Friday, 27 July 2012

The Restaurant (part five)

Walking down the street to the restaurant, we passed a cluster of CCTV cameras. “Hold still” said Michael, before proceeding to punch me in the face. “What did you do that for?!” I protested, yelping and wiping blood from the corner of my mouth onto my cuff. “Sorry, mate” Michael shrugged, “But casual violence on CCTV is experiencing a big revival this autumn. Don’t want to be left behind, now, do we?” I sullenly admitted that we did not, and Michael continued to rain a volley of blows. I was slightly uncomfortable with the people who gathered to stare at us in the street, but Michael reassured me that “being ogled at by a crowd of bemused onlookers is bang on trend”. I reassured myself that they were probably watching the man naked except for a tie and glasses.


Standing outside the restaurant was a tiny waiter, no more than three feet high. What I took at first glance to be a tiny waiter was, upon second, third, and fourth glance a normal sized waiter quite far away. The waiter smiled as he greeted us. It was that special, nervous smile reserved for greeting a man with a large black eye, and his naked companion.

We were given a table in the corner: near to the bar, close to the kitchen, and far from the sight of any potential customers. I didn’t really mind. In the gloom of the corner, it was just dark enough for me to imagine that Michael was wearing a t-shirt. A pale-pink, skin-tight t-shirt, but a t-shirt nonetheless. The fission cuisine concept was an interesting one. In place of a bread basket on the table there were small piles of flour, yeast, sugar, and salt, accompanied by shot glasses filled with water and oil. I glanced over to the couple on the table next to us; in place of their glasses of wine there were small thimbles full of grapes, water, and antifreeze.

“I think I had better go for a cocktail” I said to myself and, since I had voiced the thought aloud, the other patrons of the restaurant. “I don’t normally talk to myself” I quickly stuttered “I mean, not that I’ve stopped talking to myself and that I’m ignoring myself, but” the crowd had stopped listening.

I ran my finger down the inside of the menu, stroking the unfamiliar names. “I think I’ll have a Molotov” I said, this time to the waiter. “Me too” said Michael. “Making decisions for yourself is so outdated. Sheepish crowd following is a timeless classic” Here he nodded sagely, stuffing handfuls of dry flour into his mouth.

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