Tang

Concessionaire on Lunch

Posted in Sketchbook by Jt's Item Roster on April 23, 2010

Concessionaire on Lunch

She came out on the bay side of the building for lunch. Paunchy, still in her red apron, she brought a bagel sandwich, ham and cheese, with side of coffee to the table alone. Cars passed along one by one, and she realized how small Vacaville was by the count of cars. Down the empty parking lot was a middle-age man on a mountain bike. He wore a blue short-sleeve shirt and a large helmet over his squared-face and aquiline nose. He looked dry, she thought. Dry not as in humor, but the skin tone over his boney structure. If he wasn’t so quick, she could have sighted the liver spots dotting the knuckles.

Ten minutes later she grew dead in her mind, so she brought yesterday’s newspaper someone must’ve left last night, as it laid on the basket-seat by the windows. Reading a few lines here and there, something about something, she sighed and got another paper for lunch. Two tables down she saw a young man writing on the laptop and wondered what he wrote—perhaps about the way she folded the newspaper under her arm. Every moment she passed behind him, she failed to get a good-look on the screen because of the glare. She knew he saw her in the screen, too. What she saw was the screen was filling every glance she got over his left shoulder.

The page had to be associated somewhere or something close by. He didn’t have any text books, as the man did appear to be a college student, mature in fitted clothes—gray v-neck, denims, coffee tennis shoes with an orange puma stitched at the nose—a satchel drooping on his legs and a matching pair of black glasses sporting on his face—not the heavy plastic frames many wore these days, ones which make a person seem intellectual and time indebted to studies.

She caught, “She came…for lunch.” Then she saw his eyes move left to right, an absurd look, in the reflection of his laptop. She backed away, not turning around. Now I just gave this person something to write about, she thought and grabbed the broom outside leaning on the metal door frame.



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