Dish

Pal Shazar

It's a warm day. Terry drops into the House of Pancakes for a waffle with a scoop of ice cream. He's sitting alone at a table near the window. Nothing outside but dusty air and not too new cars passing by like memories of a long lost parade cavalcade. He opens a mag and looks at the shiny new cars. Not a speck of dust.

I'm in the freezer all compact and creamy. Marble fudge. Some disgruntled employee takes a scoop of me and drops me into a hot holey piece of hot waffle. Before I have a chance to scream I begin to lose a little shape. The air-conditioned air prevents total shock as I pass from the kitchen to the dining room. With a tiny slam I'm set down in front of Terry who issues a small moan at the sight of me.

'Enjoy,' says the waitress.

As Terry slides my plate a little bit closer, the soft sound of rubber soles disappear. Even before Terry lifts his eyes from me to see who's watching from the window I sense we're being seen. Sure enough his pal Johnny slips into the place and slides his loose clothinged frame into the seat opposite and goes, 'Um.'

I feel Terry pleased but possessive. Johnny reaches for the mag.

'Lookit this, will ya.' He points to a small red roadster that would evaporate the likes of me in a minute flat if I were set upon its hot little hood.

'You could speed on outta here Terry, and leave your pitiful life behind.'

'Do me a favor and leave my life outta this.'

'Sure, Terry, just seeing the future is all.'

'You got super eyes or something?'

He does. All deep and dark like the chocolate veins that course through me. Guys like him eat me alive. He's doing it now. He pushes the mag aside and starts in on me. I feel the syrup of his stare coat me like Hershey's.

Terry isn't dumb. He knows there will be zero enjoyment while his friend is sitting there. He takes his first bite and I thrill to the sensation of dissolving on his eager tongue. It's not as if we're having a heat wave, but the gratitude for what I have to give is always there. Terry's taste buds are overshadowed by the remark about his life. He takes his eyes off me for a second and looks away, far away out the window.

Johnny smiles, not a nasty smile but he knows what he's doing. He slumps back and tells Terry it's no big thing, everyone's life would be greatly improved once it was left behind. That brings Terry's gaze back, but not to me. As I begin to soften into the holes I hear him sigh, like accompaniment to my slight transformation. Johnny feels the effect he's made. I'm looking at Terry whose eyes are on him. Johnny pulls in the waitress with whatever kinda power comes with the kinda looks that kill, and like in a dream she floats back over on her soundless rubber slippers and plants a napkin and a spoon about a hairs width from his hand resting on the table.

'Thought you might be needing this.' She left out honey. Sort of.

Johnny laughs and Terry sets his spoon down with an unhappy tinkle. He slides me over the halfway mark of the table and picks up the magazine. As he buries his face behind it, his pal makes sure he himself feels no remorse before taking his first real bite out of me.

I've been eaten so many times. It is always a pleasure to be on the giving end. People forget all their worries with me around; diets, jobs, heartaches. I'm like the perfect food. I know it but stay humble cause I can also finish on the floor for an animal to clean up. But on a day like today, with all that dust settling over the world like sleeping powder, and Terry all sunk in unexplained sorrow, the beauty of Johnny's face mixed with the caress of his tongue makes me feel like he's the one doing me a favor.

Pages slowly flip in Terry's hand. Piece by piece I slip into Johnny's mouth and get pulled down his throat. He is loving me up and into his belly. Terry doesn't lift his eyes to witness one single spoonful. I feel like me and Johnny are totally alone. As I leave the waffle, bite by bite, I make a dying wish for the waitress to return with a fresh scoop of me for Terry. I know I could make him happy.

© 2007 Pal Shazar