Sunday, 7 February 2010


Will You Miss Me?

A couple come into the sushi place and sit in the booth across the belt from me. He is in a pin striped suit, short hair; glasses and what looks like an unfortunate shave. She is tall and the word willowy comes to mind. She has long blonde hair, tied back, large gold hoop earrings. She is dressed much more casually. bench zip up top, which she tugs down, I get a glimpse of something as she leans over, trying to decide if she is wearing little beneath, or if its a flesh coloured t-shirt, I don't look too hard, so remain unsure. She wears grey trousers, which seem reasonably smart, work suitable. It’s that kind of time, we've all come from work and stopped into eat on our way to where ever – I am going to see film at GFT one I’ve eaten. He puts his phone on the table, and she grabs it and starts accessing things straight away. He sighs, wistfully, jokingly, now I have no secrets from you. Secretly he sounds pleased, though one has to doubt he ever had secrets from her at all, given his persistent eagerness.

Almost immediately he is grabbing food from the belt like an experienced veteran, slapping them down on the table in front of her – try this it looks interesting, you want some salmon? He bombards her from that point on. Whatever she wants isn't there, so he slams he button for assistance. The waiter arrives and they order some things. He asks about the interesting thing – its squid – he can't get it back on the belt quick enough. He continues with the chatter, too eager, to her monosyllabic responses. Its one of those things that is frequently the case with couples, you can often hear one of them much louder than the other. But she really is non committal to everything he says. She looks bored, reluctant. The next thing he has the staff back, asking for cutlery instead of chopsticks, so much for his air of having a clue. The waitress suggests that they don't have cutlery, but they do have these thick pieces of wood which are chopsticks for beginners and easier to use – they make do with those after they are shown how to use them.

Will you miss me, he asks, when you go? No response. We’ll be apart for a month, how will I survive? He asks, she looks at the belt. She does say a little, but it is a little and it is quietly. I am quite skint just now, he tells her, but its OK, I get paid next week. Response is limited. I am quite skin, he repeats, what with Christmas, buying you all those lovely presents... your flights home. But its OK, I get paid next week, again repetition, so I will have saved up by the time you got back, and we can have a lovely valentines. She sits munching as their order arrives, hunched shouldered.

He picks up his 3rd serving of gyoza from the belt, she screws up her face, he shrugs, I like them, she picks at fruit salad. I’ll miss you, count the days you are gone, a second attempt to get any indication that she feels anything at all for him. She doesn't look at him, pops a grape in her mouth. We can chat on yahoo? He suggests as though trying to console her, though the desperation in his tone cancels that out a little, she neither confirms nor denies the chances of this happening and sighs.

They are getting ready to leave; he is getting ready to pay, when suddenly two other girls appear, sliding into the booth beside them. As with the girl he was with they are clearly foreign, vague sense of coming from somewhere in Eastern Europe, though this pair are darker skinned than the first girl, but they are clearly friends. They start picking things off the belt, as I’m finishing myself and getting up to leave, as I walk passed them I can't help but think he'll end up paying for them as well.

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