Friday, February 27, 2009

Supper, a Man with No Nose, Humming, a Mother, and Other Things of Little Consequence

They were all eating dinner together. Two of them were whispering near one of the corners. The man at the head of the table sat straight up, his back parallel with the wall behind him. He didn’t touch anything on his plate. One of the men at the table didn’t have a nose. He ate through his mouth like everyone else at the table, but he made different sounds while doing so. A small girl sitting somewhere near the middle wore a bow in her hair. Though people noticed this, no one commented on it. The mother at the table was a thin, severe woman. She coughed frequently throughout the meal and was almost constantly speaking. No one seemed to pay much attention to her, though. There was one very handsome man at the table. Most others at the table suspected that he had accidentally sat down at this table, for everyone else was quite unattractive. One woman, staring hard at her plate, even said, “Are you sure you’re in the right…” but then stopped, too frightened to finish addressing the attractive man. For his part, he didn’t even bother looking over at the woman trying to speak to him. He was preoccupied with his meal. Another young girl, this one without a bow in her hair, hummed a song she had learned in school that day. The man sitting next to her said that he remembered having learned that song once, and would she mind if he hummed along with her. She said that she would. The man was sullen for the rest of the meal. There were other people around the table too, but they had even fewer qualities to recommend themselves than those already mentioned. And so, quite naturally, there is nothing more to say.

No comments: