Hunger is a powerful motivator. Please enjoy responsibly...

The Properties of Nourishment

It was a meal, signifying nothing. A medium rare laying heavy on a plate faced a pasta heap while a once swimming beast eyed a collection of leafy greenery. Oversized dishes and frequently drained glasses stole the surface area of a table whose dimensions failed to meet its purpose.

It was a meal, sustenance sought to conclude a day in which the energy expended created starved bodies. Few words spilled past rapid forks hefting abundant loads, though looks spoke at nuclear decibels. Half of the ensemble downed their feasts while mentally residing somewhere else entirely but the other two carried on a subtle conversation conducted solely in pupil dilation and breaths.

It was a meal and then four becoming two served to create both space and nearness. Such juxtapositions did not trouble their narrowing focus. Eight elbows fighting for room dissolved into four inching toward their counterparts. Bites grew sparse but the meals stayed warm; their heat maintained the temperature in the place only they occupied. The world outside turned cold for all they absorbed among themselves and failed to share. Still, there was no increase in speech; it was not required.

Atmosphere makes sport of altering its presence to engage the moment. Departing figures had taken the full strength of lamplight with them, leaving the remaining pair in a pale cast unworthy of the electric generated to create it. The surrounding noises, that of wine-bearing waiters, scraping flatware and patron discourse, were muffled by a blanket of their disinterest. The universe unplugged and the vibrancy of life existed only at a corner table where strangers became swiftly acquainted. But there was more they could know and it would be said that foreboding came with dessert.

In a hungry world, the wolves of civilization welcome a scapegoat. Thus the wine, smooth and abundant, was proffered as the architect of the impropriety of events. Once stomachs were satiated, demands clattered from other parts seeking an end to the long-nurtured ignorance. A purposeful accidental brush of hands led to knees greeting and lastly, an arched eyebrow suggesting both direction and permission.

Four became two and two became one in an equation no chalkboard could map out. It was a meal and in the fullness thereof, complications and excuses were swallowed whole.