At the restaurant

November 13, 2010 § 1 Comment

It is Wednesday evening, and the restaurant, at eight o’clock, is half empty.

A small boy of perhaps six or seven is sitting at a table in the middle of the room; his back is to the majority of the diners who’ve migrated, in search of intimacy, away from the bright dangling lights and towards the tall thin windows at the edges of the space.

The woman is at the counter, ordering their food. Thick blonde hair in a bob, an expensive-looking leather coat – she could be a magazine journalist or a curator, perhaps. He occasionally looks up, around, over at her, but really, right now, he’s immersed in his computer game, this child with his white-gold hair close-cropped  in some homage to poverty he’s never known. He could be anywhere. He could be in his room. He could be at school. He could be at his grandmother’s; it doesn’t matter. His green headphones would still be in his ears and his head would still be bowed, as if in prayer.

Later, a man will join them, and it will not be clear whether he is the boy’s father, the mother’s lover, or both.

The woman at the counter gestures towards the boy and all that is obvious in this moment is his face looking up and the light shining down as if some minor god had glanced aside and caught the boy in his dazzling gaze.

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