Tuesday, February 06, 2007

Lady At Lunch

Each night after cleaning her dinner dishes, she prepares lunch for the following day. Again she pulls out the head of lettuce, the remainder of the tomato, and a celery stalk. She chops all of this into a salad container with a lid, then takes from the freezer a box of vegetarian sandwich patties. She removes one and places the box back into the freezer with the single patty resting on top. She does the same thing with a package of individually wrapped cheese in the fridge. If you prepare to oversleep, is it still oversleeping? In the morning she scoops all of this into a grocery bag and dashes to the bus stop.

All of which is to say: at lunch she forks through her salad and removes every chunk of tomato onto a napkin which she discards in the trash. It gets picked up in the afternoon by a trashman who heaves the bag into a dumpster, which is hauled away to a landfill outside her town. There, the tomatoes rot into the soil and a single flower with white petals rises up above the waste and leans into the wind.

She reads a book called The Clan of the Cavebear over and over again, I note as I lean over my note to slurp down a plastic spoonful of canned soup.

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